Activision is bringing its biggest franchise to the free-to-play mobile world.
Call of Duty: Mobile will begin its open beta this summer to players in North America, Europe, and South America. (The title, being created in conjunction with Tencent, had previously only been confirmed for China.)
The mobile installment of the game will follow the successful free-to-play model, which encourages avid fans to pay for in-game upgrades. It will include fan favorite modes, including the game’s Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy, as well as popular in-game maps. Activision did not give a specific release date for the game, but players can pre-register for access on the game’s website.
Bringing Call of Duty to mobile seems like a natural move for Activision, but the company has resisted it in the past, perhaps for fear of weakening the console franchise, which has brought in billions of dollars for the publisher.
Analysts, though, say it could mean a significant bump for the company. Morgan Stanley Research, in a note to investors, said even $500 million in mobile revenue could increase the company’s estimated 2020 earnings per share by 9%.
Mobile games are the largest segment of the video game space, bringing in $85 billion last year, according to Morgan Stanley. And that’s projected to grow 11% between now and 2021.
“This is a way for Activision to capitalize on its leading IP in the rapidly growing free-to-play and mobile markets,” said Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak. ” It’s another opportunity for CoD to prove it is still a AAA franchise.”