Activision-Blizzard Q4 2016: Record quarter for Blizzard thanks to World of Warcraft and Overwatch


Activision-Blizzard’s quarterly financial reports have gotten boring since the companies decided to stop reporting World of Warcraft subscribers in 2015, am I right?

But in this case, boring is good. ActiBlizz’s net revenues for Q4 2016 were up 42% year-over-year and 49% quarter-over-quarter, setting records for the company left and right.

Bobby Kotick praises Overwatch, the King acquisition, and e-sports in particular, but WoW was no slouch, seeing “an increase in total play time for the quarter, surpassing the Q3 expansion launch quarter and all non-launch quarters in the last four years.” Yep, more records.

“Blizzard had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016 at 36 million, up 37% from 2015 and up 87% since 2014. Additionally, Blizzard achieved record fourth-quarter MAUsA of 41 million. Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest game ever to reach over 25 million players globally. The title broke the previous launch year record for unit sales set by Diablo III in 2012 and received 55 Game of the Year awards. World of Warcraft MAUsA grew 10% in 2016 and over 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter on the back of the successful third-quarter launch of the expansion, Legion. Also, Hearthstone had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016, growing more than 20%, in part due to the fourth-quarter expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.”

MAUs, you’ll recall, are Monthly Active Users.

“We monitor MAUs as a key measure of the overall size of our user base and their regular engagement with our portfolio of games. MAUs are the number of individuals who played a particular game in a given month. We calculate average MAUs in a period by adding the total number of MAUs in each of the months in a given period and dividing that total by the number of months in the period. An individual who plays two of our games would be counted as two users. In addition, due to technical limitations, for Activision Publishing and King, an individual who plays the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would be counted as two users. For Blizzard, an individual who plays the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally be counted as a single user.”

Destiny 2 is still on track for this year, sometime this fall, and is expected to cater to a more “casual first-person experience.”

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