Activision Blizzard’s quarterly earnings call yesterday reported record Q3 revenues driven by Overwatch and WoW: Legion, and they still have a major release in COD: Infinite Warfare yet to launch this year.
You'll find plenty of Blizzard titles in our list of the best games on PC right now.
The earnings call transcript, available at Seeking Alpha, is the kind of report that any corporation dreams of. Net revenues were $1.57 billion for the quarter, a 58% increase year-on-year. Earnings per share increased 53%. Digital revenue skyrocketed 114%, reflecting a trend that big publishers across the industry have been experiencing. Based on this, chief operating officer Thomas Tippl announced that the mega-publisher would be raising its full-year guidance "once again" - the company now projects $6.45 billion in net revenues.
To break the results down, both the Activision and Blizzard sectors hit record monthly active users (MAUs) this quarter, with 46 million and 42 million respectively. Blizzard’s MAUs have more than doubled from two years ago, thanks largely to Overwatch and World of Warcraft. Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest new game ever to reach 20 million global players, and has held the top spot in Korean internet game rooms ever since its launch in May. Tippl also noted that the Summer Games event "drove record engagement", but didn't give figures.
As you can see, the record-setting third quarter for Blizzard follows immediately after a record-setting second quarter, which contained the Overwatch launch and was also Blizzard's best quarterly result ever.
Since Blizzard no longer reports subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft, it’s harder to gauge how that game's is faring, but it was confirmed that MAUs were up 30% on last quarter, and that “it has matched or exceeded our prior expansions’ launch performance across metrics like sales, player base, and participation in value-added services.” Hearthstone was also a contributor to Blizzard’s success, adding players and also achieving record MAUs in Q3.
The Activision side is driven largely by console, with Call of Duty: Black Ops III the best-selling title of the current generation, and Destiny’s Rise of Iron expansion re-engaging players in another popular game.
A possibly interesting footnote is that whenever next year’s Destiny sequel was mentioned, it was twice emphasised that the goal is to “bring millions of new fans to the franchise” and “broaden [its] appeal even further, bringing in new fans”, which perhaps strengthens rumours that Destiny 2 will be coming to PC.