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On Tuesday, May 4th, Activision Blizzard held their first-quarter financial results conference call where they had announced better than expected results for the first quarter of 2021. A few of the biggest topics discussed were the intent to hire 2,000+ new developers across all of the major franchises over the next two years and for some growth in China, Poland, Canada and Australia.

Here are some of the following highlights from the call:

Activision

  • Activision had a new record of 150 million MAUsD in the first quarter, up from 128 million MAUs in Q4 2020, up from 111M in Q3 and 125M in Q2.
  • Blizzard had 27 million MAUs in the first quarter, down from 29 million in Q4 2020, down from 30 million in Q3 2020, and 32 million in Q1/Q2 2020.
  • They to hire over 2000 developers, tripling the size of some franchises teams.
  • This has been first environmental, social and governance report released by the company.
  • Mobile is a driver of reach, especially globally. Most of the top 10 mobile franchises are based on existing PC or console IP.

Blizzard

  • Blizzard segment revenue grew 7% year-over-year, led by strong growth in the Warcraft franchise, with World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion building on the substantial increase in scale seen since the launch of World of Warcraft Classic in 2019.
  • Shadowlands continued to drive strong results following its record-setting release in November, with first quarter franchise net bookings growing sharply year-over-year.
  • World of Warcraft saw strong reach, engagement and participation in value added services, along with a particularly high number of new players joining the community for the first time, boosted by initiatives to enhance the onboarding experience.
  • Blizzard has added hundreds of developers across their franchises over the past few years.
  • Bobby shared his personal phone number early on during the pandemic, with all Blizzard employees in case they needed anything
  • There are currently Warcraft mobile titles being worked on, as well as other unannounced mobile titles.

Hearthstone

  • Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Forged in the Barrens, launched on March 30 and is on track to deliver expansion-over-expansion net bookings growth for the second consecutive release.

Diablo

  • Ahead of its launch later this year, Diablo II: Resurrected saw very positive feedback during early testing in April and online viewership of the alpha test was the highest ever for a Blizzard game test.
  • Diablo Immortal entered its second phase of testing and is on track for global release later this year.

Overwatch

  • April saw Overwatch fans around the world return to celebrate players and city-based teams in the opening weekend of the 2021 season of Overwatch League.
  • The league signed a multi-year partnership with Bilibili Esports for exclusive rights to broadcast league games to the platform’s passionate and growing Overwatch League fanbase in China.

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