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Activision Blizzard is off to a strong 2023 thanks to Modern Warfare II

Activision Blizzard relies on its strongest soldiers to drive high profits.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Promo art for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, showing several soldiers in the story mode.

Hours after its attempted merger with Microsoft was blocked by the CMA, Activision Blizzard has released its financial results for 2023's first quarter

Overall first quarter growth, which ended on March 31, 2023, was said to be "broad-based" due to increased net bookings for its largest properties and the three company divisions: Activision, Blizzard, and King.

Revenue hit $2.38 billion, up 35 percent from the previous year's $1.77 billion. Similarly, net bookings for the three-month period was at $1.86 billion, a rise of 26 percent from 2022's first quarter. Net income for the quarter surged by 87 percent from 395 million to $740 million. 

The heaviest hitter was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare IIwhich helped overall franchise sales become "significantly higher" than 2022's first quarter. It was further helped by three older Call of Duty games coming to Steam at the start of March. 

Additionally, sales of Blizzard properties jumped up by 62 percent. Games called out during this segment include the mobile game Diablo ImmortalOctober's Overwatch 2, and the Dragonflight expansion for World of Warcraft

As for King, the now 20-year-old brand was said to have delivered "excellent financial performance," with an 8 percent year-over-year growth. Candy Crush drove the mobile division with an 11 percent increase for in-game net bookings, and reportedly continued to be the top-grossing franchise in United States app stores. 

Activision Blizzard acknowledges its losses and looks to the future

While the publisher's various properties brought in the revenue, its monthly player bases fell short across the three company pillars. Monthly users totaled 368 million, down by 4 million from 2022, and with Activision and King posting individual declines of 2 and 7 percent. Blizzard saw a 5 percent growth in players. 

Activision Blizzard also touched on its big summer release, Diablo IV. Blizzard's long in development RPG has "strong" pre-order sales, and the publisher believes the game will cause growth in its second quarter ranging from 10 to 40 percent in different categories. 

In its write up for the Activision branch, the publisher confirmed it would have a premium Call of Duty release later this year, along with a mobile version of Call of Duty: Warzone. In February, it was reported that this year's entry would serve as an extension of Modern Warfare II

As for the aforementioned merger blocking, Activision Blizzard is still confident its deal with Microsoft will go through. It said it'll back Microsoft's appeal to the CMA, whose decision it called "disproportionate, irrational and inconsistent with the evidence. [...] The parties continue to fully engage with other regulators reviewing the transaction to obtain any required regulatory approvals."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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