Activision Blizzard released its latest quarterly financial report, and the numbers didn’t look good for the publisher, with Call of Duty revenue, player count, and unit sales all lower than before.
For the quarter ending March 31, Activision Blizzard had revenue of $1.77 billion, compared to $2.28 billion in the same period last year. Net bookings, meanwhile, were $1.48 billion, down from $2.07 billion last year. Net in-game bookings were $1.01 billion, down from $1.34 billion.
In terms of player count, Activision Blizzard’s total monthly active user count was 372 million for the quarter. This is down from the 435 million recorded during the same period last year, a drop of about 63 million players in one year.
So what happened? Activision said Call of Duty: Vanguard undersold Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Additionally, Warzone had “lower engagement”. Call of Duty Mobile, however, performed about as well as the previous year when it came to net bookings. Total net bookings for the Call of Duty series on console and PC, however, declined.
Despite Call of Duty’s declines, Activision said it continues to “rapidly expand” its development resources for the entire Call of Duty series during the first quarter of 2022. The next premium Call of Duty game is Modern Warfare 2, while a new Warzone game is on the way. Both are coming this year, with development led by Infinity Ward with help from outside studios. Activision management recently said Modern Warfare 2 would be “the most advanced experience” in franchise history, while Warzone 2 would feature “groundbreaking innovations.”
As for Blizzard, the company’s first quarter financial results were down year over year, due to a lack of major releases, the company said. Looking ahead, Blizzard has the new WoW expansion, Dragonflight, in the works, alongside Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Additionally, Blizzard just announced that Diablo Immortal will launch on June 2 for mobile devices, while a PC edition is coming that day as an open beta as well. Additionally, Blizzard said development on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 is “progressing well.”
While Activision and Blizzard’s financial numbers fell year-over-year, the company’s Candy Crush division, King, saw net in-game bookings jump 8% year-over-year. ‘other. The number of players in all King games has increased by a double digit percentage year over year.
Activision Blizzard’s earnings release today was unconventional, with the company not hosting a conference call, making a formal presentation or giving financial guidance. It’s because of Activision Blizzard’s proposed sale to Microsoft. This is expected to close at some point during Microsoft’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. The deal has already been approved by the Boards of Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, but it has yet to eliminate government regulatory barriers.
Recently, a group of US senators – including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – said they were “deeply concerned” about the sale and specifically what it might mean for the company’s workers.
Activision Blizzard has recently come under pressure and scrutiny for its work culture, as well as controversies surrounding its top boss, Bobby Kotick, who is accused of knowing about and covering up instances of harassment and of sexual abuse. Kotick also allegedly threatened to kill someone.
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