Activision Blizzard's quarterly revenue steeply declines, but Call of Duty will come to the rescue

Image for Activision Blizzard's quarterly revenue steeply declines, but Call of Duty will come to the rescue
(Image credit: Activision)

Activision Blizzard saw declines in revenue and operating income during the second financial quarter of 2022, with $1.64 billion revenue, compared to the $2.3 billion it made during the same period in 2021. To recover from that drop, a lot hinges on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, both of which will release in the company's next financial quarter. 

Win more Warzone 2

warzone 2 battle pass explained

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Warzone 2 loadouts: Best guns
Warzone 2 DMZ: New mode guide
Warzone 2 unhinged: Hectic BRs
Warzone 2 perks: Perk packages
Warzone 2 contracts: Turn it in
Warzone 2 cash: Make bank

With those Call of Duty games around the corner, that substantial drop probably isn't causing too much sweat around Activision HQ. It's fair to say that 2022's Modern Warfare 2 will make bank for the company, as its 2019 predecessor was "the most successful Call of Duty title to date," according to Activision's report. The earnings drop is also in keeping with a notable decline across the industry as a whole, which experienced a massive 26% expansion at the height of the Covid pandemic, according to Ampere data (via CNBC). 

The industry has since contracted for a number of reasons: fears of recession abound, and both Sony and Microsoft are still struggling to meet demand for their new consoles. Also, the end of lockdowns has lessened demand for homebody-friendly entertainment. Closer to home, Call of Duty: Vanguard didn't meet expectations, with Activision Blizzard's 2021 annual report stating that the company "didn't deliver as much innovation in the premium game as we would have liked."

During the second financial quarter, Activision Blizzard games attracted 361 million monthly active users. Interestingly, the company writes that "over half" of Diablo Immortal's player base are new to Activision Blizzard games. That makes sense: despite the game's egregious microtransactions, it's estimated to have made over $100 million, with 30 million players.

The report is otherwise pretty unsurprising. Slightly noteworthy is that Warzone 2.0 will be "tightly integrated" with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though that could just mean the games will share cross-progression, and themed events, just like Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard did. Diablo 4 is still planned for launch in 2023, and both World of Warcraft and WoW Classic will see expansions by the end of the year.  

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.