Activision Blizzard Loses 60 Million Monthly Active Users In Past Year
The company had 372 million monthly active users as of March 31, down from 435 million last year.
Activision Blizzard has released its latest quarterly financial report, and the numbers were not good for the publisher, with revenue, player numbers, and Call of Duty unit sales all coming in lower than before.
For the quarter ending March 31, Activision Blizzard had revenue of $1.77 billion, compared to $2.28 billion during the same period last year. Net bookings, meanwhile, amounted to $1.48 billion, down from $2.07 billion last year. In-game net bookings came in at $1.01 billion, a decrease from $1.34 billion.
In terms of player numbers, Activision Blizzard's overall monthly active users amounted to 372 million for the quarter. This is down from 435 million during the same period last year--that's a drop of about 63 million players in a year.
So, what happened? Activision said Call of Duty: Vanguard sold worse than Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Additionally, Warzone had "lower engagement." Call of Duty Mobile, however, performed about as well as it did the year prior in regards to net bookings. Total net bookings for the Call of Duty series across console and PC, however, declined.
Despite the Call of Duty declines, Activision said it continued to "rapidly expand" its development resources for the entire Call of Duty series during the first quarter of 2022. The next Call of Duty premium 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 assistance from outside studios. Activision management recently said Modern Warfare 2 will be the "most advanced experience" in franchise history, while Warzone 2 will have "groundbreaking innovations."
As for Blizzard, the company's financial results in the first quarter 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 well in open beta. What's more, Blizzard said development on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 is "progressing well."
While Activision and Blizzard financial figures dropped year-over-year, the company's Candy Crush division, King, saw in-game net bookings jump 8% year-over-year. Player numbers across all King games grew by a double-digit percentage year-over-year.
Activision Blizzard's earnings release today was not traditional, with the company not conducting a conference call, issuing an official presentation, or giving financial guidance. That'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 directors at Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, but it still needs to clear regulatory hurdles from the government.
Recently, a group of US Senators--including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren--said they are "deeply concerned" about the sale and specifically what it might mean for the company's workers.
Activision Blizzard has come under pressure and scrutiny lately for its workplace culture, as well as controversies surrounding its top boss, Bobby Kotick, who is accused of knowing about and covering up instances of sexual harassment and abuse. Kotick reportedly also threatened to kill someone.
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