Success, success, success.
Activision Blizzard has published its previous quarter’s (April-June) results. Colour us shocked, it’s all positive, as the company gained a ton of money thanks to the coronavirus. 1.93 billion dollars in net revenue (0.53 billion up year-on-year, best Q2 ever for the company), 580 million net income (252 million up from the previous year), and earnings per share were 75 cents (about 17 cents above forecasts). However, the company’s stock is still somewhat down – perhaps the investors were expecting even better results. (Operating income: 974 million – Activision: 552 with a 56% operating margin, Blizzard: 203 44%, and King: 212 38%.)
The free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone is at 75 million users, and thus, Activision Blizzard’s monthly active users (MAU) is now over 400 million. The engagement in the Call of Duty franchise was eight times higher year-on-year, and many Warzone players pay up to acquire Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019, meaning the series has sold the most copies in Q2 ever. They also confirmed (gee, what a surprise…) that there will be a new CoD game this year as well, co-developed by Treyarch and Raven Software, possibly called Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which we discussed a few times. Warzone will expand with content related to it.
World of Warcraft also saw a big boost in engagement (hitting nearly a decade-old record), and thus, Blizzard brought 461 million dollars in net revenue in this quarter, building up to the Shadowlands expansion, as well as the new World of Warcraft Classic content. The publisher’s third arm, King, working on mobile games, pulled 553 million via Candy Crush.
Thus, Activision Blizzard has increased its full-year outlook to 7.28 billion dollars (it was 6.8 before, and they started the year with 6.45), and Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 can also push their results further. The publisher wants to implement its Call of Duty model (support multiple interconnected yet separate titles simultaneously) to other franchises, too.
„Our mission to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more meaningful. Our 400 million players continue to experience fun, joy and accomplishment through our games. Our record engagement resulted in greater revenue and earnings per share than previously forecast. While economic uncertainty could have an impact on our near-term results, the initiatives that drove our growth for the first half of the year should also provide the foundation for long-term growth,” Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, said.
So – as essentially every other AAA publisher… – the company bashes its chest for being filthy rich.
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