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Activision lags as Blizzard and King pick up the slack in Q3

Activision Blizzard released its Q3 financials, showing a heavily fragmented company utilizing its patchwork nature to boost its fortunes as it prepares for the imminent release of its annual flagship title. It also shows broadly how the company is run in general.

In a revealing summary of its Q3 fortunes, the language used throughout the financial report refers to each of the arms of Activision Blizzard – Activision, Blizzard, and King – as “segments”, making tracking where the money comes from much easier than it normally would. In short, Activision Blizzard’s net revenue grew from $1.95 billion in Q3 2020 to $2.07 billion in this year’s Q3. But where the money comes from is the interesting part.

For Activision’s part, the financials reveal a company in a holding pattern waiting for its next big release. While this segment of the company experienced growth in year-to-date revenue, the quarter itself lags when compared to last year’s Q3 thanks to the fact that it had the added boost of the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, the recent launch of Warzone, and the population being in lockdown. For this year at least, the numbers show a division that’s all in on one franchise, Call of Duty, and as such, reveals a holding pattern while the next entry in the series, Vanguard, is released. It seems Activision is betting on next quarter being strong with the timing of the game’s release.

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