Large new expansion for Destiny in 2016, full game sequel in 2017 – ActiBlizz Q4

Thursday, 11 February 2016 21:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Activision noted in its 2015 full year fiscal report a “large new” expansion would be released for Destiny this year, and Infinity Ward is currently working on Call of Duty 2016, out in Q4.

Full Year highlights

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New Destiny expansion in 2016, full sequel in 2017.

Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 2016 out in Q4.

Call of Duty franchise has sold over 250M units life-to-date worldwide.

CoD has netted $15B in total sales, including in-game content since 2003.

Skylanders and Guitar Hero Live sales below expectations.

14M hours spent playing Acti-Blizz games; 1.5B hours spent watching them.

Digital revenue: Q4 up 32% to $2.5B; FY up 65% to $724 million.

Net revenue: FY up 6% to $4.66B; Q4 down 14% to $1.35B.

Activision-Blizzard Q3 2015

Full Year and Q4 2014

Game Franchises

According to Activision, Destiny achieved record digital attach rates with The Taken King, and its 25 million registered users have now logged three billion hours playing the game.

A large expansion is planned for release this year with incremental content throughout the year to keep users engaged.

Destiny 2 will be released during calendar year 2017.

The Call of Duty franchise revenues grew double digits year-over-year both for the full year and in Q4, ending the quarter with the highest monthly active users in franchise history thanks to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

It was the number one console game globally for the calendar year 2015 and the number one franchise in North American for the seventh year in a row. Black Ops 3 also has the highest season pass attach rate for downloadable content in franchise history.

The entire CoD franchise has now surpassed 250 million units sold life-to-date worldwide with over $15 billion in total sales, including in-game content, since it first launched in 2003.

The company had four of the top 10 games on current-gen consoles life-to-date; Black Ops 3 was number one.

Infinity Ward’s next Call of Duty title will be released during Q4 2016, so expect it to arrive the first or second week of November – if previous release history is any indication.

The Skylanders: SuperChargers and Guitar Hero Live releases performed weaker than expected for the year. Activision attributed this to greater competition in the toys-to-life genre and the casual audience’s shift to mobile devices.

A new Guitar Hero title will not be released this year but more content will be released for GHL throughout 2016.

A new Skylanders game will launch in 2016 along with Skylanders Academy, a new TV series celebrating the beloved kids franchise.

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Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment boss Mike Morhaime said during the call to investors that monthly active users across all Blizzard games were at a record high in 2015, and up 25% year-over-year for Q4. This led to Blizzard’s 2015 revenues to best 2014’s results.

As revealed back in November during BlizzCon 2015, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has surpassed 40 million-registered-players. The League of Explorers expansion for the game sold over 20% more units its first six weeks of launch than the prior adventure during the same time frame.

Morhaime also reiterated the StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void numbers announced in November: it sold one million copies in the first 24 hours of launch. It was also reiterated the first Nova Covert Ops expansion pack for StarCraft 2 will release this spring.

The 2015 Make a Wish World of Warcraft pet, Brightpaw the Mana Kitty, brought in $7 million for the charity.

Diablo 3 “has a strong active community” four years post launch and performed well in 2015. Sales records were broke thanks to the game’s launch in China.

Overwatch had over 8 million people sign up for the closed beta, and more on the game and its spring launch will be announced soon.

More information on the Legion expansion for World of Warcraft slated for a summer release will be announced soon as well.

Financials

Activision noted record digital revenues for Q4 were up 32% year-over-year (yoy) and represented 54% of company revenues for the first time. Revenue for the sector came in at $2.5 billion for the quarter, and full year $724 million – an increase of 65% yoy.

For calendar year 2015, net revenues increased 6% yoy to $4.66 billion. Q4 net revenues declined 14% to $1.35 billion, compared with $1.58 billion yoy.

“With our expected closing of the acquisition of King Digital later this month, we will have the largest game network in the world, with over 500 million users playing our games every month.A Our entertainment franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and soon Candy Crush, will reach people on mobile, console and desktop devices in almost every country in the world,” said CEO Bobby Kotick in a prepared statement.

“Our esports initiatives, enhanced by our recent acquisition of Major League Gaming, allow us to reward our players around the world for their dedication and investment in our games.

“We expect to generate approximately $6.25 billion in revenues and over $2.0 billion of operating income in 2016 and we will have over 9,000 of the most talented people making, marketing and selling great games around the world.”

Monthly active users (MAU) for company titles were up 25% yoy, and with the King Digital Entertainment acquisition, the company expects MAU will be up by half a billion for the 2016 financial year.

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