Activision Blizzard Announces Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results

Second Quarter Net Bookings Grew 50% Year-Over-Year

Second Quarter GAAP Operating Income and Segment Operating Income Each Grew Over 70% Year-Over-Year

Blizzard Delivered Its First $1B Net Bookings Quarter and Record Segment Operating Income, Driven by the Successful Launch of Diablo IV

Merger Agreement with Microsoft Extended to October 18, 2023 In Return for Higher Termination Fee, New Commercial Arrangements. Activision Blizzard Board Declares $0.99 Per Share Dividend.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced second quarter 2023 results.

“This quarter, our talented teams delivered strong performance for our players and shareholders. We delivered a 50% year-over-year increase in net bookings, operating income growth over 70%, earnings per share growth over 80%, and a record quarter for Blizzard with over $1 billion in net bookings for the first time,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Most importantly, we continue to set new standards of excellence for workplace culture and provide joy and connection to hundreds of millions of players around the world. While we continue to have concerns about the economy and growing industry competition, we remain focused on the long-term opportunities ahead and completing our merger with Microsoft.”

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Please refer to the tables at the back of this earnings release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2023, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $2.21 billion, as compared with $1.64 billion for the second quarter of 2022. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $2.01 billion. GAAP operating margin was 26%. GAAP earnings per diluted share was $0.74, as compared with $0.36 for the second quarter of 2022. On a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 32% and earnings per diluted share was $0.91, as compared with $0.48 for the second quarter of 2022.

Activision Blizzard generated $590 million in operating cash flow for the quarter as compared with $198 million for the second quarter of 2022.

Please refer to the tables at the back of this earnings release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Operating Metrics

For the quarter ended June 30, 2023, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were $2.46 billion, as compared with $1.64 billion for the second quarter of 2022. In-game net bookingsC were $1.56 billion, as compared with $1.20 billion for the second quarter of 2022.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2023, overall Activision Blizzard Monthly Active Users (MAUs)D were 356 million.

Microsoft Transaction

As announced on January 18, 2022, Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share in an all-cash transaction. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft and by Activision Blizzard’s stockholders.

On July 18, 2023, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft entered into an agreement waiving certain rights to terminate the merger agreement if the merger has not been consummated prior to October 18, 2023. The terms of the agreement include an increase in the termination fee payable to Activision Blizzard from $3.0 billion to $3.5 billion if the transaction is terminated after August 29, 2023, and to $4.5 billion if the transaction is terminated after September 15, 2023. The agreement also includes amendments to Activision Blizzard’s commercial Xbox arrangements with Microsoft, valued at up to $250 million for each of fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The agreement further enables Activision Blizzard to declare and pay one regular cash dividend for fiscal year 2023 of up to $0.99 per share, prior to and not contingent on the closing of the transaction. Please refer to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 19, 2023 for further detail.

Also on July 18, 2023, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.99 per share of the Company’s outstanding common stock, payable on August 17, 2023, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 2, 2023 from cash on hand.

Conference Call and Earnings Presentation

In light of the proposed transaction with Microsoft, and as is customary during the pendency of an acquisition, Activision Blizzard will not be hosting a conference call, issuing an earnings presentation, or providing detailed quantitative financial guidance in conjunction with its second quarter 2023 earnings release. For further detail and discussion of our financial performance, please refer to Activision Blizzard’s upcoming Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023.

Selected Business Highlights

Activision Blizzard continued to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment in the second quarter. Our talented teams delivered compelling content across platforms, geographies and business models, delighting our communities and driving strong financial results. Net bookings grew 50% year-over-year in the second quarter, while GAAP operating income and segment operating income each grew over 70% year-over-year.

Each of our business units grew net bookings year-over-year in the second quarter. Blizzard delivered its first $1 billion net bookings quarter following the record-setting launch of Diablo® IV, Blizzard’s fastest-selling title to date. Player investment in live operations content drove 17% year-over-year net bookings growth for Activision and another quarterly net bookings record at King. Activision Blizzard in-game net bookings grew 30% year-over-year in the second quarter, and represent over 60% of total net bookings over the last 12 months. Net bookings on the mobile platform grew 4% year-over-year, and represent approximately 40% of total net bookings over the last 12 months.

We expect to deliver strong financial performance for the full year, driven by the successful reinvigoration of the Diablo franchise and growth in live operations across the company. We do remain cognizant of risks, including those related to our execution, the consumer spending environment, and the labor market, and we are forecasting our second half content releases prudently. We continue to expect at least high-teens year-over-year growth for GAAP revenue in 2023, and at least high-single digit year-over-year growth in net bookings and total segment operating income for the year. This outlook does not incorporate potential financial benefits included in the Microsoft extension announced today.


  • Activision segment revenue grew 17% year-over-year in the second quarter, while operating income increased over 80% year-over-year, driven by growth across the Call of Duty® franchise.
  • Net bookings on PC and console grew strongly year-over-year, as players continued to engage and invest in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® II universe. Premium Call of Duty sales grew sharply year-over-year. Second quarter in-game net bookings were higher than both the first quarter and the year ago period, with Season 3 being the highest-grossing Modern Warfare II in-game season to date, driven by a strong community response to gameplay enhancements and the new BlackCell battle pass offering. Our teams are looking forward to releasing additional seasons of new content and ongoing community updates in the coming months.
  • Call of Duty Mobile engagement and net bookings were stable year-over-year, with the team continuing to see a positive response to enhancements to the player experience and optimization of live operations. Lifetime worldwide consumer spending on Call of Duty Mobile since its October 2019 launch passed $3 billion in the second quarter.
  • Call of Duty approaches its 20-year anniversary in October with around 90 million monthly players, with over half of all engagement on the mobile platform. Activision’s teams are hard at work on major new installments in the franchise slated for the fourth quarter. Development of this year’s full annual premium release on PC and console is proceeding well. Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile™, an ambitious, internally developed mobile game tightly integrated with the PC and console experience, continues to progress through regional testing.


  • In the second quarter, Blizzard segment revenue grew over 160% year-over-year and operating income more than tripled year-over-year, each setting new quarterly records, driven by the launch of Diablo IV.
  • As of the end of the second quarter, Diablo IV had sold-through more units than any other Blizzard title at an equivalent stage of release. Over 10 million players experienced Diablo IV in June, playing for over 700 million hours, and retention trends for the title are particularly strong.
  • The launch of Diablo IV marks the start of a live service plan designed to deeply engage the Diablo community and create opportunities for continued player investment. July 20 sees the release of Diablo IV’s first quarterly season, Season of the Malignant, bringing new themes, content, and fresh gameplay to the community. Blizzard’s teams are also making strong progress on expansions that will deliver major new features and continue the game’s acclaimed narrative for many years to come.
  • Following the launch of Diablo IV, Blizzard also saw increased engagement in Diablo Immortal, with June monthly net bookings for the mobile and PC title reaching the highest level since January. Elsewhere on mobile, Warcraft: Arclight Rumble, an action strategy game internally developed at Blizzard, continues to progress through testing ahead of its regional soft launch.
  • Blizzard continued to engage the Overwatch® and Warcraft® communities with live operations in the second quarter. While engagement and player investment in Overwatch 2 declined sequentially in the quarter, the Overwatch team is looking forward to the August 10 release of Overwatch 2: Invasion. This will be the largest seasonal update yet, planned to include new PVE Story Missions, a new game mode, and a new hero progression system as well as an additional hero.
  • The World of Warcraft® team is delivering more content faster than ever before following the November release of the Dragonflight™ expansion for the Modern game, and subscriber retention in the West remains higher than at the equivalent stage of recent Modern expansions.


  • King segment revenue grew 9% year-over-year to a new quarterly record, equivalent to 10% year-over-year growth on a constant currency basisE, again driven by strong execution across Candy Crush™ live operations and user acquisition. Segment operating income was slightly lower year-over-year due to increased investment in marketing, which is expected to contribute to operating income growth in future quarters.
  • In-game net bookings increased 10% year-over-year. The spring Candy Crush All Stars tournament, the first to include contestants from multiple continents, drove particularly strong year-over-year growth in installs and player investment in the Candy Crush franchise in April. Candy Crush payer numbers again grew year-over-year in the second quarter, and Candy Crush was the top-grossing game franchise in the U.S. app stores1 for the 24th quarter in a row.
  • In the second quarter King saw further benefits from the acquisition of Peltarion, an AI technology company acquired in June 2022. Peltarion’s machine learning technology is helping King to accelerate the production and testing of Candy Crush live operations and to offer more relevant game content to players. King is now working on additional use cases involving generative AI to assist its developers in accelerating their workflow.
  • King’s advertising business grew year-over-year in the second quarter, with growth across direct brand advertisers and partner networks. Direct sales benefited from the rollout of innovative new ad formats and success in targeting new verticals, while indirect growth was driven by enhancements to our platform and the ramp of new partners.

Building the Model Workplace

Activision Blizzard remains focused on setting a new standard for workplace excellence and transparency. In May, the company released its first annual Transparency Report, explaining how we are delivering on our commitments to employees, shareholders, players, and other stakeholders, and highlighting the work that has helped us to build what we believe is among the most welcoming and inclusive workplaces in our industry. The report contains detailed reviews of the policies, processes, and programs Activision Blizzard employs to achieve its workplace ambitions, as well as comprehensive data and details of workplace conduct. We believe we are among a handful of Fortune 500 companies sharing this level of workplace detail, and in doing so, we hope to encourage other organizations to follow suit. Please refer to our DEFA14A filed on May 31, 2023 for further detail.

Overwatch League™

As previously disclosed, our collaborative arrangements for our professional esports leagues continue to face headwinds. During the second quarter, we amended certain terms of our collaborative arrangements with team entities participating in the Overwatch League. According to the amended terms, following the conclusion of the current Overwatch League season, the teams will vote on an updated operating agreement. If the teams do not vote to continue under an updated operating agreement, a termination fee of $6 million will be payable to each participating team entity (total fee of approximately $114 million). As of June 30, 2023, a termination liability has not been accrued. Total revenues from the Overwatch League comprise less than 1% of our consolidated net revenues.

Balance Sheet

Cash and short-term investments at the end of the second quarter stood at $13.2 billion, and Activision Blizzard ended the quarter with a net cashF position of approximately $9.5 billion.

Activision Blizzard Disclosure Channels to Disseminate Information

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (“Activision Blizzard”) discloses information to the public concerning Activision Blizzard, Activision Blizzard’s products, content and services, and other items through a variety of disclosure channels in order to achieve broad, non-exclusionary distribution of information to the public. Some of the information distributed through these disclosure channels may be considered material information. Investors and others are encouraged to review the information we make public in the locations below.2 This list may be updated from time to time.

  • For information concerning Activision Blizzard and its products, content and services, please visit:
  • For information provided to the investment community, including news releases, events and presentations, and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, please visit:
  • For the latest information from Activision Blizzard, including press releases and the Activision Blizzard blog, please visit:
  • For additional information, please follow Activision Blizzard’s and Lulu Cheng Meservey’s (Activision Blizzard’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer) Twitter accounts: and Except with respect to communications regarding Activision Blizzard, Ms. Meservey’s social media communications from are personal communications of Ms. Meservey and are not communications on behalf of Activision Blizzard.

About Activision Blizzard

Our mission, to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, has never been more important. Through communities rooted in our video games we enable hundreds of millions of people to experience joy, thrill and achievement. We enable social connections through the lens of fun, and we foster purpose and a sense of accomplishment through healthy competition. Like sport, but with greater accessibility, our players can find purpose and meaning through competitive gaming. Video games, unlike any other social or entertainment media, have the ability to break down the barriers that can inhibit tolerance and understanding. Celebrating differences is at the core of our culture and ensures we can create games for players of diverse backgrounds in the 190 countries our games are played.

As a member of the Fortune 500 and as a component company of the S&P 500, we have an extraordinary track record of delivering superior shareholder returns for over 30 years. Our sustained success has enabled the company to support corporate social responsibility initiatives that are directly tied to our games. As an example, our Call of Duty Endowment has helped find employment for over 100,000 veterans.

Learn more information about Activision Blizzard and how we connect and engage the world through epic entertainment on the company’s website, www.activisionblizzard.com2.

1 Based on Intelligence

2 These corporate websites and social media channels, and the contents thereof, are not incorporated by reference into this press release nor deemed filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Net effect of accounting treatment from revenue deferrals on certain of our online-enabled products. Since certain of our games are hosted online or include significant online functionality that represents a separate performance obligation, we defer the transaction price allocable to the online functionality from the sale of these games and then recognize the attributable revenues over the relevant estimated service periods, which are generally less than a year. The related cost of revenues is deferred and recognized as an expense as the related revenues are recognized. Impact from changes in deferrals refers to the net effect from revenue deferrals accounting treatment for the purposes of revenues, along with, for the purposes of EPS, the related cost of revenues deferrals treatment and the related tax impacts. Internally, management excludes the impact of this change in deferred revenues and related cost of revenues when evaluating the company’s operating performance, when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods, and when assessing the performance of its management team. Management believes this is appropriate because doing so enables an analysis of performance based on the timing of actual transactions with our customers. In addition, management believes excluding the change in deferred revenues and the related cost of revenues provides a much more timely indication of trends in our operating results.

B Net bookings is an operating metric that is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period, and includes license fees, merchandise, and publisher incentives, among others, and is equal to net revenues excluding the impact from deferrals.

C In-game net bookings primarily includes the net amount of microtransactions and downloadable content sold during the period, and is equal to in-game net revenues excluding the impact from deferrals.

D Monthly Active User (“MAU”) Definition: We monitor MAUs as a key measure of the overall size of our user base. MAUs are the number of individuals who accessed a particular game in a given month. We calculate average MAUs in a period by adding the total number of MAUs in each of the months in a given period and dividing that total by the number of months in the period. An individual who accesses two of our games would be counted as two users. In addition, due to technical limitations, for Activision and King, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would be counted as two users. For Blizzard, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally be counted as a single user. In certain instances, we rely on third parties to publish our games. In these instances, MAU data is based on information provided to us by those third parties, or, if final data is not available, reasonable estimates of MAUs for these third-party published games.

E Year-over-year growth on a constant currency basis is calculated by translating current quarter local currency amounts to U.S. dollars based on prior period exchange rates. These amounts are compared to the prior period to derive constant-currency year-over-year performance. We present constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of currency rate fluctuations.

  • Total net bookings increased by 50% year-over-year for the second quarter of 2023. On a constant currency basis, total net bookings increased 51% year-over-year for the second quarter of 2023 as currency rate changes negatively impacted year-over-year growth in the quarter by 1 percentage point.
  • Activision segment net revenues grew by 17% year-over-year, Blizzard segment net revenues grew by 164%, and King segment net revenues grew by 9% for the second quarter of 2023. On a constant currency year-over-year basis, Activision segment net revenue grew 19%, Blizzard segment net revenue grew 172%, and King segment net revenue grew 10% for the second quarter of 2023, as currency rate changes negatively impacted Activision segment net revenue year-over-growth by 2 percentage points, Blizzard segment net revenue year-over-growth by 8 percentage points, and King segment net revenue year-over-year growth by 1 percentage point.

F Net cash is defined as cash and cash equivalents ($10.8B as of June 30, 2023) and short-term investments ($2.4B as of June 30, 2023) minus gross debt ($3.7B as of June 30, 2023).

Non-GAAP Financial Measures: As a supplement to our financial measures presented in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), Activision Blizzard presents certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation from, as a substitute for, or as more important than, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. In addition, these non-GAAP measures have limitations in that they do not reflect all of the items associated with the company’s results of operations as determined in accordance with GAAP.

Activision Blizzard provides net income (loss), earnings (loss) per share, and operating margin data and guidance both including (in accordance with GAAP) and excluding (non-GAAP) certain items. When relevant, the company also provides constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of currency rate fluctuations. In addition, Activision Blizzard provides EBITDA (defined as GAAP net income (loss) before interest (income) expense, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and adjusted EBITDA (defined as non-GAAP operating margin (see non-GAAP financial measure below) before depreciation). The non-GAAP financial measures exclude the following items, as applicable in any given reporting period and our outlook:

  • expenses related to share-based compensa


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