Activision Blizzard Third Quarter 2022 Earnings


The Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings have been released, showing a decent buff from mobile for the gaming company.


Activision Blizzard has just released its quarterly earnings for the months ending in September. Ahead of one of the industry’s biggest buyouts, we’ve gotten a better look at how the gaming giant is performing. While income and revenue have been down for the developer, the Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings aren’t all bad news. This is what we learned from the Activision Blizzard Q3 earnings release.

Diablo Immortal might have had a controversial reception in the west, but its Chinese release is one of the biggest pluses in Activision Blizzard earnings. Mobile, across the board, was a solid performer for the company. Although, its core franchises like Call of Duty continued their decline from earlier in 2022.

Activision Blizzard Third Quarter 2022 Earnings at a Glance

  • Revenue – $1.78 billion (down 14% from last year)
  • Bookings – $1.83 Billion (Down 3%)
  • Net Income 0 $435 Million (Down 32%)
  • Monthly Active Users – 368 Million (Down 6% on last year)

Activision Blizzard Third Quarter 2022 Earnings – Activision

The Activision side of the company hasn’t managed to turn things around in this quarter. For another quarter, they’ve seen more drops in their revenue. It’s declined 25% from the year before. Why exactly is Activision earning less money? The problem probably lies with Call of Duty.

At this point, the Activision part of the company is basically a Call of Duty factory. Activision studios used to produce decent-sized hits in a range of genres, like Skylanders, the new Crash Bandicoot games, Tony Hawk, and more. After multiple Call of Duty studios went through significant problems, though, Activision has drafted studios like Toys for Bob into Call of duty development instead.

The result has been that Activision has managed to keep to their yearly release schedule for the franchise, but they haven’t done much else. When Call of Duty is printing money, like with the recent Modern Warfare 2, that’s a positive. The games covered in the Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings didn’t do as well, though. That’s a big driver behind the lacklustre numbers for Activision this quarter. If CoD is all your selling, a bad iteration is going to mean multiple bad quarters.

Activision has blamed the underperformance of Call of Duty Vanguard for this quarter. Its poor engagement and sales compared to past CoD installments haven’t been a secret. The title has shown that pumping out a new CoD every year just won’t cut it anymore. These earnings don’t yet include the recent Modern Warfare 2 release, which does look stronger, returning to the popular series breaking records.

Activision Loses 18% of Monthly Players

Activision managed 97 million monthly active users. This is a slight increase from the quarter before. However, it is an 18% drop from the year before. There’s still a decent number playing Activision games actively, but nearly a fifth less than last year. The wilting of Warzone likely doesn’t help here. The Battle Royale has hit a bit of a low in popularity in the build-up to the second game in the title.

Call of Duty Mobile has recently hit a newer high too, which also isn’t included in his release. Between that, Warzone 2, and the huge launch of Modern Warfare 2. It does look like Call of Duty is on the upswing. The Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings don’t look great for CoD, or Activision was given how CoD-focused it has become. Although, that’s a deceptively negative outlook based on the timing of this quarter.

Just after this cut-off, Call of Duty had a massive increase in popularity. Modern Warfare 2 has shattered records for the series. CoD Mobile is performing well too, and Warzone 2’s imminent release likely accounts for the declining interest in the original game. We can expect things to improve for Activision in the next release.

Activision Blizzard Third Quarter 2022 Earnings – Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment Logo - Activision Blizzard Third Quarter 2022 Earnings

The second half of Activision Blizzard is the giant behind huge esports games. Just like with Activision, though, the big releases for Blizzard, like Overwatch 2, are just out of the date range for the Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings. Despite that, Blizzard saw a more successful quarter. They managed to make $543 million in revenue. It’s a 10% increase from the year before. There are a few key releases that have driven this increase.

The biggest is Diablo. Diablo 2 Resurrected was released in this period the year prior to these earnings, but Diablo Immortal launching in China in July has combated the apparent negative effect of that comparison. The company has pointed to Diablo Immortal’s success in the region, being one of the ten most downloaded games since its release there.

The mobile gaming sections of the company were generally on the rise with the Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings. Their mobile revenue was up by 14% from the year before. This was a decent boost to the company, but there is worrying news on this front. The current agreements for mobile games in China are expiring in January 2023. In their earnings release, Activision disclosed that a new deal might not be reached on favorable terms, which might mean a slowdown in revenue from these titles.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is still a driver of revenue. They released the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for the Classic WoW MMO. There’s also an expansion upcoming for the standard World of Warcraft and a mobile game. These are all areas where this upward trend could continue.

King

The last main portion of the company isn’t as widely associated with the brand, but they’re a big part of the Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings. King, the mobile games company, has continued to bring in solid revenue. They had an 8% increase in overall net bookings in the previous year. Increasing overall income 6%. The biggest driver of revenue here is Candy Crush, which has continued to grow, with average user time on the app increasing this quarter.

The active users for King retracted slightly at a 2% decline. However, this is a pretty negligible change and shouldn’t really be a source of worry for the company.

The Future for Activision Blizzard

BlizzCon, the main event from Activision Blizzard
The Activision Blizzard third quarter 2022 earnings were missing the typical conference call or forward guidance that investors like to see with the release of earnings. This is likely because of the elephant in the room, the Activision Blizzard Microsoft buyout. That’s still progressing along and we’ve recently got news on when we can start to see more progress here. In the meantime, Activision Blizzard’s earnings aren’t the most relevant thing since a buyout looks almost certain at this point.

While this round of earnings might have continued some of the downturns of recent releases, Activision Blizzard has definitely had stronger months since September. With both Overwatch and a record-breaking launch for Modern Warfare 2, the company is likely to see better results in its next round of earnings. We might be closer to Microsoft acquisition going ahead at that point.

The Microsoft Activision Blizzard buyout has faced a bit more resistance in recent weeks. The deal is going to be probed by regulators in the European Union, that’s on top of ongoing investigations with UK regulators.

These developments will continue to slow down the merger. The EU is harsher with regulations for this kind of merger than the US. It’s specifically looking at the implications of moving franchises like Call of Duty to one platform. These investigations could hold the merger up for a while. Although, the EU has set a deadline of March 23 for this phase of its investigation.



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