Activision Blizzard exceeds Q2 revenue goals thanks to in-game spending

Thanks to in-game revenue and new content releases, Activision Blizzard managed to exceed expectations for revenue in Q2 2018.

Today, Activision Blizzard released its second-quarter earnings report for the quarter ending June 30, 2018, showing rising revenue even in a quarter with no major game releases.

Per the report, Activision's GAAP net revenue for the quarter totaled $1.64 billion, which only slightly rises above its $1.63 billion in revenue from the same quarter last year. 

However, as noted by Activision executives on the conference call, that revenue (which exceeded prior projections for the quarter), came in a quarter not dominated by game releases for the company.  Activision's total net bookings (a metric that totals the number of products and services sold) for the quarter clocked in at $1.38 billion (down slightly from $1.42 billion in 2017). Its digital net bookings (effectively in-app transactions) were $1.2 billion, also down from $1.28 billion from 2017's second quarter.

During this time period, Activision's only game releases were Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Destiny 2's Warmind expansion, the latter of which saw a higher attach rate compared to the second expansion released after the first Destiny. Drilling down, three of Activision's titles, Call of Duty: WWII, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and Destiny 2, drove "record Q2 in-game net bookings" for that subsection of the company. 

This news also follows this morning's announcement that Activision Blizzard would be teaming up with Tencent to release a mobile version of Call of Duty in China. 

In response to a question during the call, CEO Bobby Kotick commented briefly on Activision's future with games streaming, saying that the company was speaking with multiple tech firms and examining their cloud infrastructures, but the company doesn't expect game streaming to be a large part of its business in the near future. 

Interestingly, Kotick pivoted off the discussion of game streaming as a means of discussing "accessibility" to Activision Blizzard's major franchises that it hopes achieve on mobile. Only briefly mentioning games that are "in the pipeline," Kotick seemed to say that Activision is interested in making it "easier" to engage with its largest franchises by way of mobile devices, rather then gaming consoles or personal computers. 

As of this writing, Activision Blizzard shares have dipped slightly in after-hours trading (just .81 percent). Looking ahead, Activision is predicting $1.4 billion in revenue for 2018's third quarter.

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