The latest earnings report from Activision Blizzard reveals several things. One, they are doing very well with the results exceeding their expectations in certain areas. Two, a new Call of Duty will be released this year which isn’t really news but the company never said who is leading the development of the new title. Three, and most interestingly, is their plans for more remasters and “reimagined experiences” in 2020 following the success of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro remaster as well as the “return” of Modern Warfare.
Discussing the company’s fourth-quarter results, CEO Bobby Kotick said, “our fourth-quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share. Our recent Call of Duty success illustrates the scale of our growth potential, as we expanded the community to more players in more countries on more platforms than ever before. With our strong content pipeline across our franchises and momentum in mobile, esports, and advertising, we look forward to continuing to delight our players, fans, and stakeholders in 2020 and beyond.”
Overall, the numbers for the results showed top and bottom-line declines across many of its franchises Activision Blizzard’s GAAP net revenue’s are at $1.99 billion which is 17% from last year. Full-year figures went to $6.49 billion and net income went down to $1.5 billion. Monthly Active Users went up to 409 million, due in large part to Call of Duty: Mobile. Due to these numbers, it seems that Activision will be focusing on mobile in the future.
Kotick said, “using Call of Duty as an example, with the introduction of Call of Duty: Mobile, we grew our player base from 40 million to 100 million players in less than a year. And we expect significant growth in the Call of Duty franchise in 2020 as compared to 2019, as a result of this and from other unannounced Call of Duty initiatives. Mobile, in fact, is now our leading platform. The business model for Call of Duty Mobile is free to play, which enables the rapid development of large community of players with the option to purchase digital items and services, as well as our ability to generate advertising revenues.”
The call also revealed that a new Call of Duty is coming this year but they did not announce who will be leading its development. There was a rumor that development teams shifted and Treyarch would be leading development for the next game after making Call of Duty: Black Ops IV in 2018. COO Coddy Johnson said that the new Call of Duty “is already generating excitement in our playtests.” CFO Denis Durkin said, “we can’t wait to unveil what our teams have been working on, and we feel great about the content.”
After the success of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited, Activision Blizzard plans to do more remasters sooner than later as CFO Dennis Durkin says that Activision Blizzard “will continue to tap into our portfolio of beloved IP to bring several remastered and reimagined experiences to our players in 2020, which we’ll announce closer to launch.”