Activision Blizzard Q4 2020 Investor Call
The Activision Blizzard earnings call was this afternoon. We've highlighted some of the written results below.

Activision Blizzard
  • In the fourth quarter, Activision had 128 million MAUs, up from 111M in Q3 and 125M in Q2.
  • Activision Blizzard had roughly 400 MAUs in 2020.
  • Blizzard had 29 million MAUs in the fourth quarter, down from 30 million in Q3, and 32 million in Q1/Q2.

Blizzard
  • World of Warcraft MAUs grew year-over-year for the sixth consecutive quarter.
  • World of Warcraft saw strong engagement across both the Classic and modern game modes throughout 2020
  • World of Warcraft full year franchise net bookings grew 40% year-over-year, reaching the highest level in nearly a decade.
  • Fourth quarter net bookings for World of Warcraft grew sharply year-over-year, driven by strong sales of the Shadowlands expansion, subscriber growth, and high participation in value added services
  • World of Warcraft player and engagement trends since the Shadowlands release are stronger than levels typically seen at this point after an expansion launch.
  • The team intends to deliver more frequent premium World of Warcraft content to sustain and expand the Warcraft community.
  • Multiple initiatives underway to experience WoW on a more consistent basis and on more platforms than ever before.
  • The team has made multiple mobile free to play Warcraft experiences and they are now in advanced development, based on the franchise IP. This will create opportunities for existing players and new fans to experience the Warcraft universe in entirely new ways.

Diablo
  • On mobile, the first stage of regional testing for Diablo Immortal in December and January was met with very positive feedback and strong engagement metrics.
  • Multiple Warcraft teams working on new content initiatives across platforms.
  • More players will get to experience Diablo Immortal in further rounds of testing ahead of the launch planned for later this year

Blizzard
  • 2022 will be a great year for Blizzard. Expect another step change in financial performance as they execute their pipeline.
  • Blizzard Q4 revenue was down a bit year over year, as growth for WoW was offset by a decline for other titles and the absence of BlizzCon.
  • Blizzard 2020 revenue was up 11% year over year, operating income up 49%, 9pp increase in margin.
  • Social games and WoW kept much stronger engagement even after lockdowns ended.
  • WoW momentum is unusually high for a non-expansion year.
  • A few things up their sleeve with remastered content that will be unveiled in due course.
  • Blizzard plans to hire more developers going forward. They'll bring talent from one game to another internally.
  • Blizzard wants to bring games to players across the world across different platforms and genres.


This article was originally published in forum thread: Activision Blizzard Q4 2020 Investor Call started by chaud View original post
Comments 265 Comments
  1. Locruid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kumorii View Post
    ....Source?
    Apparently you ignored the part where they said they FEEL....as in OPINION....not fact.
  1. Sialina's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    I'm starting to feel like these quarterly reports are either outright false or are intentionally misleading to promote the view of "everything is fine"
    Then you need to learn stock market laws, as a publicly traded company you are legally bound to report your progress in a comprehensible and factual way to your investors. If you are caught giving fraudulent reports you will be fined HUGE amounts.
    There is also a whistleblower program in place, so if an employee knows blizzard said something that is not factually true they can receive between 10-30% of the amount. Basically, if any employee knows blizzard is lying they would get FILTHY rich.

    You are simply looking at the result of people liking things you don't. It sucks when it happens, I know the feeling, but blizzard lying during an investors call could basically end the company outright.
  1. Djuntas's Avatar
    Cross-play mobile and PC....Please no. Would be so bad.
  1. SirBeef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerovar View Post
    Am I reading correctly that the MAUs actually went down in Q4 despite Shadowlands launching? That doesn't seem right.
    Nope. 6 straight quarters of MAU growth for WoW.
  1. Aggressive's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    I'm starting to feel like these quarterly reports are either outright false or are intentionally misleading to promote the view of "everything is fine"

    These days seeing that people, business companies, and media will just straight lie about stuff and things to inflate their numbers, I am not sure to believe in Blizzard either. Blizzard is like every company out there; they show you the outside of the business and how pretty it looks. But they don't want you to see the inside and what is going on. Plain and simple when Blizz removed their quarterly numbers from the public eye and decided for us when we would see them, that is when I knew some Bullshit was being hidden. But give it time. As always, shit comes to the light for everyone to see.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sialina View Post
    Then you need to learn stock market laws, as a publicly traded company you are legally bound to report your progress in a comprehensible and factual way to your investors. If you are caught giving fraudulent reports you will be fined HUGE amounts.
    There is also a whistleblower program in place, so if an employee knows blizzard said something that is not factually true they can receive between 10-30% of the amount. Basically, if any employee knows blizzard is lying they would get FILTHY rich.

    You are simply looking at the result of people liking things you don't. It sucks when it happens, I know the feeling, but blizzard lying during an investors call could basically end the company outright.

    And this is not possible in Blizzard ?? So Blizzard is that proclaimed and righteous business that all America has been looking for. Ok.
  1. Gorsameth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggressive View Post
    These days seeing that people, business companies, and media will just straight lie about stuff and things to inflate their numbers, I am not sure to believe in Blizzard either. Blizzard is like every company out there; they show you the outside of the business and how pretty it looks. But they don't want you to see the inside and what is going on. Plain and simple when Blizz removed their quarterly numbers from the public eye and decided for us when we would see them, that is when I knew some Bullshit was being hidden. But give it time. As always, shit comes to the light for everyone to see.
    lying in these reports to their investors is a crime. So no, everything said is entirely true.
    Yes its all lawyer speak and might take a minute to full digest but they are not lies. Because it would could cost them a lot of money if they were.
  1. Spicymemer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirBeef View Post
    Nope. 6 straight quarters of MAU growth for WoW.
    How long has Classic been out? oh i dont know... 6 quarters?
    BAHAHAH
  1. bledgor's Avatar
    Anyone that actually believes classic is "carrying" wow, I have a 100 mile square section of the moon I'll sell you real cheap, you know once we leave this flat earth to avoid the crab people.

    Also for the idiot quoting logs, classic has one difficulty, release has 4, and content outside of raids, but try again buttercup, keep drinking that kool-aid.
  1. SirBeef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spicymemer View Post
    How long has Classic been out? oh i dont know... 6 quarters?
    BAHAHAH
    And you ignore that streaming Classic has been on a sharp decline for many months, servers are all mostly low pop during peak times, and all the people talking about having harder times finding groups and filling spots becasue activity has been down. But keep believing the hype.
  1. ShimmerSwirl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodwulf View Post
    Its funny how easy it is to read your bias in this post. Shadowlands had huge numbers and has higher engagement at this point of an expansion than any other in history. The large growth was attributed to both versions of the game, no where did it attribute classic more than retail. Also as someone who has been playing PC/Console games for 25+ years, i will install Immortal day one because i would love a fun mobile game, as would just about anyone in my guild (which on retail sits at about 500 players, and on its classic sister guild has about 55 players).
    They actually did indirectly give a nod to Classic in the form of them saying they have had 6 consecutive quarters of growth - which coincides almost exactly with all the people who subbed for Classic Beta.
  1. Strawberry's Avatar
    2022 will be a great year for Blizzard. Expect another step change in financial performance as they execute their pipeline.
    Diablo 4 release year confirmed and the next WoW expansion?
  1. Nightstalker's Avatar
    So Blizzard is once again the WoW-only company.
    Hearthstone: 8 years of rinse&repeat
    SC2: in decline for 8 years.
    Hots: in decline for 6 years.
    OW: in decline for 5 years.
    Diablo: in decline for 7 years.
  1. dacoolist's Avatar
    Damn did this really turn into a classic vs original wow thread

    The best part is that people are comparing the two like they are even in the same category - Stop It, Get Some Help

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightstalker View Post
    So Blizzard is once again the WoW-only company.
    Hearthstone: 8 years of rinse&repeat
    SC2: in decline for 8 years.
    Hots: in decline for 6 years.
    OW: in decline for 5 years.
    Diablo: in decline for 7 years.
    Dood I know they make a fortune off hearthstone.. know WHY?! Because I give them all my damn monies
  1. Sialina's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggressive View Post
    These days seeing that people, business companies, and media will just straight lie about stuff and things to inflate their numbers, I am not sure to believe in Blizzard either. Blizzard is like every company out there; they show you the outside of the business and how pretty it looks. But they don't want you to see the inside and what is going on. Plain and simple when Blizz removed their quarterly numbers from the public eye and decided for us when we would see them, that is when I knew some Bullshit was being hidden. But give it time. As always, shit comes to the light for everyone to see.

    - - - Updated - - -




    And this is not possible in Blizzard ?? So Blizzard is that proclaimed and righteous business that all America has been looking for. Ok.
    It's possible, but unlikely, as I said there is huge incentive to report your parent company if they report falsely. You don't think one of those 800 people they fired last year would rat them out for 20 million dollars if they had the chance?

    The most likely explanation is simply that wow is doing very well right now.
  1. Drejjmit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard View Post
    The team intends to deliver more frequent premium World of Warcraft content.
    More store mounts?
  1. Syegfryed's Avatar
    i hope they can remaster warcraft 3 reforged
  1. Ivank0v's Avatar
    "The team intends to deliver more frequent premium World of Warcraft content."

    ...hmm, this may be worrisome.
  1. Darknessvamp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sialina View Post
    It's possible, but unlikely, as I said there is huge incentive to report your parent company if they report falsely. You don't think one of those 800 people they fired last year would rat them out for 20 million dollars if they had the chance?

    The most likely explanation is simply that wow is doing very well right now.
    Not that I believe the report is false (rather they're using lawyer speak to say WoW has attention, it's making money, you're getting paid, it might make more money and we expect 2022 to bring lots of money) but wasn't most of the 800 people fired customer service and non-finance staff? Why would they have personal knowledge of company earnings?
  1. Kyanion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirBeef View Post
    And you ignore that streaming Classic has been on a sharp decline for many months, servers are all mostly low pop during peak times, and all the people talking about having harder times finding groups and filling spots becasue activity has been down. But keep believing the hype.
    The only hype I see with classic is people talking about TBC servers. Man I thought classic was going to last years and years with people never wanting to leave it!
  1. mbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sialina View Post
    Then you need to learn stock market laws, as a publicly traded company you are legally bound to report your progress in a comprehensible and factual way to your investors. If you are caught giving fraudulent reports you will be fined HUGE amounts.
    There is also a whistleblower program in place, so if an employee knows blizzard said something that is not factually true they can receive between 10-30% of the amount. Basically, if any employee knows blizzard is lying they would get FILTHY rich.

    You are simply looking at the result of people liking things you don't. It sucks when it happens, I know the feeling, but blizzard lying during an investors call could basically end the company outright.
    lold. Where are sub numbers? Nowhere.
    What is strong engagement? Not defined.
    Obviously aren't lying but the metrics used now are vague af. Its advertising as you would expect.



    Back on topic "plans to experience wow on more platforms" sounds interesting. Maybe finally going console.

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