Activision Blizzard revealed their first quarter financial results, and they are better than expected for the company.
Net Revenues for Activision Blizzard (ATVI 58,28 -0,94 -1,59%) were a record of $1.73 billion, a 19 per cent increase from 2016 where the company recorded $1.455 billion. Their net revenues from digital channels grew 50 percent year-over-year recording $1.39 billion. Their Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) margin was 29 percent, and GAAP earnings per diluted share were at an all-time quarterly high of $0.56. That’s an increase of 17 percent over 2016 where they were $0.48. Operating cash flows for Q1 was $411 million, which is up 22 percent year-over-year.
“This quarter we delivered record revenues, earnings per share and cash flow, and over-performed guidance,” says Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick in the financial briefing. “Among the drivers of our results was Overwatch, which now has over 30 million players globally. The Overwatch League is gaining momentum and we’re excited to offer our community of players the best professional league experience. Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII are also coming later this year, and both reveals have been very well received by fans.”
Activision Blizzard’s audience reach is very high with 431 million monthly active users in Q1. Blizzard carried that number with 41 million monthly active users, up 58 percent year over year, with Overwatch continuing to be the company’s fastest-growing new franchise with 30 million players reached in less than a year post-launch. Their revenue from in-game content grew by 25 percent year-over-year, mostly driven by Overwatch’s customization items and in-game- World of Warcraft content.
Activision, however, saw that number go down this quarter, which the company blames for a weaker than expected launch of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. With that being said, the company’s planned Call of Duty: WWII featured a reveal trailer that was the fastest to reach 10 million views while their strong pre-orders suggest a solid launch for Destiny 2.
King saw their Monthly Active Users go down year-over-year in Q1, but saw better per user engagement and investment, featuring two of the top ten highest-grossing games in the U.S. mobile app stores for the 14th quarter in a row.
Interestingly enough, the report does not really speak on Skylanders. With Imaginators launching at the tail end of 2016, it seems to be forgotten among the successes of World of Warcraft and more specifically Overwatch.