Activision Blizzard Rebounds Slightly in Q4 2021 But Keeps Bobby Kotick From Answering Questions About It
Usual Q&A session with executives is omitted, due to "pending transaction with Microsoft"
The "Warcraft going mobile" news wasn't the only thing presented in Activision Blizzard's Q4 2021 financial report -- but there also wasn't as much as we're used to getting. Most notably, the company skipped the usual call with investors, which typically includes a Q&A session (here's Q3's) with CEO Bobby Kotick and other executives, nor will it be issuing an earnings presentation or providing financial guidance. Supposedly, their omission is due to "the pending transaction with Microsoft," which is "customary during the pendency of an acquisition."
Instead, all we have is this press release to go by, which contains all the usual flowery language about how great everything is going. Overall revenue was up a tick from the previous quarter, the first one to reflect the impact of the harassment lawsuit against the company. For reference, the last five quarters have produced $2.163 (Q4 2021), $2.070, $2.296, $2.276, and $2.413 (Q4 2020) billion in revenue, so things aren't quite back up to where they were pre-lawsuit, but they're still a little better than they had been throughout most of 2020 and prior.
Call of Duty net bookings declined year-over-year, due to "lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard versus the year ago title and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone." Development on the next installment is underway at Infinity Ward, with new, unannounced titles in the CoD universe also underway.
On the Blizzard front, you already know about Blizzard's plans for mobile in Warcraft, but there's also "substantial new content" planned for WoW and Hearthstone in 2022. There's "ongoing development" in the Diablo and Overwatch franchises, and that "exciting new IP" on the horizon, but there was nothing else of note about the company -- or its many legal issues -- in the presentation.
We'll see if Activision Blizzard issues a more comprehensive set of statements, and reinstititutes the Q&A in the next quarter, or if those will also the pending sale to Microsoft will continue to shield Bobby Kotick from having to face criticism for the next year or so. I wouldn't bet against it.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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