The money is rolling in for Activision Blizzard. The company finished its third quarter on a high streak and surpassed its own projections.
The launch of World of Warcraft Classic and a push from the Call of Duty franchise, led by Black Ops 4, catapulted the company’s net revenue to $1.28 billion during the trimester, outperforming Q3 estimates by approximately $180 million.
Activision’s third-quarter performance was driven by Black Ops 4 in-game and upfront revenues and boosted by Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled. Its revenue was lower compared to the same period in 2018 with the release of Destiny: Forsaken, however. The company gathered 36 million monthly active users and a segment net revenue of $209 million.
World of Warcraft Classic launched on Aug. 26 and “drove the biggest quarterly increase to subscription plans in franchise history,” carrying Blizzard to a segment net revenue of $394 million. The numbers were still lower than in 2018 when the Battle for Azeroth expansion was released, but Blizzard still managed to maintain 33 million monthly active users.
Overwatch also played an important role in Activision Blizzard’s finances this quarter. The Overwatch League finals sold over 11,000 tickets for its grand finals and the Average Minute Audience (AMA) increased by 18 percent compared to last year. The introduction of a new hero, Sigma, benefitted player engagement alongside some minor adjustments.
Mobile company King, also owned by Activision Blizzard, had profitable growth with its top-grossing franchise, Candy Crush.
Activision Blizzard’s fourth quarter shows even more promise, though. Activision launched Call of Duty: Mobile and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to positive financial results and Blizzard announced sequels to some of its most popular franchises, such as Overwatch and Diablo, as well as expansions for World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. While most of Blizzard’s future launches don’t have release dates yet, the announcements were received with critical acclaim and present a gigantic business opportunity for the company.