6. Mai 2020 - 07:39 Uhr

Activision Blizzard Q1 2020 Earnings Call - Gute Zahlen, Covid-19 & mehr!

Letzte Nacht fand wieder einmal der sogenannte "Earnings Call" von Activision Blizzard statt, um die Zahlen aus dem ersten Quartal des Jahres zu besprechen. Thema dabei waren natürlich auch die Auswirkungen des Coronavirus, doch abermals wurde bestätigt, dass geplante Veröffentlichungen, wie z.B. Shadowlands Ende 2020, nicht verschoben werden müssen. Auf Grund der Pandemie haben sich viele Menschen der Heimunterhaltung zugewandt, wodurch Activision Blizzard ein kontinuierliches Spielerwachstum bei World of Warcraft und anderen Franchise-Unternehmen verzeichnete, das von Monat zu Monat zunahm - und im April immer noch im Aufwärtstrend lag. 

Im ersten Quartal wurden sowohl neue Inhalte für World of Warcraft: Classic als auch für Battle for Azeroth veröffentlicht und durch verschiedene Events sowie Aktionen in Spielen, um den Fans die aktuelle Situation zu versüßen, gab es weitere Gründe sich einzuloggen. Es scheint also so, als läuft derzeit alles sehr gut für World of Warcraft, dank des explosionsartigen Anstiegs der Abozahlen durch den Release von Classic Ende 2019 und der nun wachsenden Vorfreude auf Shadowlands. Ebenfalls erwähnenswert ist hier, dass im gesamten Bericht kein Wort zu Warcraft III: Reforged verloren wurde, obwohl das Spiel im 1. Quartal 2020 veröffentlicht wurde. 

Zusammenfassung des Berichts

  • Blizzard hatte im ersten Quartal 32 Millionen monatlich aktive User. Dies ist das gleiche Anzahl wie im vierten Quartal 2019.
  • Die hauptsächlichen Einnahmen von Blizzard (452 Millionen US-Dollar) werden primär durch World of Warcraft generiert.
  • Nach der Verdoppelung der Spielerzahlen in der zweiten Hälfte des Jahres 2019 wuchs die aktive Spielergemeinschaft von World of Warcraft im ersten Quartal weiter, was sowohl auf neue als auch auf wiederkehrende Spieler zurückzuführen ist.
  • Jedes der wichtigsten Franchise-Unternehmen von Blizzard verzeichnete im März einen Anstieg der MAUs im Vergleich zum Vormonat, was auf die Quarantäne-Situation zurückzuführen ist.
  • Das Engagement für Hearthstone hat sich nach und nach verbessert, was auf den neuen Battlegrounds-Spielmodus und die starke Ausführung im Live-Betrieb zurückzuführen ist.
  • Das Engagement für Overwatch nahm im März erheblich zu und die Overwatch League wechselte erfolgreich zu Online-Spielen und Remote-Produktion.
  • Die Testphase für Diablo: Immortal soll weiterhin Sommer dieses Jahres starten. 
  • Shadowlands ist noch im Zeitplan für die Veröffentlichung im vierten Quartal dieses Jahres.
  • World of Warcraft erzielte für Blizzard ein starkes Umsatzwachstum und ein Wachstum der operativen Marge.
  • WoW: Classic war im Osten sehr stark, WoW-Retail war im Westen stark.
  • Activision hatte im ersten Quartal 102 Millionen monatlich aktive User. Dies ist ein Rückgang von 128 Millionen MAUs im vierten Quartal 2019.
  • Die hauptsächlichen Einnahmen von Activision (519 Millionen US-Dollar) werden primär durch Call of Duty generiert.
  • King hatte im ersten Quartal 273 Millionen monatlich aktive User. 
  • Die hauptsächlichen Einnahmen von King (498 Millionen US-Dollar) werden primär durch Candy Crush generiert.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced first-quarter 2020 results.

“Our goal to connect the world through epic entertainment is more important to our players than ever before,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We delivered strong financial results for the first quarter, and are raising our full year outlook. I have been awestruck by the strength of our employees and their families during this difficult time. Whether managing healthcare or childcare, performing public service or community service, our teams around the world have shown ingenuity and resilience. In the face of so many difficulties, our employees have made certain that the joy, the engagement, and the benefits of gaming remain an effective way to help keep our 400 million players around the world connected and safe.”

Financial Metrics

For the quarter ended March 31, 2020, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $1.79 billion, as compared with $1.83 billion for the first quarter of 2019. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.44 billion, as compared with $1.39 billion for the first quarter of 2019. GAAP operating margin was 34%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.65, as compared with $0.58 for the first quarter of 2019.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2020, on a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 40% and earnings per diluted share were $0.76, as compared with $0.78 for the first quarter of 2019.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2020, operating cash flow was $148 million. For the trailing twelve-month period, operating cash flow was $1.53 billion.

Please refer to the tables at the back of this press release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Operating Metrics

For the quarter ended March 31, 2020 , Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were $1.52 billion , as compared with $1.26 billion for the first quarter of 2019. Net bookingsB from digital channels were $1.36 billion , as compared with $1.07 billion for the first quarter of 2019. In-game net bookingsC were $956 million , as compared with $794 million for the first quarter of 2019.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2020 , overall Activision Blizzard Monthly Active Users (MAUs)D were 407 million.

COVID-19 Response

At Activision Blizzard , our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees and their families. All of our offices moved to work-from-home environments by mid-March. We are covering all costs of testing and treatment for affected employees and their families, and we have increased access to tele-health resources and contracted private doctors and medical support in regions where our employees live and work. And we are continuing to find other ways to support our employees and their families as we navigate through this unprecedented situation, including services to help families balance work and home life.
The digital nature of our content means our creative talent can continue to work on our product pipeline from home. While the shift to remote working adds complexity and challenges in some areas of the game development process, we are implementing mitigation measures to address these areas and, based on the work to date, we still expect to deliver a robust slate of content over the remainder of the year.
We have leveraged our game platforms to disseminate critical health and safety information while offering in-game events and rewards to promote social distancing. We have made donations to world class health organizations and medical centers in cities where our employees live and work, funding promising convalescent blood therapies and drug trials. And we have made an additional contribution to our own Call of Duty Endowment to continue placing veterans into high-quality jobs.
The increasingly digital, recurring and cash-generative nature of our operations remains one of our fundamental strengths. With a strong balance sheet, low capital intensity and a track record of disciplined capital allocation, we have substantial flexibility as we navigate through an uncertain environment.

Selected Business Highlights

Activision Blizzard exceeded its first-quarter outlook, driven primarily by our investment in creative and commercial initiatives for Call of Duty® delivering better-than-expected results throughout the quarter. We also saw continued momentum for World of Warcraft® and better-than-expected results for other key franchises, as populations sheltering at home turned to our content for entertainment and social connection. These trends have continued so far in the second quarter, with business momentum accelerating further in April. In the current environment, we are fortunate to still be in a position to enable some of the world’s best gaming experiences through our direct digital connection to hundreds of millions of people.
  • Activision had 102 million MAUsD in the first quarter.
  • Call of Duty: Warzone launched on March 10, 2020 and has reached over 60 million players to date.
  • Life-to-date, Modern Warfare has sold through more units and has more players than any prior Call of Duty title at this point after its release.
  • In the first quarter, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare®unitsell-through was the highest for the franchise outside of a launch quarter. Following substantial year-over-year growth versus the prior title in January and February, unit sell-through accelerated in March, driven by upgrades from Warzone as well as rising demand amidst shelter-at-home conditions.
  • Also in the first quarter, Modern Warfare in-game net bookingsC more than doubled year-over-year versus Black Ops 4.
  • Call of Duty Mobile continued to build on last October’s breakout launch with new content, features and events aimed at optimizing engagement, retention and player investment.The game saw increased reach and engagement in March, driven by an increased cadence of compelling content and events as well as shelter-at-home tailwinds.
  • Originally planned in a local city-based homestand format, the inaugural season of the professional Call of Duty League TM pivoted all matches to online play and remote production for the remainder of the regular season, to keep players and fans safe while still delivering premium esports content to a global audience.
  • Blizzard had 32 million MAUsD in the first quarter.
  • After doubling in the second half of 2019, World of Warcraft’s active player community1 increased further in the first quarter, driven by both new and returning players, as the team continued to deliver more content between expansions than ever before.
  • Each of Blizzard’s key franchises experienced a month-on-month increase in MAUsD in March as a result of shelter-at-home tailwinds.
  • Hearthstone® engagement improved sequentially, driven by the new Battlegrounds game mode launched in November, and strong execution in live operations.
  • Overwatch® engagement increased meaningfully in March and the Overwatch League TM successfully moved to online play and remote production during the quarter.
  • King had 273 million MAUsD in the first quarter.
  • MAUsD grew month-over-month in both January and February, and further accelerated in March as shelter-at-home conditions came into effect.
  • Candy Crush TM franchise MAUsD grew year-over-year in each month of the quarter, with double-digit growth in March. Within the franchise, the community played more game rounds than in any quarter since Activision Blizzard’s acquisition of King.
  • Candy Crush Saga TM and the wider Candy Crush franchise were once again the top-grossing title and franchise in the U.S. mobile app stores.2
  • Advertising net bookingsB grew over 75% year-over-year, even against the backdrop of the sudden decline in demand across the digital advertising sector in March.

Company Outlook

Our business exhibited accelerating momentum entering the second quarter from the dual tailwinds of strong execution in the Call of Duty franchise following last year’s increased investment, and increased engagement as people turned to our interactive content as they sheltered at home. The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operations, and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we are not able to fully predict at this time. While there are risks related to global economic weakness, rising unemployment, pressures on the retail channel, pricing and other potential factors, we also see many positive opportunities for our operating performance this year, including the potential for continued heightened engagement in our content well beyond the second quarter. We have aimed to be prudent in our guidance to account for these effects, and we believe there is potential for overperformance if these risks do not materialize.
Regarding product development, the majority of our employees are currently working from home, which while adding complexity to some areas of the game development process, has not currently changed our plans for our key content releases this year.
Since we provided our initial guidance in February, the strengthening dollar has resulted in an additional FX headwind to full year net bookings of approximately $100 million . Further, the strengthening dollar and lower interest income from the current interest rate environment represent an additional headwind to full-year GAAP and non-GAAP EPS of approximately $0.08 versus our prior outlook. Nonetheless, with strong momentum across the business we are raising our outlook for net revenues and EPS for the year, more than passing through the Q1 earnings outperformance despite these headwinds.

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Jasteni - Mitglied
Wenn ich nur die Zahlen aus dem Beitrag nehme dann gibt jeder User bei Blizz 14,13 €, Activision 5,09 € und bei King 1,83 € aus.
Und wenn der Großteil bei Blizz von WoW kommt kann ich gut verstehen warum die immer noch auf das Abo Modell setzen =D
Andi Vanion.eu
Blizzard != World of Warcraft ;D

Da gibt es ja ein paar mehr Spiele, wodurch die gesamten MAUs zustandekommen. 
Hogzor - Mitglied
Stimmt, hab das nicht genau genug gelesen. Also die WoW Spielerzahlen steigen, aber die kommen alle von anderen Blizzard Spielen?
ItsKloppi - Mitglied
Es freut mich irgendwie immer total zu hören, wie erfolgreich und wichtig World of Warcraft für Blizzard ist. So weiß man wenigstens (selbst wenn es ihnen hauptsächlich ums Geld geht), das sie mehr Arbeit und Mühen in WoW (oder evtl neue ähnliche Spiele) stecken werden, um das Spiel zu erhalten. Ich liebe WoW!
Andi Vanion.eu
Jupp, das ist auf jeden Fall schön. Und ich freue mich auch weiterhin darüber, dass das ganze Classic-Projekt so erfolgreich ist. 
ItsKloppi - Mitglied
Ja das finde ich auch total gut. Classic macht mir aufjedenfall auch viel spaß!

PS: Eine "Antworten" Funktion auf Antworten wäre eine nette neue Funktion für diese Seite! :) Ich beantworte nähmlich immer meine eigenen Beiträge aber weiß nicht ob die anderen beteiligten das dann mitbekommen?