Blizzard hitting less than 100M MAUs, sets up good press for fall releases

There was some troubling news for Activision Blizzard this week after it was confirmed that the number of monthly active users had decreased to less than 100 million. Microsoft had also revealed that the game developer has no must-have titles recently.

“There is nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision Blizzard that is a ‘must have’ for rival PC and console video game distributors that give rise to a foreclosure concern.”

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© Jae C. Hong | Associated Press

Activision Blizzard will have to change this image soon or be left in the dust by other game developers. It’s banking on Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 to do that this year. Blizzard’s reputation has also taken a hit, but manages to keep their loyal fanbase. However, player numbers are continuing to deteriorate.

Here was a recent statement from the developers in a press conference, following the news regarding the number of monthly active users in:

“The fourth quarter will usher in a new era for the Call of Duty franchise. Anticipation is high for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, planned for release on console and PC on October 28. The sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare, the most successful Call of Duty title to date, will lead the most ambitious rollout yet across the franchise. An all-new Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 experience, tightly integrated with the premium game, will launch as an extension of the Modern Warfare universe later this year.”

The exact figures were also presented during the press release with only 94 million monthly active users in June. Just as concerning were the quarterly figures, which had dropped to 361m from last year’s 408m for this quarter. There hasn’t been such a drop since 2019 but this should definitely go up before the end of the year because of the releases of the two titles mentioned earlier.

The issue here is that this can’t be a temporary upswing and the statement from Microsoft suggests that there are larger issues at hand. There also seems to be trend here with last season’s figures for this quarter also seeing a drop from the year before that. The increase in 2020 was perhaps due to the pandemic forcing everyone indoors.

Setting up for fall releases

Most game developers do see periods of such dips, with Microsoft themselves having gone through it in the past. There are still some exciting projects coming up from Activision Blizzard that should see more monthly active users. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is set for a Beta in September, and an October release. Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft: Dragonlight are also pretty massive games, both with large fanbases and releasing this fall.

All three games will likely bring a large enough user base to boost Activision Blizzard above the 100M mark, just in time for a per-acquistion investor call. The acquisition from Microsoft is yet to take place, and judging by recent comments, they have big plans for the developer and want to tap into some new ideas.

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