Activision Blizzard reported third-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, but the company touted the performances of its Destiny 2 launch and its King mobile games division.

Activision Blizzard reported adjusted earnings per share of 47 cents, down from 49 cents a share a year earlier. Revenues were $1.61 billion, up from $1.57 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected third-quarter adjusted earnings of 49 cents a share. Adjusted revenue was expected to be $1.74 billion.

Tomorrow, Activision launches Call of Duty: WWII, the next big installment in the first-person shooter series that generated more than $15 billion to date.

Activision Blizzard reported 384 million monthly active users, down 6 percent from the previous quarter and down 20 percent year-over-year.

Above: Destiny 2 belongs on the PC.

Image Credit: Bungie

Activision released its Bungie-made sci-fi shooter Destiny 2 in September, and it became the month’s top game in the U.S., according to market researcher NPD. With the launch of an additional PC version, Destiny 2 sales are now ahead of the original game in consumer spending. Destiny 2 is also ahead of the original game on time spent per player and the attach rate for the expansion pass. More than 50 percent of the Destiny 2 purchasers are buying on digital platforms.

“We’ve got good momentum there,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in a conference call with analysts.

During the quarter, Activision Blizzard also saw revenues from Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and StarCraft: Remastered.

Hearthstone saw double-digit increases in its audience from a year ago, and it benefited from an expansion. Monthly active users grew for both Hearthstone and Overwatch, and the Overwatch community has now reached 35 million registered players. The Overwatch League is gaining momentum as 12 teams signed up for an estimated $20 million each for franchise rights to field esports teams in various regions. Overall Blizzard performance of $531 million was down from the third quarter last year, when Overwatch was fresh and World of Warcraft released a big expansion.

As for mobile, King’s paying players grew for the first time since the first quarter of 2016. Candy Crush Saga, its flagship game, continues to be strong. Sensor Tower estimates that Activision Blizzard’s King division made $268 million in revenue from Candy Crush Saga alone during the quarter, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower. Candy Crush’s gross bookings were the highest level since 2013, and King also had record quarter mobile gross bookings in the quarter. King reclaimed the No. 1 app store position in the U.S. for Candy Crush Saga. King had 293 million monthly active users for the quarter.

King is testing a social casino game now. In 2018, King expects to ramp more advertising in its various games.

Activision is raising its full-year outlook for revenues for the year. The stock dipped at first in after-hours trading, and now it is up almost 1 percent at $65.99 a share.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®'s Game Dev program.
Shared from VentureBeat