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Activision Blizzard posts record Q1

Call of Duty: WWII helps drive Activision business even as engagement metrics drop for King and Blizzard

Activision Blizzard today released its earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, showing record revenues and strong bottom-line growth, but some less positive engagement metrics.

For the quarter, Activision Blizzard reported GAAP net revenues up almost 14% to $1.97 billion. Meanwhile, earnings per share were up 16% to $0.56. The company's net bookings were also a record for the quarter, coming in at $1.3 billion, 15% higher than the previous year's first quarter.

"Activision Blizzard had another strong quarter, growing year-over-year, setting top and bottom line records, and over-performing guidance," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said. "Our continued ability to set new records speaks to the quality of our teams and the breadth and enduring nature of our portfolio of franchises against the backdrop of a large and growing interactive market. As we look ahead, our innovative core gaming pipeline, as well as initiatives like mobile, esports, and advertising, will continue to drive growth for our business."

Despite the positive numbers, Activision Blizzard reported a significant drop in monthly active users (MAU), one of its key engagement metrics. Company-wide, monthly active users for the quarter were down 3% quarter-over-quarter and 13% year-over-year to 374 million. Activision's MAUs had grown 3 million since the same quarter a year ago to 51 million total, with the Call of Duty franchise singled out for particular praise on that front. However, Blizzard's MAUs were down 3 million to 38 million year-over-year, while King saw its MAUs drop from 342 million to 285 million year-over-year.

Concerning as that might be, all three of the companies' major business segments reported individually higher net revenues year-over-year, and King did post its highest quarterly net bookings in three years, up 13% year-over-year despite the drop in active users.

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Activision Blizzard, EA, and Take-Two are the kings of gaming.
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