It is no secret that Blizzard Entertainment has seen a massive decline in its number of players since the release and subsequent popularity of Fortnite. In order to combat this, it released Diablo II: Resurrected as an attempt to bring back former fans hoping for a steady stream of revenue from those who have been absent.
The “Activision Blizzard innovation” is a new game released by Activision Blizzard. The game allows players to play as Diablo II’s original hero, the Necromancer, and fight against hordes of enemies in an open world setting.
Activision Blizzard has wrapped up its third quarter financial results conference call, revealing great results for the months of July, August, and September 2021, far ahead of their previous forecast. Despite Activision and King’s declines from the previous quarter, Blizzard Entertainment’s numbers have stayed consistent at 26 million monthly yearly users, with sales up almost 20% because to the success of Diablo II: Resurrected, the company’s sole significant launch this quarter.
Other news includes Jen Oneal, the co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, stepping down, leaving Mike Ybarra as the studio’s sole leader and transitioning into a new role working with Activision Blizzard and the Women in Games International non-profit organization to use a new $1 million grant from Activision to fund skill-building and mentorship programs for women in the gaming industry. Furthermore, both Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Ybarra and CFO Armin Zerza have stated that Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 would be delayed beyond 2022, albeit Diablo Immortal is already in public testing and is expected to be released in the first part of next year.
Activision Blizzard CFO Armin Zerza
We’ve decided to give the Diablo and Overwatch teams more time to produce the experiences that their audiences deserve and to position the franchises for long-term success. As a result, we don’t expect to see contributions from Overwatch 2 or Diablo until 2022. While this move may delay the financial picture we anticipate to see next year, we are certain that this is the best course of action for our employees, franchisees’ long-term success, and shareholders.
Bobby Kotick, the company’s CEO began the call by repeating his remarks from the previous quarter, in which he called for Activision Blizzard to become a company that sets the standard in the gaming industry, while admitting that they could have done a better job ensuring that their values were embraced throughout the organization. He went on to describe the steps taken so far to reform the company and work toward the goal of becoming a model workplace, many of which we heard about in his message last week, which included ending mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims and reducing his own compensation and bonuses to the California state minimum of $62,500.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick discussed the company’s current efforts to combat discrimination and harassment.
Despite a minor drop in monthly annual users (MAU) throughout the firm as compared to the previous quarter, Blizzard Entertainment and King income both climbed by 20% because to the introduction of Diablo II: Resurrected and the continuous popularity of Candy Crush seasonal events. Activision studio income fell by 17% this quarter, owing to a lack of Call of Duty content releases, which resulted in a dip in Warzone users, but it is anticipated to recover this week with the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard on November 5th. Despite these quarterly comparisons, Activision, Blizzard, and King MAU have matched or grown when compared to the third quarter of the previous year.
119 million monthly active users in Q2 2021, down from 127 million in Q2 2021.
The Call of Duty® ecosystem maintained levels of reach, engagement, and player investment far above those experienced previous to the introduction of free-to-play activities on consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
- Call of Duty activity is three times what it was in 2019, maintaining reach, engagement, and player investment at levels seen before free-to-play games were introduced.
- MAUs and time spent on console and PC remained consistent from Q2 to Q3 in 2021, compared to prior years.
- On November 5th, Call of Duty: Vanguard will be released, followed by Warzone Pacific on December 2nd.
- In the third quarter, Call of Duty Mobile net bookings increased by more than 40% year over year, owing to double-digit growth in the west and a contribution from the game in China.
Blizzard Entertainment has 26 million monthly active users, up from 26 million in the second quarter of 2021.
The successful launch of Diablo II: Resurrected boosted revenue for the Blizzard division by 20% year over year. While World of Warcraft income is down, the game is on course to have its best engagement and net bookings outside of a Modern expansion year in a decade, demonstrating that the gap between content cycles is not as wide as it has been in the past. This quarter, though, Blizzard Entertainment is putting Diablo front and center.
- Starting with a solid release of Diablo II: Resurrected, which had the biggest first week sales for a remaster in Activision history, Diablo is entering an age of unparalleled content size for the brand.
- Diablo Immortal is now undergoing public testing and is expected to be released in the first part of next year.
- Diablo IV is expected to form the basis for many years of fantastic experiences for PC and console enthusiasts, with the Diablo community expected to grow and serve better than ever before.
- The Overwatch League’s Grand Finals in September were the most-watched match in the league’s history.
- The next season of the Overwatch League will begin in the spring and will be based on an early version of Overwatch 2’s new 5v5 competitive multiplayer mode.
- The combination of the Modern game and the Classic game under a single subscription continues to boost World of Warcraft reach and engagement, and the game is on course to produce its highest engagement and net bookings outside of a Modern expansion year in a decade.
- Hearthstone introduced Mercenaries in October, bringing new and returning players a whole new way to play the game, and third-quarter net bookings remained consistent year over year.
King has a monthly active user base of 245 million, down from 255 million in Q2 2021.
Revenue in the King sector increased by 22% year over year to a new quarterly high, with strong year-over-year increases in both in-app purchases and advertising.
- In the third quarter, the number of hours spent playing King increased year over year, owing to a good reaction to a more regular cadence of in-game material and events. In comparison to the previous quarter, player numbers increased by a double-digit percentage.
- Candy Crush launched the All Stars U.S. tournament, resulting in significant installations, a 20 percent increase in in-game net bookings year over year, and a reclaim of the top-grossing game brand in the U.S. app stores.
- Farm Heroes, the second-largest brand, has seen a 20 percent increase in in-game net bookings year over year.
Question and Answer Session
Several issues about Activision Blizzard’s success and continued commitment to transforming the organization and becoming an industry workplace leader were addressed during the Q&A session. While their workplace potential have never been greater, they won’t be achieved without recruiting and keeping people, which necessitates a goal of having the most friendly and inclusive environment, according to CEO Bobby Kotick. He claims that Activision has demonstrated over the years that they can create the best games, resulting in shareholder returns far exceeding the S&P 500 and most companies, and he believes that delivering workplace excellence is critical to continuing to make those games and delivering those returns.
CEO Bobby Kotick
I couldn’t be more dedicated to making our organization the most performance-driven, inviting, and inclusive in the entertainment industry. What you just heard me say is simply the start of the steps we plan to take to attain that goal. Of course, we need accountability, so we’ll continue to publish frequent updates to our shareholders, as well as yearly ESG reports, and we’ll track the success of our business units, franchise teams, and functional leaders on workplace initiatives, with quarterly updates to our workers. Communication with our employees and getting feedback has been a critical part of the process so far, and it will continue to be so in the future. We’ll obviously keep our investors updated, but the work we’ve done with our employees has resulted in some very positive new initiatives, which we’ll continue to announce in the coming months. I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made.
In response to a query about Diablo II: Resurrected’s release and the postponement of Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment’s Mike Ybarra expressed thanks to Jen Oneal, who revealed today that she would be stepping down as co-lead. While his actual response to the question did not provide any additional hints toward a specific release date, he spoke at length in support of the experience of the game’s developers and their progress thus far, though recent changes in leadership prompted them to take a fresh look at the game and allow more time for development in order to ensure a great experience at launch and for many years to come.
Other questions, such as Apple’s recent IDFA changes and regulatory concerns in China, received no responses, though COO Daniel Alegre spoke about Activision’s progress over the last year, which included investing in new studio locations such as Melbourne, Toronto, and Mexico City, as well as giving studios more flexibility in work habits, such as retaining Work from Home practices.
Activision Blizzard released their Third Quarter Financial Results, which showed that Diablo II: Resurrected had boosted revenue by 20%. Reference: how much is activision worth.
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