Activision Blizzard earnings for the third quarter of 2017 were higher than expected, with a record $1.62 billion in net revenue. The video game publishing giant attributes this success to its ability to engage hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
Whether a gamer is casual or hardcore, Activision Blizzard seems to have cornered the market across platforms and genres. The publisher also treats its games as a service, continually updating its games through DLC, in-game add-ons and esports competitions.
BlizzCon is poised to host over 30,000 attendees and millions more via livestream this weekend. For the first time, digital ticket holders will be able to view the happenings from every content stage and not just the main stage, as in previous years. In addition, virtual ticket holders will receive exclusive virtual goods for all of Blizzard’s games.
One of the big announcements at BlizzCon was the addition of an Overwatch map called Blizzard World—an amusement park that celebrates the worlds of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo. The map acts as a tribute for existing Blizzard fans and cross-promotion for other franchises.
With a record 42 million MAUsB, Blizzard had the biggest third quarter online player community in its history. According to Activision Blizzard, this is the fourth quarter in a row that Blizzard drove quarterly record MAUsB.
Franchise Favorites Return
Destiny 2 is the best-selling console game year to date in the US and broke the record for the fastest-selling digital console game in a given launch month. In its report, Activision Blizzard said Destiny 2 has exceeded its predecessor in terms of consumer spend. Digital mix was over 50 percent of console full game sell-through, a new record for the company.
Releasing the game on PC through the Battle.net portal opened the franchise to new global audiences and future growth opportunities, the company said.
Digital pre-orders for Call of Duty: WWII have exceeded prior Call of Duty titles. As a whole, the franchise experienced record monthly active users for the third quarter. Activision had the biggest third-quarter online player community in its history, with a record 49 million MAUsB.
Expansions Expand Earnings
The Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion resulted in players spending more time with the digital card game. Activision Blizzard reports double-digit percentage growth in time spent year-over-year for the franchise.
Seasonal events in Overwatch—Summer Games in August and Halloween Terror in October—both continued to drive strong engagement and participation in customization items, the company reported.
Destiny 2 is “well ahead” of its predecessor in terms of attach rate to the Expansion Pass, according to Activision Blizzard.
The new season of Activision’s Call of Duty World League will begin in December. At $4.2 million, players will compete for the largest prize pool in the franchise’s history.
The inaugural season of the Overwatch League is set to begin at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, on January 10. Ahead of the earnings call, Blizzard announced Overwatch League sponsorship deals with HP and Intel.
King had 293 million MAUsB for the third quarter and, according to the earnings report, has had two of the top-10 highest-grossing titles in the US mobile app stores for sixteen quarters in a row. Candy Crush Saga returned to the number one grossing position in US mobile app stores for the third quarter just in time to celebrate its fifth anniversary.