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Destiny 2 Beta and Pre-Orders Surpassed Destiny; Activision Announces Strong Quarterly Results

Activision Blizzard provides its quarterly financial results for the period between April and June, and they're strong as usual.

August 3, 2017

Today, Activision Blizzard revealed its financial results for the second quarter of Calendar Year 2017, related to the period between April 1st and June 30th, 2017. As you may have noticed, Activision is one of the few publishers that doesn’t use fiscal years.

You can check out the income figures below, with revenues increased slightly year-on-year, and significantly higher than the forecast.

Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick accompanied the press release with a statement, mentioning that the company enjoyed record revenue for the first half of the year. Kotick also talked about the upcoming Overwatch competitive league.

 “This was another strong quarter for Activision Blizzard. We exceeded our outlook and delivered record revenues for the first half of 2017.

Celebrating players and audiences is the foundation for our success. This quarter we announced the first team owners in the Overwatch League, the first major global, city-based professional esports league. With hundreds of hours of broadcast content ahead of us, as well as significant sponsorship and media opportunities, the Overwatch League will provide new ways for us to highlight and support the passion of esports fans and the skill of some of the world’s top Overwatch players.”

The announcement also included a list of bullet points providing an overview on the publisher’s performance during the quarter. We read that the company’s games gathered 407 million monthly active users in the quarter, with Blizzard peaking with highest community engagement in its history thanks to Overwatch. The monthly active users across Blizzard games increased 38% year-on-year, with a record 46 million.

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Interestingly Destiny 2‘s beta is said to have surpassed Destiny‘s in 2014, and pre-orders for the new game are above those achieved by the original one.  Call of Duty: WWII also has “strong” pre-order momentum.

Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 407 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the quarter.
  • Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUs, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAU record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUs grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.
  • Activision had 47 million MAUs in the second quarter, down slightly year-over-year. The launch of Zombies Chronicles led to a MAU increase quarter-over-quarter in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Activision also released Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogyfor PS4, a collection of remastered Crash Bandicoot classic titles. Despite only two days of sales on a single platform, it was the number one console title globally in June based on units.
  • Activision and its partners at Bungie expect to release Destiny 2 on September 6, 2017 for consoles and on October 24, 2017 for PC. The Destiny 2 console Beta had more total players than the 2014 Destiny Beta, and Destiny 2 pre-orders are now above the first Destiny. Activision expects to release Call of Duty: WWII on November 3, 2017. Momentum on pre-orders and hands-on feedback have been strong.
  • King had 314 million MAUs for the quarter, down year-over-year, but with better gross bookings per paying user. King had two of the top-10 highest-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for the fifteenth quarter in a row.

Deep Engagement

  • Blizzard had Q2-record time spent. In April, Blizzard launched Uprising, an Overwatch seasonal event that included a player-versus-environment mode that drew record play time. Overwatch’s Anniversary event in May and June also drove strong engagement with record participation in customization items. Time spent in World of Warcraft grew year-over-year in the second quarter, and the Legion expansion continued to perform ahead of the prior expansion.
  • King’s live operations and new content continue to drive strong engagement with steady time spent at 35 minutes per day and players engaging more frequently.
  • Blizzard announced the first seven team sales for the Overwatch League, the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams, and the league is set to begin its inaugural competitive season later this year.
  • Blizzard announced a live-streaming media rights partnership for esports and in-game content across a number of franchises, but excluding Overwatch League content.
  • Activision’s Call of Duty World League will culminate in its Championships held in Orlando in August.

Player Investment

  • Activision Blizzard delivered nearly $1 billion of in-game revenues in the quarter with record performance in the first half of 2017.
  • King’s gross bookings per paying user grew for the 8th quarter in a row to a new record. Strong engagement and player investment led to an increase in mobile gross bookings year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s Zombies Chronicles, Activision’s first large content drop in year two after a game launch, not only drove purchases of that specific piece of content, but also led to higher engagement and to add-on revenues for that game.
  • Blizzard’s OverwatchHearthstoneWorld of Warcraft, and Diablo III, which debuted new content during the quarter, drove strong in-game participation.

If you want to compare this quarter’s results with the latest release from May, you can check that one out in our dedicated article.

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Giuseppe Nelva

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.

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