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Activision Blizzard earnings hampered by waning Call of Duty: Vanguard engagement

The publisher noted a decrease in GAAP net revenue and declining Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC.

Activision Blizzard's fiscal report for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, highlights a decrease in GAAP net revenue and declining Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC.

According to the report, GAAP net revenues for the quarter totalled $1.77 billion, down on the $2.28 billion the publisher reported in the first quarter of 2021.

GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.59 billion, with the company generating $642 million in operating cash flow for the quarter as compared with $844 million in Q1 2021.

Net bookings decreased year-on-year to $1.48 billion from $2.07 billion, with in-game net bookings also dropping to $1.01 billion from $1.34 billion over the same period.

At the end of the quarter, Activision Blizzard said it had 372 million monthly active users.

Digging a little bit deeper into the company's game portfolio, Activision Blizzard said that Call of Duty net bookings declined year-on-year, with that performance "reflecting lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard" and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Looking forward, Activision Blizzard intends to release a sequel to 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which it noted is the "most successful" entry in the franchise to-date, and added that it's working on a "new free-to-play Warzone experience" that has been built from the ground-up alongside the premium Modern Warfare title.

"Activision continued to rapidly expand its Call of Duty development resources in the first quarter. Its growing teams are focused on delivering even more compelling content to the community on PC and console, as well as expanding Warzone to the mobile platform," added the company.

Blizzard's free-to-play take on Diablo, Diablo Immortal, is still slated to launch on June 2, 2022. According to Activision Blizzard, over 30 million people have already pre-resigered for the game, which will arrive on both PC and mobile platforms with support for cross-play and cross-progression.

Development on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 is also "progressing well," with company-wide internal testing on the former currently underway.

Addressing its handling of misconduct following widespread reports of harassment and multiple government investigations into the company, Activision Blizzard said it's "committed to ensuring an inclusive and safe working environment" for workers, and claimed it has continued to implement previously announced initiatives to strengthen its practices and policies.

The report also confirmed Microsoft's planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is expected to close at the end of Microsoft's fiscal year on June 30, 2023.

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