Call of Duty makes a lot more money on PS5 and PS4 than on Xbox

By Lee Brady,

Call of Duty games, like Call of Duty Modern Warfare II, net publisher Activision Blizzard more money on Sony's PS5 and PS4 consoles than Microsoft's Xbox consoles.

The latest Activision Blizzard financial reports suggest Call of Duty games make significantly more money on PlayStation consoles than Xbox. This might come down to the fact there are more PlayStation users than Xbox users, many of whom are out there eagerly earning those Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 trophies and buying into the game's microtransactions. Still, with Sony making the bigger contribution to Call of Duty revenue, no wonder Microsoft is so eager to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.

Call of Duty PlayStationCall of Duty's fat Sony stacks.

Call of Duty makes more money on PlayStation consoles than Xbox

Activision's latest financial report, which was covered first over on MP1st, doesn't give us a specific breakdown of Call of Duty sales and revenue across consoles, so, unfortunately, we don't have the exact figures to compare for Sony and Microsoft.

We do know that Sony's platform is responsible for contributing 13% in net revenues to Activision's over $7.5 billion in net revenue over the course of 2022. While not all of that 13% relates to Call of Duty, (Overwatch 2 is also in the mix, for example) neither does Xbox's contributions of less than 10%. In fact, we don't have a specific percentage for Xbox's contributions for the last two years as Activision doesn't register contributions below 10% in its platform provider reporting.

Call of Duty PlayStationContribution breakdown.

If we were to estimate, given the trend that shows Apple and Google's contributed net revenues rising and costing Sony 2% of its overall share each year since 2020, it's likely that Xbox's contributions currently hover around 7% — though again, we have no confirmation on that. Even with a minimum 4% difference between Microsoft and Sony, a 4% difference in contributions to $7.5 billion is no small change, suggesting Call of Duty pulls in millions more in revenue on PS5 and PS4 than on Xbox.

Again, this does help explain what Phil Spencer means when he's talking about the "pragmatic way of looking at" Call of Duty and Microsoft's relationship to PlayStation — it means Activision actually needs Sony's money to function. This is why Microsoft went as far as to offer Call of Duty on PS Plus to Sony; without PlayStation's involvement, Activision profits would take a massive hit — and a financial hit for Activision may very soon mean a financial hit for Microsoft.

Let us know in the comments if you're surprised the gulf between Sony and Microsoft's Call of Duty contributions is this wide, or whether this all just makes perfect sense and should surprise no one.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee loves writing about the game design of classic PS Plus Premium games and upcoming PS5 games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Final Fantasy XVI. He's a big proponent of video games as an evolving artistic medium, though he's also a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog games, so the medium might want to keep looking for a better spokesperson.
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