Blizzard hopes Overwatch 2 release can reverse downward trend

With the Overwatch 2 release on the horizon, Activision Blizzard hopes it and a few other key launches can boost profits for the rest of 2022

Overwatch 2 release: A hero runs along the wall with their unique weapon

Blizzard is pinning quite a few hopes on the Overwatch 2 release on October 4, following a not-insignificant decline in profits during the company’s second quarter. Activision Blizzard reported it generated $0.66 billion less in revenue in 2022’s second quarter compared to the same period in 2021. A bit of perspective is helpful here, though. The Overwatch maker still made $1.64 billion across its Activision, Blizzard, and King,makers of Candy Crush Saga, division. Operating cash flow – revenue after operating expenses – was still $198 million, though that, too, is down compared to $388 million at the end of June 2021.

A lack of new releases is partly responsible for the company’s decreased revenue, though a general decline in consumer spending across all segments of the games industry also likely influenced these results.

However, Activision Blizzard investors the remainder of the year looks promising. In the earnings report, the company cited Overwatch 2 and its frequent updates as one of the major new projects in its pipeline for the year’s second half, along with Call of Duty Warzone 2 and World of Warcraft: Dragonflight. 

For the Blizzard segment specifically, Overwatch 2, which releases near the end of the company’s third quarter, and Dragonflight are the only major projects in store for the rest of 2022.

WoW Wrath of the Lich King Classic releases in September, but the company only expects income to increase “modestly” until the fourth quarter. From then on, they believe Overwatch and Activision’s Call of Duty in particular will help boost earnings and result in year-over-year growth, before Diablo 4 releases in 2023 and helps drive further growth.

The company said it pledged to continue spending on diversity and inclusion, but only at the corporate level and made no mention of the harassment and discrimination controversies ongoing since 2021.

If you’re keen on getting a head start in Overwatch 2, brush up on what makes Overwatch 2 different from the original and which heroes are worth your time with our Overwatch 2 tier list, compiled from our time with the beta.