This quarter's financial report from Activision Blizzard has some interesting details, including the report of company-wide revenues going down over the quarter while Blizzard, for their part, is on the rise.
This quarter's financial results see the total amount of net revenues drop from $2.07 billion to $1.78 billion when comparing this quarter with Q3 2021. This is a 14% decrease over the quarter, though it needs to be noted that these numbers do not include the recently released Overwatch 2 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 factored as they released after the September 30th quarter closing date.
Breaking it down by each studio, Activision has reason to celebrate as since launching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 late last month, it has already sold-through $1 billion in Q4 2022, with PC sales around twice as good as previous entries. It'll be interesting to see how this, plus the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 have on the Q4 report as both of those launches will be reflected there.
However, despite breaking records with MW2, Activision states that its "financial performance was lower year-over-year" thanks to "reduced engagement for Call of Duty," thanks to last year's lukewarm reception. Monthly Active Users for Activision proper are up compared to Q2 2022 at 97 million MAUs, however they are still lower year-over-year, 119 million in Q3 2021 versus the 97 million in Q3 2022, an 18% decrease year-over-year.
Blizzard, however, is trending upwards as MAUs are still climbing despite dropping one of its lowest points in Q1 2022. While they are not back up to where they have been historically, the launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic as well as players prepping for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight have seen it tick in the positive direction. In Q3 2022 Blizzard saw 31 million MAUs compared to last quarter's 27 million MAUs. However, year-over-year Blizzard has brought that number back up form 26 million in Q3 2021, a 19% increase.
While Overwatch 2 numbers are not factored into this due to its release after Q3 ended, Blizzard does note that it has seen "over 35 million people" play the free-to-play hero shooter in its first month, claiming that "many" are new to the shooter. Diablo Immortal also saw strong numbers following its release in China, topping the charts and has ranked in as one of the top ten grossing mobile games in the market. Diablo IV was also mentioned, with Blizzard reiterating the "2023" launch window, though if recent rumors are to be believed, it could be coming in early 2023.
However, all isn't fully rosy with Blizzard's report as the company did touch on a potential situation with NetEase who it works with to license its games in the Chinese market. While the two companies are working on a renewal agreement, they might not come to one that is "mutually-satisfactory" to the parties. However, fans worried about Diabo Immortal shouldn't be, as it operates under a separate agreement.
King, the Candy Crush developer, saw its MAUs stay constant quarter-to-quarter, hitting 240 million MAUs, though falling short year-over-year with a 2% decrease from 245 million reported in September 2021. November is the 10th anniversary of Candy Crush Saga with ABK stating the mobile giant enters the "second decade in strong health."
Overall, year-over-year, Activision Blizzard has seen fewer players in its games, dropping from 390 million MAUs reported on September 2021 to 368 million for Q3 2022, a 5 decrease overall. It'll be interesting to see how Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Overwatch 2 and the upcoming release of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight affect these numbers to close out the 2022 fiscal year.
Against all this is the ongoing acquisition efforts by Microsoft, which Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says in a statement in the report they expect to be completed by "June 2023." Additionally, Activision Blizzard is still under fire as more studios within the company attempt to unionize, including Blizzard's Albany studio, which used to be Vicarious Visions, seeing its QA members follow in the footsteps of Raven Software and aim to vote for unionization. This is also while the company at large is still mired in lawsuits stemming from the allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace by a Californian agency, as well as lawsuits brought by former employees just weeks ago.