Activision Blizzard announces
the acquisition of King Digital Entertainment, with the
deal's 5.9 billion price tag reflecting how much the Candy Crush
developer has been crushing it. The good news for them is that this brings
Activision Blizzard's monthly total user count to more than a half-billion, and
the deal is expected to boost Activision's adjusted revenue and earnings by
about 30%. The potential bad news is that about a third of the company's revenue
is from Candy Crush Saga, which is by far the most successful of the more than
200 games they've created since 2003. "The combined revenues and profits
solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in
interactive entertainment," states Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "With a
combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our
potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing
enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before."
Activision Blizzard also announces
"better-than-expected" third quarter 2015
financial results showing that World of Warcraft subscriptions, which they call
"relatively stable" ended the quarter at 5.5 million, and in spite of the
dropoff, note WoW "remains the No. 1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world."
Selected Business Highlights:
- Activision Publishing had its highest ever third
quarter non-GAAP operating income, driven by strong engagement and digital
revenue, with Q3 monthly active users (MAUs)B up 17% year-over-year, and the
largest Q3 and year-to-date digital revenues in its history. Activision
Publishing continues to have 3 of the top 5 games on next-generation
- Activision Publishing's Call of Duty® franchise
year-to-date non-GAAP revenues increased by a double-digit percentage
year-over-year due to strong catalog sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call
of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, both for full
game and Supply Drops. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare remains the No. 1 game
on next-generation consoles life-to-date, as it has been since its launch a
- On September 15, 2015, Activision Publishing and
Bungie released The Taken King, the largest update to the Destiny universe
yet, which was enthusiastically received by fans and critics alike. Day-one
downloads broke PlayStation records, day-one engagement saw the highest
number of active players in Destiny's history, daily player engagement is
now well above 3 hours per day and the Destiny community has climbed to over
25 million registered players. Since its launch, Destiny has become the most
watched console game on Twitch.
- On September 20, 2015, Activision Publishing
released Skylanders® SuperChargers, the next installment in the franchise
with all new vehicles, action figures and exclusive Nintendo characters.
Even with increased competition, SuperChargers is one of Skylanders'
highest-rated entries to date and has strong engagement, with more toys per
player than last year.
- Blizzard Entertainment's third quarter MAUsB were
up 50% year-over-year, reflecting strong engagement with the online player
- World of Warcraft® subscriptions remained
relatively stable, ending the quarter at 5.5 million subscribersC. Players
are excited about the upcoming expansion, Legion™, which will feature a new
class, customizable Artifact weapons, class order halls, and much more.
World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription‐based MMORPG in the world.
- On August 24, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment
launched The Grand Tournament™, the second expansion for Hearthstone®:
Heroes of Warcraft™, with over 130 new cards. As a result of this new
content, continued strength on mobile, and continued strength across
geographies, key engagement metrics grew 77% year-over-year and set a new
quarterly revenue record for the franchise.
- Blizzard Entertainment brought new players into
Heroes of the Storm™ with the release of The Eternal Conflict, a series of
content and hero additions based on the Diablo® universe. Blizzard also held
the Heroes of the Storm regional championships as part of its Road to
BlizzCon® esports series, including the Americas Championship in Las Vegas
and the Europe Championship in Prague.
- Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo III continued to
bring in new players in Q3, and in China, the game passed the 2-million-unit
- Blizzard Entertainment began closed beta testing
for Overwatch™ on October 27, 2015, with over 7 million players signed-up to
participate, not including China.