Activision Blizzard today reported earnings for the quarter and full-year ended December 31, showing big gains for revenue thanks in part to Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2.
Activision did not share any sales numbers for either game, but said in its report that Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2, in that order, were the top two highest-grossing console games in North America for the year. Globally, Call of Duty: WWII was the top-grossing console game of 2017, Activision said, noting that the PS4 edition set a day-one record for digital sales. The Call of Duty franchise has now been the No. 1 series globally, based on revenue, for eight of the past nine years, Activision said.
As for Destiny 2, in addition to being the No. 2 overall console game in North America based on sales, it represented Activision’s biggest PC release ever. DLC sales were strong, too, as Destiny 2’s first expansion, Curse of Osiris, had a higher “attach rate” than Destiny 1’s The Dark Below.
Some other notes from Activision’s earnings report included 55 million monthly active users for the quarter, which represents a 12 percent increase compared to the previous quarter, and matching the previous quarterly record. As for Blizzard, the company had 40 million monthly active users during the latest quarter. This represents a decline from last quarter, but Blizzard pointed out that the company’s games have reached 40 million monthly active users for six quarters in a row. Overwatch and Hearthstone were called out as top performers.
Activision Blizzard also owns the mobile game developer King, which had 290 million monthly active users during the period, which represents a 1 percent quarter-over-quarter decline. The better news for King was that, for the first time ever, the average time spent playing per user reached a record 37 minutes per day. Monthly active users for Candy Crush games grew “slightly,” the company said.
When looking at all of Activision Blizzard’s games, spanning Activision, Blizzard, and King, the company had 385 million monthly active users. This is up by 1 million from the previous quarter’s 384 million.
In terms of money, Activision Blizzard’s net revenue for the full year ended December 31 was a record $7.02 billion, up from $6.61 billion during the previous fiscal year. Revenue from digital channels–which are higher margin–came to $5.48 billion, also a record. For the quarter, Activision Blizzard revenue amounted to $2.04 billion, which set a record for any quarter in the company’s history. Revenue from digital channels was $1.43 billion, though the company did not say if this represented a new record.
For the full year, Activision Blizzard recorded a profit of $273 million, which was down significantly from the $966 million that it made the year before. In terms of quarterly profit, Activision Blizzard didn’t make one; the company posted a loss of $584 million, as compared to a profit of $254 million during the same period in 2016.
In its press release, Activision Blizzard noted that it incurred a significant tax expense charge related to Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was enacted in December 2017.
Activision Blizzard is currently holding an earnings call to discuss these results and answer questions from analysts. We’ll report back with more details from the call if anything noteworthy is discussed.