Activision Blizzard’s Latest Financial Report Reveals Blizzard Games Losing Millions Of Players But Making More Money

Source: Overwatch 2 Cinematic Trailer (2019), Blizzard Entertainment

Activision Blizzard’s recently released financial report regarding the first quarter of 2021 has revealed that revenue from Blizzard titles has grown, despite their continued loss of millions of players year-over-year.

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According to the company’s report, which was provided to the public on May 4th, 2021, Blizzard titles boasted only 27 million MAUs (Monthly Active Users, or “the number of individuals who accessed a particular game in a given month”) as of the end of Q1 2021, compared to the 32 million players reported in Q1 2020, 32 million in Q1 in 2019, and 38 million in Q1 2018.

Conversely, the company’s Activision arm saw the total number of MAUs engaging with their games grow to 150 Million, a steady increase from the 102 Million reported in Q1 2020, 41 Million in Q1 2019, and 53 million in Q1 2018.

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It should be noted that Activision numbers may be less than one-hundred percent accurate, as the company noted that “due to technical limitations, for Activision and King (the Candy Crush developer who was acquired by Activision Blizzard in 2015), an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would be counted as two users.”

“For Blizzard, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally be counted as a single user,” they added. “In certain instances, we rely on third parties to publish our games. In these instances, MAU data is based on information provided to us by those third parties, or, if final data is not available, reasonable estimates of MAUs for these third-party published games.”

Source: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Opening Cinematic (2020), Blizzard Entertainment

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Yet, despite this drop in active players, Blizzard conversely reported that their overall “revenue increase[d] 7% [year-over-year], with robust growth for World of Warcraft partially offset by product timing.”

“World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion continued to drive strong results following its record-setting release in November, with first quarter franchise net bookings growing sharply Y/Y,” explained Blizzard. “The Shadowlands expansion has built on the substantial increase in World of Warcraft’s scale seen since the launch of Classic in 2019.”

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However, Blizzard’s upcoming game slate of game releases could stand to help recoup some of the players who have since lost interest in the publisher’s titles.

Diablo II: Resurrected, Diablo Immortal, and the WoW Classic edition of the MMO”s The Burning Crusade expansion are set to release later this year, while the heavily anticipated Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 will see release in 2022 at the earliest.

Source: Diablo II: Resurrected (2021), Blizzard Entertainment

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