Activision Blizzard Fourth Quarter 2020 Results – No Diablo 4 in 2021

 

Activision Blizzard logo Diablo 2

Today the latest Activision Blizzard financials were revealed and it’s been a decent quarter for World of Warcraft. The company is now looking ahead to a BlizzCon and we can hopefully expect some exciting updates.

Unsurprisingly Blizzard’s monetary focus was on World of Warcraft thanks to the release of the Shadowlands expansion at the end of last year.

Blizzard Highlights

  • In Q4, World of Warcraft franchise net bookings2 grew sharply Y/Y, driven by strong sales of the Shadowlands expansion, subscriber growth, and high participation in value added services.
  • World of Warcraft player and engagement trends since the Shadowlands release are stronger than levels typically seen at this point after an expansion launch.
  • On mobile, the first stage of regional testing for Diablo Immortal in December and January was met with very positive feedback and strong engagement metrics. More players will get to experience the game in further rounds of testing ahead of the launch planned for later this year.
  • The Overwatch franchise continues to engage its community with in-game content and celebrate its players in the Overwatch League, where teams are preparing for the start of the fourth season in April
  • The Blizzard team is looking forward to channeling the spirit of BlizzCon to engage and celebrate the community at BlizzConline on February 19th and 20th, where they will share more about the plans for their franchises.

Blizzard Revenue

  • Q4 Segment Net Revenues: $579M
  • Q4 Segment Operating Income: $160M (28% operating margin)
  • 2020 Segment Net Revenues: $1,905M
  • 2020 Segment Operating Income: $693M (36% operating margin)
  • Q4 revenue was slightly lower Y/Y as growth for World of Warcraft was offset by a decline for other titles and the absence of BlizzCon.
  • Q4 operating income was lower Y/Y driven primarily by increased marketing investments and amortization of development costs for Shadowlands.
  •  2020 revenue increased 11% Y/Y and operating income grew 49%, with 9 pp expansion in operating margin

bobbie's eyesBobby Kotik also mentioned that they have been working on multiple mobile Warcraft titles adding, “And we’ve made multiple, mobile, free-to-play Warcraft experiences and they’re now in advanced development based on our franchise’s beloved IP.”

There were also mentions of remastered content although they did not mention anything specific. Perhaps that Diablo 2 remaster could be part of this remaster initiative. We’ll have to wait and see what BlizzCon brings in a couple of weeks time.

In other Diablo news from the presentation, Blizzard does not expect Diablo 4 to launch in 2021.

The full deck and details from the call are available here.

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2 comments

  1. Avalon

    This is what I got out of it.

    More players will get to test D:I prior to launch planned later this year.
    The D4 team is hard at work.
    Multiple mobile titles.
    2022 will be a great year (yes 2022).
    Investing in the Battlenet platform.
    Deep pipeline of content.
    More content is coming over all platforms.
    Player engagement is high.
    Remastered content is coming.
    Incredible lineup planed for all franchises.
    Expanding the development teams.
    Candy, WoW CoD are the 3 big franchises.
    Mobile, mobile, mobile. :point_left:
    D4 and D:I teams have made great progress.
    None of the investors asked about Diablo.

    1. Rush

      Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Hopefully, BlizzCon will bring some new stuff and info.

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