Activision Blizzard Reports Higher Than Expected Revenue

Ongoing controversy over punishing a Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong democracy protests hasn’t damaged Activision Blizzard’s [stock_market_widget type="inline" template="generic" color="default" assets="ATVI" markup="(NASDAQ: {symbol} {currency_symbol}{price} ({change_pct}))" api="yf"] revenue stream so far, with the company reporting higher than expected numbers today.

That unpopular move and its backlash in the gaming community led the organizers of events for rival MOBA title League Of Legends to warn pro players against discussing Chinese politics.

Despite the negative press, Activision Blizzard’s revenue numbers for the quarter ending Sept. 30 were reported at $1.28 billion, significantly exceeding the original projection of $1.1 billion.

The company has seen a number of major releases ahead of the holiday season, such as the latest Call Of Duty entry, which is a reboot of the lauded Modern Warfare title originally released back in 2007.

Aside from higher than expected sales of that PC and console game, Activision also launched a free to play mobile version of the series titled Call Of Duty Mobile, which is monetized through optional in-game microtransactions.

On the Blizzard side, the company saw a record-breaking bump in monthly subscribers with the re-launch of World Of Warcraft Classic.

Discussing the quarterly numbers, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick commented this morning:

Third quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share. Recent launches have enabled significant growth in the size of our audiences for our Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises. As we introduce mobile and free-to-play games based on our franchises we can increase audience size, engagement, and monetization across our wholly owned franchises.

Those numbers represent a strong contrast to French developer / publisher Ubisoft [stock_market_widget type="inline" template="generic" color="default" assets="UBSFY" markup="(OTCMKTS: {symbol} {currency_symbol}{price} ({change_pct}))" api="yf"], which significantly reduced its financial outlook and reported disappointing quarterly numbers after low sales and a barrage of negative reviews for Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

In addition to the latest launches from various Activision Blizzard series, several major new additions to various franchises are expected to result in further revenue bumps.

A sequel to the eSports dominating Overwatch was recently announced at BlizzCon 2019, just as the Overwatch world cup finals took place with the U.S. team defeating China in a 3 – 0 match.

Outside of eSports titles, the long-awaited Diablo IV was also just revealed to be well into development, although no release date is currently announced.

Ty Arthur has spent the last decade of his journalism career covering everything from cutting-edge tech to local news through outlets such as the Houston Chronicle. He has focused on the counterculture aspects of society, from marijuana legalization to underground music through and rapidly changing trends in the entertainment industry. He lives in the cold, dark north with his wife and son. Address: 682 Indian Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 2C9. Phone: 416-721-8257.


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