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Blizzard Has Lost A Large Chunk Of Its Playerbase Despite Increasing Total Revenue

29% over three years

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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Activision Blizzard's latest investor report shows that its revenue has increased year-over-year, though that has come with the cost of losing a large chunk of its player base over the last few years.

According to Activision Blizzard's latest quarterly financial results, Blizzard's revenue has increased by 7% over the last year. This is in large part thanks to the release of Shadowlands, the latest World of Warcraft expansion. This growth built on the results driven by World of Warcraft Classic, which first launched in 2019. 

However, it's not all rosy as our friends at Massively Overpowered report that at the same time Blizzard has seen a drop of nearly 29% of its total playerbase over the last three years. According to the investor reports, Blizzard announced it has 27 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2021. As Massively reports, back in Q1 2018, Blizzard had 38 million MAUs. Two million players alone dropped just since Q4 2020, according to the report.

Activison, for its part, is up a whopping 72% year-over-year thanks to Call of Duty: Warzone as well as CoD: Black Ops Cold War, while King saw a 22% increase year-over-year in large part to its updates to its flagship game, Candy Crush.

Blizzard itself hasn't launched a new IP in close to five years now, its last new game (not a remaster) coming with Overwatch in 2016. Expansions can typically bring new players in, as well as returning players who blast through content and then drop off while waiting for the next major update, which could explain some of the drop in Q4 2020 for Blizzard as a whole. Diablo IV is coming, while Overwatch 2 is also still in the works, though now without former game director Jeff Kaplan. Blizzard is likely hoping that its upcoming World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic will also bring players back who are eager for the nostalgia of WoW's first expansion. 

Thanks, Massively.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore