Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 Pre-Orders “Off to a Very Strong Start” According to Activision

The giant publisher between Destiny, Call of Duty and Overwatch releases its quarterly financial results.

on May 4, 2017 4:13 PM

Today Activision released its financial results for the first quarter of calendar year 2017 (if you’re wondering, Activision doesn’t use “fiscal years” like most other companies), ended on March 31st, 2017.

You can check out the numbers below, and they’re all in the black, defined “better-than-expected” and “record.”

Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 Pre-Orders

Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick topped the press release with a statement about the publisher’s performance in the beginning of the year, boasting a good reception for the reveals of Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII.

“This quarter we delivered record revenues, earnings per share and cash flow, and over‐performed guidance. Among the drivers of our results was Overwatch, which now has over 30 million players globally. The Overwatch League is gaining momentum and weʹre excited to offer our community of players the best professional league experience. Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII are also coming later this year, and both reveals have been very well received by fans.ʺ

The announcement also included a batch of bullet points, summarizing the most relevant achievements of the publisher’s label and games during the first quarter.  Overwatch is mentioned at 30 million global players, while “very strong starts” are mentioned for pre-orders of Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII.

Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 431 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)A in the quarter.
  • Blizzard had the biggest Q1 online player community in its history with MAUs of 41 million, up 58% year‐over‐year. Overwatch continues to be Blizzard’s fastest growing new franchise, reaching over 30 million players globally less than a year after launch. Overwatch is now the 8th billion dollar franchise in Activision Blizzard’s portfolio. Hearthstone MAUs grew year‐over‐year and quarter‐over‐quarter, despite no content releases in the first quarter, and recently surpassed the 70 million registered player milestone life‐to‐date.
  • Activision had 48 million MAUs in the first quarter, down year‐over‐year primarily due to expected softness from last year’s Infinite Warfare release. Activision expects to release Call of Duty: WWII on November 3, 2017. Last week’s reveal was the most watched livestream in Call of Duty history, and the reveal trailer became the fastest video to reach 10 million views in Call of Duty history. Though early, initial pre‐orders for Call of Duty: WWII are off to a very strong start.
    Activision and its partners at Bungie expect to release Destiny 2 on September 8, 2017 and welcome PC players into the Destiny universe for the first time. Response to the Destiny 2 reveal was very encouraging, and pre‐orders are off to a very strong start.
  • King had 342 million MAUsA for the quarter, down year‐over‐year, but with better per user engagement and investment. King had two of the top 10 highest‐grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for the fourteenth quarter in a row.

Deep Engagement

  • Blizzard had record first‐quarter time spent, up a double‐digit percentage year‐over‐year. In late January, Overwatch had its fourth seasonal event, Year of the Rooster, to celebrate the lunar new year. The event drove engagement records for the game. Blizzard launched a fifth seasonal event in April, Uprising, including a player‐versus‐environment game mode which drew record time spent. With a regular content and feature update cadence, World of Warcraft® time spent grew
    year‐over‐year in the first quarter. Hearthstone set a new all‐time Daily Active Users (DAUs) record last month with the release of a new expansion, Journey to Un’Goro™. In April, Blizzard also launched Heroes of the Storm® 2.0, bringing players back into the game.
  • King’s time spent per DAUB is now a record 35 minutes a day, up quarter‐over‐quarter and yearover‐year. King’s DAUB to MAUA ratio is at its highest point since 2013, and DAUsB were steady quarter‐over‐quarter.

Player Investment

  • Blizzard’s revenues from in‐game content grew more than 25% year‐over‐year, driven by revenues from World of Warcraft in‐game content and continued strength of Overwatch customization items.
  • Activision expects to release a new content offering for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 fans, Zombies Chronicles, on May 16, 2017. The remastered collection of the franchise’s most beloved Zombies content will be available first on PlayStation 4.
  • King’s first‐quarter gross bookingsC per paying user grew for the 7th quarter in a row to a new record. The Candy Crush™ franchise showed continued stability with mobile bookings up quarter‐over‐quarter. Also, King has entered into a promising publishing partnership with PlayStudios to enter the social casino genre.

If you want to compare this quarter’s results with the latest release, you can find it here.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.