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Activision Blizzard Q1 2021 Investor Call
The Activision Blizzard earnings call was this afternoon. We've highlighted some of the written results below.

Activision
  • Activision had a new record of 150 million MAUsD in the first quarter, up from 128 million MAUs in Q4 2020, up from 111M in Q3 and 125M in Q2.
  • Blizzard had 27 million MAUs in the first quarter, down from 29 million in Q4 2020, down from 30 million in Q3 2020, and 32 million in Q1/Q2 2020.
  • Intends to hire over 2000 developers, tripling the size of some franchises teams.
  • This will be the first environmental, social and governance report released by the company.
  • Mobile is a driver of reach, especially globally. Most of the top 10 mobile franchises are based on existing PC or console IP.

Blizzard
  • 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.
  • Shadowlands continued to drive strong results following its record-setting release in November, with first quarter franchise net bookings 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 experience.
  • Blizzard has added hundreds of developers across their franchises over the past few years.
  • Early in the pandemic, Bobby shared his personal phone number with all Blizzard employees in case they needed anything
  • The team is working on Warcraft mobile titles, as well as other unannounced mobile titles.

Hearthstone
  • Hearthstone's latest expansion, Forged in the Barrens, launched on March 30 and is on track to deliver expansion-over-expansion net bookings growth for the second consecutive release.

Diablo
  • 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 Immortal entered its second phase of testing and is on track for global release later this year.

Overwatch
  • 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 League.
  • 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.


This article was originally published in forum thread: Activision Blizzard Q1 2021 Investor Call started by chaud View original post
Comments 179 Comments
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    It should be noted that MAU is computed for a quarter by averaging the MAU for each of the three months in quarter. So, if someone played on Jan. 1 and not later, they would count for 1/3 of a player for the Q1 MAU.
  1. Toppy's Avatar
    I'm wondering how each new WoW expansion somehow does so much better than the last. Like, from every metric available to player it seems to be on a steady decline, even ignoring all the vitriole behind the community, it genuinly doesn't appear to be growing (though no falling as fast as people say).

    Like are they using some weird metric?
  1. hulkgor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toppy View Post
    I'm wondering how each new WoW expansion somehow does so much better than the last.
    Are you really surprised that Shadowlands is hugely successful on game sales alone (ignore player retention or concurrent users)? Especially with everyone quarantined at launch, starving for entertainment at the time?

    Keep in mind they sold 3,7M copies at launch day.
  1. Nyel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toppy View Post
    I'm wondering how each new WoW expansion somehow does so much better than the last. Like, from every metric available to player it seems to be on a steady decline, even ignoring all the vitriole behind the community, it genuinly doesn't appear to be growing (though no falling as fast as people say).

    Like are they using some weird metric?
    Every expansion is just way more frontloaded now. The subscriber peak for each expansion now is the release date / month and after that it’s in steady decline. Expansion don’t have longevity anymore, they peak on launch day / week / month and then the only way is down, down, down. 24h or first week sales, while being impressive, mean and tell us nothing.
  1. Varitok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hulkgor View Post
    Are you really surprised that Shadowlands is hugely successful on game sales alone (ignore player retention or concurrent users)? Especially with everyone quarantined at launch, starving for entertainment at the time?

    Keep in mind they sold 3,7M copies at launch day.
    Launch Day sales also count pre orders from the 6 months prior. A lot less impressive when your launch day is 182 days long.
  1. Keres's Avatar
    "World of Warcraft saw strong reach, engagement and participation in value added services"

    You can bet your life savings they will continue the token scam with Full BoE sets and gatekeeping of M+ and 2100 Gear in arena ezzzz money
  1. deenman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toppy View Post
    I'm wondering how each new WoW expansion somehow does so much better than the last. Like, from every metric available to player it seems to be on a steady decline, even ignoring all the vitriole behind the community, it genuinly doesn't appear to be growing (though no falling as fast as people say).

    Like are they using some weird metric?
    I think its engagement that has grown,wotlk may have peaked at 12m,but likely far less people played overall,because honestly...there wasnt shit to do

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Keres View Post
    "World of Warcraft saw strong reach, engagement and participation in value added services"

    You can bet your life savings they will continue the token scam with Full BoE sets and gatekeeping of M+ and 2100 Gear in arena ezzzz money
    no1 is forcing you to buy tokens for that,its LITERALY pointless for anyone that isnt going for world first,and those guys make their money back anyways,personaly i play the game and gear up by clearing content,do you also use hacks in every game you play to get an advantage?
  1. Edward Wu's Avatar
    These investor calls for the Blizzard section are increasingly sounding more like cope than actual milestones.
  1. Kralljin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toppy View Post
    Like are they using some weird metric?
    Blizzard lost like ~10M MAU over the last three years, so i'm going to speculate that its increasingly fueled by MTX, meaning the WoW Token / Storemounts / pets.

    Of course, those are MAU across Blizzard, but i'm going to doubt that WoW somehow weathered the storm and saw a lasting playergrowth (outside of Classic) whereas the remaining Blizzard franchises completely tanked.
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    2000 want hire to work in Activision? Who the fuck is dumb enough to do it? xD
  1. fatslapper's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deenman View Post
    I think its engagement that has grown,wotlk may have peaked at 12m,but likely far less people played overall,because honestly...there wasnt shit to do

    - - - Updated - - -



    no1 is forcing you to buy tokens for that,its LITERALY pointless for anyone that isnt going for world first,and those guys make their money back anyways,personaly i play the game and gear up by clearing content,do you also use hacks in every game you play to get an advantage?
    You think there is more player engagement now than there was in Wrath? Would you like to buy some magic beans?
  1. deenman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fatslapper View Post
    You think there is more player engagement now than there was in Wrath? Would you like to buy some magic beans?
    why wouldnt it?in wrath you had 3/20ths the things you can do today

    im not saying its a good thing,because many of the things that drive the engagement are kinda scummy chore stuff
  1. hulkgor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varitok View Post
    Launch Day sales also count pre orders from the 6 months prior. A lot less impressive when your launch day is 182 days long.
    That's a silly thing to nitpick about, how long a game was on sale before release. Did it not sell a record-breaking 3,7M games by launch day regardless?
  1. SirBeef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keres View Post
    "World of Warcraft saw strong reach, engagement and participation in value added services"

    You can bet your life savings they will continue the token scam with Full BoE sets and gatekeeping of M+ and 2100 Gear in arena ezzzz money
    Blah, blah, slippery slope, blah, blah. Pretty sure conspiracy theories are forbidden.

    Been waiting on this other shoe to drop since 2008. 13 years later and still none of this garbage you guys spew had happened in regards to the eshop.
  1. hulkgor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kralljin View Post
    Blizzard lost like ~10M MAU over the last three years, so i'm going to speculate that its increasingly fueled by MTX, meaning the WoW Token / Storemounts / pets.

    Of course, those are MAU across Blizzard, but i'm going to doubt that WoW somehow weathered the storm and saw a lasting playergrowth (outside of Classic) whereas the remaining Blizzard franchises completely tanked.
    I'm pretty sure the steep decline on -every other- of their titles has way more to do with that MAU reduction. Shadowlands + Classic are what's keeping the boat afloat.
  1. fatslapper's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deenman View Post
    why wouldnt it?in wrath you had 3/20ths the things you can do today

    im not saying its a good thing,because many of the things that drive the engagement are kinda scummy chore stuff
    Wrath had probably 5 times the amount of players than SL has. I still don't see it. I think you are thinking like a raid logger too, which Wrath had a good bit of, but a lot of the players were casual world content runners, crafters and altoholics in Wrath.
  1. SirBeef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hulkgor View Post
    That's a silly thing to nitpick about, how long a game was on sale before release. Did it not sell a record-breaking 3,7M games by launch day regardless?
    I guess games like Valorant are nothing to talk about since people have been buying it EA for a long while. When it finally launches, we should only judge it by day 1 only sales.

    Some people.
  1. ashblond's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toppy View Post
    I'm wondering how each new WoW expansion somehow does so much better than the last. Like, from every metric available to player it seems to be on a steady decline, even ignoring all the vitriole behind the community, it genuinly doesn't appear to be growing (though no falling as fast as people say).

    Like are they using some weird metric?
    For a business, Activision-Blizzard, "result" means revenue/profit.

    Over the years, more and more in-game shop pets, mounts, tokens, etc. are added.

    Of course wow results (revenue) is strong, because there are so many microtransactions today.
  1. SirBeef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deenman View Post
    why wouldnt it?in wrath you had 3/20ths the things you can do today

    im not saying its a good thing,because many of the things that drive the engagement are kinda scummy chore stuff
    What non chore stuff was there in Wrath? Keeping up professions is a chore. Dailies were a chore. Earning PvP points/currencies was a chore. Running your dungeons for valor was a chore. Farming gear to raid was a chore. Raiding weekly was chore.

    Everything by design is a chore to keep you busy long enough to stay subbed for months on end.
  1. deenman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fatslapper View Post
    Wrath had probably 5 times the amount of players than SL has. I still don't see it. I think you are thinking like a raid logger too, which Wrath had a good bit of, but a lot of the players were casual world content runners, crafters and altoholics in Wrath.

    5 times the players at peak maybe(kinda a strech but sure)..but by their own statistics not the same activity,are you actualy implying they are lying?

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