Activision Said It Faced Subdued Demand for Call of Duty, Other Games in Q4; Misses Adjusted Sales Estimates


Activision Blizzard, which is being acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion (roughly Rs. 5,13,300 crore), missed market estimates for fourth-quarter adjusted sales on Thursday, as the pandemic-fuelled sales boost for its games such as Call of Duty showed signs of cooling. Videogame sales in the United States surged since the start of the pandemic, as people were forced to stay at home amid restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the virus. According to data from research firm NPD, total consumer spending on video games reached a record $60.4 billion (roughly Rs. 4,51,300) in 2021, 8 percent higher than in 2020.

However, a vaccine-aided return of pre-pandemic habits such as eating in restaurants and meeting in person have hit that momentum.

The videogame publisher said net bookings for Call of Duty on console and PC declined year-over-year in the fourth quarter, reflecting lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard compared with the previous edition and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Rival Electronic Arts on Tuesday had lowered its annual adjusted sales forecast and missed quarterly estimates with fewer consumers picking up new gaming titles.

Activision’s quarterly adjusted sales stood at $2.49 billion (roughly Rs. 18,600 crore), compared with analysts’ estimates of $2.82 billion (roughly Rs. 21,100 crore), according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income for the quarter rose to $564 million (roughly Rs. 4200 crore), or 72 cents (roughly Rs. 53) per share, in the quarter ended December 31, from $508 million (roughly Rs. 3,800 crore), or 65 cents (roughly Rs. 49) per share, a year earlier.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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