from Karsten Scholz
The people in charge at Activision Blizzard recently published the financial report for the third quarter of 2020 and once again came to a very positive conclusion with regard to World of Warcraft and Co.: the bank exceeded expectations. WoW is said to continue to have the largest active number of players for a decade if it is only about the final "idle phases" of an expansion. Hearthstone is also strong.

Looking to the announced in October Blizzard offices in Versailles are closed one might think that WoW, Hearthstone and Co. generate ever decreasing sales and that Activision Blizzard had to react. The freshly published Financial report for the 3rd quarter of 2020 paints a different picture, however: the publisher's portfolio once again exceeded expectations. In the following we have summarized the most important findings from the Activision report with a view to the Blizzard franchises.

  • In addition to Call of Duty and Candy Crush, World of Warcraft will surpass the $ 1 billion mark in net bookings this year. From the point of view of those responsible, the online role-playing game has clear potential to continue to grow.
  • With hard work on multiple titles across the Diablo universe and upcoming innovations for the Overwatch franchise, the future looks bright for long-term revenue and sales growth.
  • The number of monthly active players in WoW remains stable compared to the previous year. So there are romping about on the live servers – as in the second quarter of 2020 – most players for ten years when it comes to the "idle phases" of an expansion.
  • With the launch of Shadowlands on November 24th, a strong increase in the number of players is expected. The number of pre-orders exceeds all previous expansions.
  • Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2019, the number of active players in Hearthstone increased. The battlefields in particular remain an important feature to keep players logging in again and again. The new content in November will provide more reasons to play Hearthstone over the next few weeks and months.
  • After four years, Overwatch can still delight about 10 million active players in the quarter. The Overwatch League also attracted millions of players this year. The Grand Finals in October were the most watched event in league history.
  • Diablo Immortal will soon move into an external regional testing phase.
  • Overall, Blizzard posted net sales of $ 411 million in the third quarter. That is four percent more than in the third quarter of 2019, which is mainly thanks to the strong months of WoW. The operating result is even 80 percent higher than in the previous year.

You can find more details about Call of Duty and the other Activision franchises here in the quarterly report.

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