In its Q4 2020 earnings and investor report, Activision Blizzard reported record net revenue at $8.09 billion, up from $6.49 billion in 2019—a 25 percent jump.
Of that total revenue, $6.66 billion was from digital revenue and $4.85 billion of the total was from in-game spending or add-on content across all platforms. Net bookings for the company overall increased 44 percent to $8.42 billion, with net profits rising to $2.2 billion on the year, largely thanks to the success of the Call of Duty franchise.
CoD had a record year across both free-to-play and the premium game’s market, recording more than 100 million monthly active players while doubling the net bookings year-over-year. The traditional, premium CoD units increased sales 40 percent through 2020, thanks to the strong sales of Black Ops Cold War digitally.
The company also launched CoD mobile in mainland China on Dec. 25, which was downloaded 50 million times since it became available.
Activision was the most successful of the company’s divisions, bumping up year-over-year revenue 77 percent to $3.9 billion. Blizzard and King also increased their total revenues, up eight percent to $1.91 billion and seven percent to $2.16 billion, respectively.
Monthly active users outside of CoD were mostly down across the company’s portfolio, but there is strong momentum across CoD, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush heading into 2021.
“We are already seeing the impact of our growth initiatives for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush, which we expect to again drive strong results in 2021,” Activision Blizzard said. “And at the same time, we are making significant progress against our development pipeline for other key intellectual properties, which we expect to fuel further growth in 2022 and beyond.”
WoW continued to grow, with the game growing on both in both Classic and Modern models, marking its sixth straight quarter of growth thanks to the Shadowlands expansion, subscriber growth, and high participation in value added services.
Moving forward, the company wants to push its CoD-style blueprint to other franchises, with the goal including expansion into free-to-play markets, hitting multiple platforms, and “in-game” delivery of new content as a live-service model. Activision Blizzard plans to have an entry-level version of every key franchise in its portfolio available to mobile gamers in the future.