Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, "Our record performance in 2016 further strengthened our position as the world's leading standalone interactive entertainment company. For the quarter and the year, we delivered our highest revenues, non-GAAP redefined operating margins and earnings per share, well surpassing our own expectations."
Kotick added, "The launch of Blizzard's Overwatch® created a major new franchise, while King's mobile advertising tests are very promising as the basis for meaningful new revenue streams. We accelerated our efforts in esports and consumer products, enabling more ways to celebrate and connect to our communities. Thanks to the strength of our established franchises and the vitality of our new initiatives, we are well positioned for growth in the years ahead."
- Activision Blizzard had 447 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)A in the quarter.
- Blizzard had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016 at 36 million, up 37% from 2015 and up 87% since 2014. Additionally, Blizzard achieved record fourth-quarter MAUsA of 41 million. Overwatch became Blizzard's fastest game ever to reach over 25 million players globally. The title broke the previous launch year record for unit sales set by Diablo® III in 2012 and received 55 "Game of the Year" awards. World of Warcraft® MAUsA grew 10% in 2016 and over 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter on the back of the successful third-quarter launch of the expansion, Legion™. Also, Hearthstone® had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016, growing more than 20%, in part due to the fourth-quarter expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan™.
- In 2016, consumers spent approximately 43 billion hours playing and watching Activision Blizzard content, on par with Netflix and over one-and-a-half times Snapchat.
- Blizzard's fourth-quarter play time surpassed the previous record set in the third quarter. Overwatch had its second and third seasonal events, Halloween Terror and Winter Wonderland, each one driving new records for engagement with the game. World of Warcraft saw an increase in total play time for the quarter, surpassing the Q3 expansion launch quarter and all non-launch quarters in the last four years.
- In November, Blizzard held its 10th BlizzCon® with over 25 thousand attendees, over 10 million people around the world tuning in to the event and a record number of pay-per-view tickets sold through DirecTV. Blizzard also announced the formation of the Overwatch League™ at BlizzCon.
- Blizzard had record levels of quarterly and full-year in-game revenues, driven by World of Warcraft in-game content and continued strength of Overwatch customization items.