Activision Blizzard Reports Record First-Quarter Financial Results

by Brian Shea on May 04, 2017 at 04:27 PM

During today's Activision Blizzard first-quarter financial call, the publisher announced record results that exceeded expectations.

Activision Blizzard reached over $1.7 billion net revenues compared to $1.46 billion in first-quarter 2016. Activision achieved 48 million monthly active users with games like Destiny and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Blizzard had 41 million monthly active users thanks to games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft, and King mobile had 342 million monthly active users due to games like Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga. Activision Blizzar games also achieved approximately 40 billion hours logged over the last 12 months. 

Blizzard's Overwatch has become Activision's eighth billion-dollar franchise, and is Blizzard's fastest-growing IP. Unsurprisingly, the game has seen massive spikes in engagement during its seasonal events like Uprising and Year of the Rooster. In addition, Blizzard touted that Heroes of the Storm 2.0 has brought players back into the title, while Hearthstone set a new record for daily active users in April with the release of the Journey to Un'Goro expansion. Blizzard has seen a nearly 30 percent year-over-year increase in-game purchases driven primarily by Overwatch and World of Warcraft. 

King has also touted impressive numbers, with its daily active user's engagement reaching a record 35 minutes per day. King's 342 million monthly active users is lower than it was this time last year, but it had two of the top 10 highest grossing mobile apps in the United States for the fourteenth quarter in a row. King is also working to develop a new Call of Duty mobile game that it hopes will have a broad appeal.

In addition, CEO Bobby Kotick says that a major priority for the company remains investing in professional esports, likening professional gaming competition to the value and impact delivered by traditional professional sports. Kotick says the Overwatch League and Major League Gaming will play a major role in this strategy.

Looking ahead, Activision continually touted the strength of pre-orders for its upcoming games Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2. The company also said that much of the social media negativity that was seen with last year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reveal has evaporated with the reveal of Call of Duty: WWII. Because of this, Activision Blizzard has raised its full-year outlook, expecting revenues of $6.1 billion.

[Source: Activision Blizzard's First-Quarter Financial Results]


Our Take
These are impressive numbers for Activision Blizzard for the start of the year. Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII will inevitably be massive launches for the company, and Overwatch shows no signs of slowing down. Add in King's perpetual success, and Activision Blizzard continues to be a juggernaut in the industry.