In its most recent earnings call, the company revealed plans for new games amid disappointing results in almost every major metric.
Activision Blizzard is planning a new Warcraft game for mobile phones and a new Call of Duty title.
The game developer, which is set to be acquired by Microsoft for nearly $70bn in the largest gaming deal ever, made the announcement in its fourth-quarter earnings report published yesterday (3 February).
Activision said that its studio expansion has continued worldwide with plans for “new, unannounced titles in the Call of Duty universe”, one of the world’s most popular game series.
Blizzard, the subsidiary that develops titles in the Warcraft franchise, is planning substantial new content in 2022 including “getting all-new mobile Warcraft content into players’ hands for the first time”.
The news comes on the back of a disappointing holiday quarter with revenue down 10pc on last year’s fourth quarter to $2.16bn. Monthly active users were also down to 371m from 397m a year ago. Almost all other major metrics, including net bookings, were down from the same period last year.
The new Warcraft game will be the first in the series to be released since Warcraft 3: Reforged launched in 2020 to an overwhelmingly negative response from players.
“As we look to the future, with Microsoft’s scale and resources, we will be better equipped to grow existing franchises, launch new potential franchises and unlock the rich library of games we have assembled over 40 years,” said Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision Blizzard.
But the company is still dealing with controversy after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were raised last year. Last month, it was revealed that more than three dozen employees had been fired since last July.
In summer 2021, Activision employees protested the “abhorrent and insulting” response from company leadership to a lawsuit that exposed the serious allegations. The following month, Blizzard Entertainment president J Allen Brack stepped down amid sponsor withdrawals, class-action lawsuits and further resignations.
Nintendo, which will be overtaken by Microsoft as the world’s third-largest game maker after the Activision acquisition, reported a strong December quarter with both revenue and operating profit up nearly 10pc compared to the same period in 2020. The Nintendo Switch surpassed 100m in sales, overtaking the Wii, even as the chip crunch looms.
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