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Overwatch helps drive record-breaking revenues for Activision Blizzard

Overwatch seems to be doing the business for Activision Blizzard, as the company cited it as one of the leading successes in a Wall Street-beating second-quarter earnings report.

Overwatch seems to be doing the business for Activision Blizzard, as the company today cited it as one of the leading successes in a Wall Street-beating second-quarter earnings report.

In the three months ending June 30th, Activision Blizzard says it pulled in a better-than-expected $1.57 billion (GAAP) in revenue, a new Q2 record for the company and roughly 50 percent more than the $1.04 billion in revenue it reported during the same period last year.

From those revenues, the company reaped profits of $0.17 a share; adjusted to Non-GAAP measures (which many analysts use) it's $0.45 a share, which beats the $0.42 some Wall Street analysts were expecting.

Activision Blizzard has seen quite a few changes in the intervening twelve months, including the acquisition of Candy Crush maker King and the launch of games like Overwatch and Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Both games were called out as strong performers in this latest earnings report, but it's Overwatch -- which launched in late May, smack dab in the middle of the company's second quarter -- that got the lion's share of Activision Blizzard's attention.

Overwatch has now reportedly been played for over 500 million hours by over 15 million people globally (though of course that doesn't equate to sales, as not all of those people purchased copies of the game) and Activision Blizzard says it broke the record (previously held by Diablo III) for the fastest-selling PC game in China. 

Moreover, Activision Blizzard reports that its Blizzard segment alone had its best quarter ever in terms of revenue, with operating income (read: gross profits) nearly tripling what it brought in during the same quarter last year.

"The lynchpin of our current success and our future growth is our talent. Our teams have the unique combination of passion, entrepreneurial spirit and inspired creativity," stated Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick in the company's earnings report. "The success of Overwatch, our newest franchise, is a testament to this talent. I’m grateful to our over 10,000 employees, each of whom embodies these characteristics of our culture."

However, elsewhere in the company King saw a decline in monthly active users for its mobile games, a drop to 409 million that Activision Blizzard describes as "expected due to seasonal trends and launch timing." Still, the company claims that gross bookings (think: payments made in free-to-play games) for King's Candy Crush games grew year-over-year, as did the average revenue it sees per paying player.

Thanks to its strong second-quarter performance, Activision Blizzard is raising its financial expectations for both its third quarter and the current fiscal year. It now plans to bring in $1.49 billion in revenue in the course of this current quarter, and $6.4 billion in revenue in the course of its 2017 fiscal year.

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