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Activision Blizzard exceeds second quarter outlook despite headwinds

Call of Duty season, record Hearthstone pre-purchases drove $1.64 billion in net revenue

Activision Blizzard had a pleasant Q2 despite temperate guidance. The company saw $1.64 billion in GAAP net revenue, a 1% year-over-year increase that exceeded its $1.56 billion outlook.

Net bookings were also above guidance by $35 million at $1.38 billion. Much of this was the responsibility of mobile, as the company saw record mobile net revenues ($521 million) and mobile net bookings.

The Activision side of the company had plenty to contribute to this. Specifically, $338 million in net revenue, a 7% year-over-year growth driven largely by Call of Duty: World War II's continuing season and the launch of Destiny 2's Warmind expansion. In-game net bookings were at a record high for the quarter, driven by both aforementioned titles and Call of Duty Black Ops III, which saw 15 million players during June, the highest so far this year. Total, Activision games saw 45 million monthly active users over the period.

Blizzard, on the other hand, saw a decline in YOY revenue to $489 million, though this was in line with expectations due to no new Hearthstone expansion release and the lull just before a World of Warcraft expansion. Battle for Azeroth is expected to pick revenue back up again in the coming quarter, and Hearthstone will likely help too. Net bookings for Hearthstone (in this case, pre-purchasing packs for the coming expansion) in the last quarter are currently ahead of the net bookings for any other expansion at the same point before release. Total, Blizzard properties saw 37 million MAUs.

Finally, King. King brought in $502 million in net revenue, growing 5% YOY. For the 19th quarter in a row, King had two titles in the Top 10 highest-grossing US mobile rankings, with Candy Crush Saga at #1 once again. King expects continued growth, and is planning a major release from an existing King franchise for later this fiscal year.

Though Activision Blizzard exceeded its guidance for the quarter, the company remains steady on its full-year outlook of $7.335 billion in GAAP net revenue, with Q3 net revenue expected to be at $1.49 billion.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.