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 CoD  and  WoW  push Activision Blizzard to better-than-expected Q3

CoD and WoW push Activision Blizzard to better-than-expected Q3

November 7, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Revenue at Activision Blizzard is down year-over-year but higher than expected for the three month period ending September 30, 2019, something the company credits to better-than-expected performance for both Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

Though it is worth noting that, given the quarter closed at the end of September, the recent launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and any potential impact from last month’s Blizzard boycotts wouldn’t be reflected in this current period.

Activision Blizzard as a whole reported GAAP net revenues of $1.28 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2019, beating the $1.1 billion revenue expectation the company had set back in August. GAAP net revenue from digital sources alone hit $1.01 billion this quarter.

Net bookings for the quarter, which include products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically, came in at $1.21 billion for the quarter, down from $1.66 billion last year.

“Recent launches have enabled significant growth in the size of our audiences for our Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a press release. “As we introduce mobile and free-to-play games based on our franchises we believe we can increase audience size, engagement and monetization across our wholly-owned franchises."

Activision on its own saw 36 million monthly active users across its games this quarter, and a press release notes that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the now second most recent console release in the franchise, saw sharp growth in net bookings compared to its predecessor.  Activision saw $209 million in revenue, down year-over-year due in part to the boost last year saw from the Q3 launch of Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion. Destiny 2 as a whole has since separated from Activision after developer Bungie retook publishing rights for the game earlier this year.

Over at Blizzard, World of Warcraft Classic has, since its August release, drove the largest quarterly increase in World of Warcraft subscriptions in the franchise’s 15 year lifetime.The segment alone brought in $294 million in revenue, down year-over-year compared to Q3 2018 which saw the launch of a World of Warcraft expansion. King, meanwhile, saw over 247 million monthly active users for the quarter, and continues to leverage its Candy Crush franchise on mobile. Revenue at King came in at $500 million for the quarter, roughly flat year-over-year.

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