Activision Blizzard reports record revenue for Q4 2020 as Call of Duty net bookings double

For the fourth quarter 2020, Activision Blizzard reported that their GAAP net revenue is $2.41 billion, up 25% year-over-year, with net bookings up 13% to $3.05 billion and net profits down 3% to $508 million.  

The company reported it has approximately 400 million monthly active users (MAUs) in 2020 and it expects to reach a billion people as it applies the Call of Duty® framework across our other franchises, including premium content, free-to-play access to all consumers, expansion to mobile and continuous regular delivery of in-game content.

“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 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.”

In the fourth quarter of 2020, Call of Duty: Mobile delivered its best results with double-digit growth in net bookings Y/Y. “In Q4, monthly payers in the West reached the highest level yet, with average spend per payer increasing strongly Y/Y. The game also launched in China in late December, quickly reaching the top of the download charts4, setting the foundation for meaningful contribution in 2021.” the company said in the earnings statement


Also read: Call of Duty: Mobile surpasses $14 million in its first week in China


The company expects full-year adjusted sales to be $8.45 billion, above Wall Street’s average estimate of $8.31 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Activision’s shares were up around 5% in extended trading.


Also read: Activision Blizzard Hits $1.9 billion in Revenue in Second Quarter 2020


The Three Growth Drivers of Activision Blizzard

King

In the last quarter, King had 240 million MAUs. Q4 segment net revenue of King was $242 million, up 15% year-over-year, with both in-game net bookings and advertising. 

In 2020, King revenue grew 7% year-over-year to $2,1 billion and operating income grew 16%, with 3 pp expansion in operating margin, representing the best financial year performance since its acquisition. 

Blizzard

Blizzard had MAUs of 29M, with WoW MAUs increasing Y/Y for the sixth consecutive quarter. 

In Q4 2020, Blizzard’s net revenue was $579 million, slightly lower year-over-year as growth for World of Warcraft was offset by a decline for other titles and the absence of BlizzCon. 

In 2020, Blizzard revenue was $1.9 billion, up 11% year-over-year and operating income grew 49%, with 9 pp expansion in operating margin. 

Activision

Activision’s Call of Duty franchise capped a record year with 128 million monthly active users as premium and free-to-play experiences across platforms drove franchise net bookings to roughly double the year ago level. 

Given Call of Duty’s performance, Activision division had the strongest growth for the company, with full year net revenues up 78% year-over-year to $3.94 billion. Its Q4 2020 net revenue was $1.6 billion, up 16% year-over-year, driven by Call of Duty in-game net bookings. 

Written by Jordan Bevan

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