Activision Blizzard reports a record second quarter

Written by Jennifer Allen

August 5, 2020 | 11:00

Tags: #business #call-of-duty-warzone #financial-results

Companies: #activision-blizzard

Continuing the trend of games companies reporting strong results this year, Activision Blizzard has announced record second-quarter 2020 financial results. 

For the quarter ending June 30th 2020, Activision Blizzard's net revenues were $1.93 billion compared to $1.40 billion for the same quarter in 2019. In a similar vein, net revenues from digital channels were up significantly from $1.09 billion to $1.59 billion. Overall, it meant that the games company exceeded its second-quarter outlook citing an expanding audience reach, engagement and player investment. In particular, it mentioned in the statement "better-than-expected results with growth led by the Call of Duty franchise following the launch of Warzone."

Amongst the financial details, Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer at the firm explained, "our mission to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more meaningful," presumably as a nod towards the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic and accompanying stay at home measures weren't directly referenced, it doesn't take a genius to appreciate that game sales are going to be up because of this change in our daily lives for a time.

When broken down further, Activision explained that Call of Duty: Warzone has reached over 75 million players to date with the hours played in the Modern Warfare universe increasingly eight-fold year-over-year. In part, that's certainly going to be due to the popularity of Call of Duty: Warzone but a partially captive audience is going to help too. Notably, this was the quarter that Modern Warfare added more players outside of a launch quarter than any other Call of Duty game before it. 

Blizzard also saw a similarly strong quarter with World of Warcraft's reach and engagement increasing sequentially with the prospect of the Shadowlands expansion later this year helping there. World of Warcraft players have also been enjoying significantly increased experience gains since the beginning of the pandemic with a temporary experience boost being extended until the launch of Shadowlands. That's likely to have attracted past players to return. Overwatch engagement also grew year-over-year. 

Activision Blizzard has announced it expects to experience strong momentum in the future with new content from its key franchises (such as World of Warcraft: Shadowlands and a new Call of Duty game) but also warns that the full extent of the impact of the pandemic is difficult to fully predict just yet. Still, despite that global uncertainty, Activision Blizzard, much like EA, has clearly had a good few months. 

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