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‘CALL OF DUTY’ FRANCHISE TOPS 100M MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS, DRIVES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD REVENUE BOOM

Activision Blizzard had a good 2020.

The gaming giant reported $8.1 billion in net revenue for its fiscal year, a 25 percent year-over-year increase, in its most recent earnings report on Thursday.

The increase was driven largely by the company’s Call of Duty franchise, which launched its latest entry, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, in November and growth of its free-to-play offering, Warzone, through last year. 2020 saw 100 million monthly active users across the franchise’s titles, up from 40 million monthly active users just two years prior in 2018. Series sales, meanwhile, saw a 40 percent annual increase, though Activision did not provide specific sales figures.

World of Warcraft also saw strong engagement throughout its community during the fiscal year, rising to 29 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter. Diablo Immortal, the franchise’s mobile offering, saw the first stage of regional testing in December and January which received “very positive feedback.” The Blizzard team looks forward to giving more updates on the franchise later this month at BlizzCon, set to take place online from Feb. 19-20. Blizzard’s Overwatch 2 is also expected to have an announcement at the event, though the company noted that the game is unlikely to launch in 2021.

King — a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard responsible for mobile games such as Candy Crush, Farm Heroes and Bubble Witch — delivered its best full-year performance since its acquisition in 2016. Candy Crush was the top-grossing mobile game in the U.S. in 2020, bringing in $473 million, according to Statista. King’s Q4 monthly active users were 240 million, an increase from the previous year. Overall, the mobile company topped 400 million monthly active users in 2020.

On the horizon, King is set to launch Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! in March, while Activision is gearing up for the anticipated Diablo IV, which is “on the horizon,” according to CEO Bobby Kotick, though the company did note it is unlikely to launch in 2021 during its investors call on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of Activision

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