Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that Diablo II Resurrected has exceeded expectations and now represents the best-selling PC game of all time on Battle.net with over 37 million units sold globally through end of September 2019.,
The “blizzard profits 2021” is a blog post from Activision-Blizzard which states that Blizzard MAUs hold steady at 26M as Diablo II Resurrected drives revenues.
courtesy of WoWhead
Welcome back to our quarterly coverage of Activision-quarterly Blizzard’s financials, which, despite the company’s efforts to minimize its importance to gamers by obscuring subscription statistics, has become one of the schadenfreude highlights of each season in recent years.
As our readers are well aware, Activision-Blizzard has been heavily chastised in recent years as a result of multiple rounds of mass layoffs, the Blitzchung boycott, exorbitant C-suite payouts, shady stock deals and shareholder votes, rejected diversity proposals, and abusive compensation and labor uprisings, to say nothing of the mass exodus of veteran developers, pipeline issues, and plummeting playe revenues.
But, of course, 2021 will go down in history as the company’s worst year. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a scathing sexual discrimination and harassment complaint against Activision-Blizzard in July, focusing on Blizzard specifically. The repercussions has been significant over the previous four months, with further lawsuits and investigations, executives being fired, state claims of evidence destruction, and efforts inside the corporation to eventually organize a union. (You can catch up on all of our coverage of the controversy by clicking here.)
The effect of the controversy on the company’s bottom line has undoubtedly piqued the interest of industry observers. We expect at least some effect in this quarter, given the several announcements made by Blizzard alone in the previous week or two for WoW Retail and its cash shop, WoW Classic, Diablo III, Diablo Immortal, Hearthstone, Diablo 2 Resurrected, Overwatch, and BlizzCon. The dissolution of Vicarious Visions and CEO Bobby Kotick’s last-minute effort to accept (some) union demands and forfeit all but a sliver of his remuneration should likewise set the tone for today’s shareholders.
What kind of show are we viewing, exactly? The results for Q3 are now available; Q3 includes the months of July, August, and September. Overall, Activision-Blizzard witnessed a modest gain in revenue from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022, thanks to the Call of Duty “ecosystem.”
“Activision Blizzard’s net sales provided in accordance with GAAP for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 were $2.07 billion, compared to $1.95 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Digital channels generated $1.85 billion in GAAP net revenue. The GAAP operating margin was 40%. In the third quarter of 2020, GAAP profits per diluted share were $0.82, up from $0.78 in the previous quarter. Activision Blizzard had a non-GAAP operating margin of 43% and profits per diluted share of $0.89, compared to $0.88 in the third quarter of 2020. Operating cash flow for the period was $521 million, compared to $196 million in the third quarter of 2020. Operating cash flow over the previous twelve months was $2.89 billion. […] Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were $1.88 billion in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $1.77 billion in the third quarter of 2020. In-game net bookingsC were $1.20 billion in the third quarter of 2020, which was steady with the previous quarter. Overall, Activision Blizzard Monthly Active Users (MAUs)D were 390 million for the quarter ending September 30, 2021.”
With the exception of Diablo II Resurrected, which premiered in September but whose preorders started in June, Blizzard didn’t have much to offer in terms of releases throughout the quarter. Blizzard’s sales increased by 20% in Q3 2020, compared to Q3 2020, when the company released nothing. The press release claims that “first week sales of the title were the highest recorded for a remaster from the firm,” despite the fact that Blizzard’s previous major remasters are rare. (Or, oh, how terribly one was received.) Following repeated delays, Diablo Immortal “remains on pace for release in the first part of next year,” while Hearthstone revenue was “steady year over year.” There is no mention of Overwatch.
The press statement also makes no mention of World of Warcraft income, instead focusing on two phrases regarding reach and engagement, which tells you all you need to know about the game’s earnings: “The combination of the Modern game and the Classic game under a single subscription continues to boost World of Warcraft reach and engagement.” “Outside of a Modern expansion year, World of Warcraft is on course to generate its highest engagement and net bookings in a decade.” (This is apparently due to the debut of WoW Classic Burning Crusade earlier this year, which brought in a lot of money.)
However, the firm did not lose any more players (monthly active users, or MAUs) during the quarter, which is a positive indication considering that it has lost 12 million total players in the past three years, but a terrible indicator given that we’d generally anticipate a spike in MAUs with the debut of a new game.
As usual, we should point out that Blizzard publishes MAUs in order to obscure which games are gaining and losing players. However, Blizzard is normally eager to announce it when a game’s MAUs have grown, something it did not do this time.
In the first quarter of 2018, 38 million dollars were spent. 37 million in the second quarter of 2018 In the third quarter of 2018, 37 million dollars were spent (BFA) In the fourth quarter of 2018, 35 million dollars were spent (mass layoffs) 32 million in the first quarter of 2019 32 million in the second quarter of 2019 33 million in the third quarter of 2019 (WoW Classic) 32 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 (Blitzchung) 32 million in the first quarter of 2020 (COVID-19) 32 million in the second quarter of 2020 (COVID-19) 30 million by the third quarter of 2020 (COVID-19) In the fourth quarter of 2020, there will be 29 million people (COVID-19, Shadowlands) 27 million in the first quarter of 2021 In the second quarter of 2021, there will be 26 million people (TBC Classic, WoW 9.1) In the third quarter of 2021, there will be 26 million people (D2R, lawsuits)
Once the call begins, we’ll update this page with essential information.
Notes from the conference call with investors
• Kotick starts by addressing significant shifts in corporate culture. If you’ve been following the litigation and his recent statements and judgments, there’s nothing new here. Both Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV have been postponed in order to give the developers more time.
• Diablo 2 Resurrected seems to have gone viral in Korea. • The Overwatch League’s next season will be based on OW2. Activision is attempting to portray WoW’s net bookings as massive for a non-expansion year, however WoW Classic did have an expansion.
Activision-Blizzard Q3 2021: Blizzard MAUs hold steady at 26M as Diablo II Resurrected drives revenues. The “how much money has blizzard made from wow 2020” is a blog post by Activision-Blizzard that discusses the company’s financial performance for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.
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