Activision Blizzard Announces First-Quarter 2021 Financial Results
hoping you have a liquid-cooled calculator if you want to attempt to crunch
these numbers: "For the quarter ended March 31, 2021, Activision Blizzard’s net
revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $2.28 billion, as compared with
$1.79 billion for the first quarter of 2020. GAAP net revenues from digital
channels were $2.01 billion. GAAP operating margin was 35%. GAAP earnings per
diluted share were $0.79, as compared with $0.65 for the first quarter of 2020.
On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 43% and earnings
per diluted share were $0.98, as compared with $0.76 for the first quarter of
2020." Here's a bit on the games driving those billions of dollars:
- Activision segment revenue grew 72% year-over-year, driven by Call of
Duty: Black Ops Cold War and WarzoneTM in-game revenues, strong premium
sales, and Call of Duty Mobile. Segment operating income more than doubled
- The introduction of Call of Duty free-to-play and mobile experiences has
transformed the franchise, more than tripling franchise MAUsD over the last
two years, and leading Activision to a new record of 150 million MAUsD in
the first quarter.
- Call of Duty franchise MAUsD increased sequentially and grew over 40%
year-over-year in the first quarter.
- Following its integration with Warzone, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
saw premium sales well above the levels typically seen in the first quarter.
- Call of Duty in-game net bookingsC on console and PC grew more than 60%
year-over-year. The first two seasons of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone
content were both in the top-three seasons in Call of Duty history for
in-game net bookingsC. The third season, launched in April, is sustaining
this strong run-rate, tracking in-line with the first two seasons.
- Call of Duty Mobile saw strong year-over-year growth in reach,
engagement, and player investment in the first quarter, benefiting from
ongoing enhancements in the West and the launch of the title in China. In
the West, the March season concluded as the highest for player investment
yet. Momentum has continued into the second quarter, with the April season
now the top-grossing to date at this point after launch. In China, Call of
Duty Mobile brought tens of millions of new players to the franchise, with
player investment in the first quarter on par with the rest of the world
- The 2021 season of the professional Call of Duty LeagueTM is off to a
great start, enjoying strong year-over-year growth in average minute
audience through the first two stages of competition.
- Blizzard segment revenue grew 7% year-over-year, led by strong growth in
the Warcraft® franchise, with World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion
building on the substantial increase in scale seen since the launch of World
of Warcraft Classic in 2019. Blizzard had 27 million MAUsD in the first
- World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion continued to drive strong
results following its record-setting release in November, with first quarter
franchise net bookingsB growing sharply year-over-year. World of Warcraft
saw strong reach, engagement and participation in value added services,
along with a particularly high number of new players joining the community
for the first time, boosted by initiatives to enhance the onboarding
- Hearthstone®’s latest expansion, Forged in the BarrensTM, launched on
March 30 and is on track to deliver expansion-over-expansion net bookingsB
growth for the second consecutive release.
- Ahead of its launch later this year, Diablo® II: Resurrected saw very
positive feedback during early testing in April and online viewership of the
alpha test was the highest ever for a Blizzard game test.
- On mobile, Diablo® ImmortalTM entered its second phase of testing and is
on track for global release later this year.
- April saw Overwatch® fans around the world return to celebrate players
and city-based teams in the opening weekend of the 2021 season of Overwatch
LeagueTM. The league signed a multi-year partnership with Bilibili Esports
for exclusive rights to broadcast league games to the platform’s passionate
and growing Overwatch League fanbase in China.