Activision Blizzard First Quarter 2022 Financial Results - Faltering CoD Sales, Upcoming Warcraft Mobile Announcement
25.04.2022 um 08:10
Activision Blizzard has released its
first quarter financial results
for the year of 2022, announcing a declined quarterly revenue of $1.77 billion, narrowly missing analyst estimations of $1.8 billion, citing robust growth at King offset by poor Call of Duty: Vanguard performance and a lack of major Blizzard releases. In positive news however, Diablo Immortal was announced to release on June 2nd with PC cross-play, while internal testing for Diablo 4 is already underway, public testing of Overwatch 2 beginning tomorrow on April 26th, and a Warcraft mobile announcement in the coming weeks.
Due to the pending
acquisition by Microsoft
, the financial results have been presented without the usual conference call, and the the report lacked a personal quote from CEO Bobby Kotick or CFO Armin Zerza, though the business highlights cited increased legal fees as a result of the pending merger with Microsoft and cited the hiring of several hundred new developers. Additionally, the report acknowledged recent news in the approval of an
$18 million settlement with the EEOC
1,100 QA workers to full time
, and the appointment of
Kristen Hines as DE&I lead
Overall financial performance declined year-over-year, primarily reflecting lower results for Call of Duty and product cycle timing at Blizzard Entertainment, enough to offset otherwise robust growth at King. Although not offering future projections, the news of
Diablo Immortal's launch
, Diablo 4 internal testing, Overwatch 2 public testing, an upcoming Warcraft Mobile announcement, and teasing CoD 2022 as the most advanced experience to date all suggest renewed growth over the remaining year.
Activision - 100 million monthly active users, down from 107 million in Q4 2021
Echoing last quarter, Call of Duty: Vanguard's failure to outsell Black Ops: Cold War and reduced engagement with the free-to-play Warzone has led to lower than expected performance within the Activision segment, though CoD Mobile bookings managed to avoid a similar drop. This year's release, a sequel to Modern Warfare, is said to be the most advanced experience in CoD history.
Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC declined year-over-year in the first quarter, reflecting lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard versus the year ago title and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone. Call of Duty Mobile net bookings were little changed year-over-year.
The Call of Duty teams delivered substantial gameplay improvements for Vanguard and Warzone in the first quarter. Development on this year’s premium and Warzone experiences, led by Infinity Ward, is proceeding very well. This year’s Call of Duty is a sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare, the most successful Call of Duty title to date, and will be the most advanced experience in franchise history. The new free-to-play Warzone experience, which is built from the ground-up alongside the premium game, features groundbreaking innovations to be revealed later this year.
Activision continued to rapidly expand its Call of Duty development resources in the first quarter. Its growing teams are focused on delivering even more compelling content to the community on PC and console, as well as expanding Warzone to the mobile platform.
Blizzard Entertainment - 22 million monthly active users, down from 24 million in Q4 2021
Blizzard Entertainment also suffered lowered performance, attributed to the lack of major releases, though offset by the recent launch of Hearthstone's Sunken City expansion, as well as the announcement of Dragonflight and Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Likewise, news of Diablo Immortal launching June 2nd, Diablo 4 internal testing, the Overwatch 2 public beta beginning tomorrow, and upcoming Warcraft Mobile news are all highlights which suggest room for growth over the remaining year.
Blizzard’s first quarter financial results were lower year-over-year, primarily reflecting product cycle timing for the Warcraft franchise. Blizzard’s teams reached important milestones across its key franchises in recent months, and the second quarter represents the start of a period of planned substantial releases across Blizzard’s portfolio.
Blizzard continues to work on numerous new experiences to delight and expand the Warcraft community. The newest Hearthstone expansion, Voyage to the Sunken City, launched on April 12. Blizzard’s teams are working on major new content for World of Warcraft including World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, the innovative upcoming expansion for the modern game, and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Blizzard is also planning to unveil more details about its first Warcraft mobile experience in the coming weeks.
Diablo Immortal will launch on June 2, 2022 in most regions around the world, with the remaining regions in Asia-Pacific gaining access a few weeks later. Over 30 million people have already pre-registered for the game. In addition to offering a deep, authentic, and free-to-play Diablo experience on the mobile platform, Diablo Immortal will also be available free-to-play on Windows PC, initially as an open beta starting on June 2, 2022, and will support cross-play and cross-progression.
Development on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 is also progressing well. Company-wide internal testing of Diablo 4 is underway, and external testing of the player-versus-player mode of Overwatch 2 begins tomorrow, April 26, 2022.
King - 250 million monthly active users, up from from 240 million in Q4 2021
Not only the sole increase in net bookings, but also the only business unit to report increased users compared to last month, King continues to exhibit the value of mobile gaming
King’s teams continued to deliver compelling new content, features and events in the first quarter, driving year over-year growth in engagement and player investment. King’s in-game net bookings grew 8% year-over-year, driven by double-digit year-over-year growth for Candy Crush, King’s largest franchise, in both cases building on strong growth in the prior year quarter.
Candy Crush was the top-grossing game franchise in the U.S. app stores for the 19th consecutive quarter.
King’s payer numbers again grew by a double-digit percentage year-over-year, driven by strong execution in Candy’s features and live operations, effective user acquisition, and ongoing optimization of the Candy Crush ingame economy.
King’s advertising business continued to grow rapidly year-over-year, fueled by volume growth and ramping relationships with demand partners.
Due to the pending
acquisition by Microsoft
, the financial results are presented
without the usual conference call
, and therefore no Q&A has taken place.
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