Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) is a global entertainment holding company that develops and publishes interactive video content and services. It's best known for franchises including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, StarCraft and Bubble Witch. Founded in 2008 from the merger of Activision Inc. and Vivendi Games, the company develops and distributes its video games and services on game consoles, personal computers (PCs), and mobile devices. Activision Blizzard also operates eSports leagues and sells digital advertising.

The company faces competition from other interactive entertainment companies, as well as competitors that provide other forms of entertainment, including film, television, social networking, music, and other types of consumer entertainment. Activision Blizzard's biggest competitors within the gaming industry include Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Sony Corp. (SNE), and Nintendo Co. Ltd. (7974).

Key Takeaways

  • Activision Blizzard develops and publishes interactive entertainment for use on video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. It also operates eSports leagues.
  • The Activision segment, which develops and sells video games, is the company's biggest revenue and profit generator.
  • The company is focusing on sharply expanding revenue from its eSports offerings and advertising.
  • Activision Blizzard recently appointed Major League Baseball executive Tony Petitti to the role of President of Sports and Entertainment.

Activision Blizzard’s Financials

Activision Blizzard's revenue and net income have risen sharply as social-distancing measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to increasing user engagement in Q2 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. The company posted net income of $580 million on $1.9 billion of revenue in the second quarter. Net income rose 76.8% as revenue grew 38.4% compared to the same three-month period a year ago.

Activision Blizzard generates revenue from three main distribution vehicles: content distributed via digital online channels accounted for 82% of total revenue; retail channels accounted for 9%; and Other sources accounted for the remaining 9%.

As for separate gaming platforms: content designed for video game consoles accounted for 34% of total revenue; PC-related content accounted for 25%; mobile and ancillary accounted for 32%, which includes non-platform-specific game-related revenues such as standalone sales of toys and accessories; and Other sources comprised 9%.

Activision Blizzard noted that increased user engagement was driven by people forced to shelter at home amid the pandemic. The company's monthly active users (MAUs) rose 30.9% in Q2 2020 compared to the year-ago quarter, bringing total MAUs to 428 million. Company CEO Bobby Kotick said, "Our record engagement resulted in greater revenue and earnings per share than previously forecast."

Activision Blizzard’s Business Segments

The company conducts its business through the following three segments and breaks out the revenue and operating income for each: Activision Publishing Inc. ("Activision"); Blizzard Entertainment Inc. ("Blizzard"); and King Digital Entertainment ("King").

Activision 

Activision develops and publishes interactive software products and entertainment content. The segment creates content mainly for video game consoles but its key product franchise, Call of Duty, is also available on PC and mobile platforms. The segment delivers content and generates revenue both through retail stores and online digital channels. Activision also includes revenue from activities related to its Call of Duty League, a global professional eSports league. The segment posted year-over-year (YOY) revenue growth of 270.5% in Q2 2020. Revenue for the segment was $993 million, or more than 49% of the company's total revenue. Operating income rose 916.4% to $559 million, comprising about 57% of the operating income for all segments.

Blizzard

Blizzard develops and publishes interactive software products and entertainment content, particularly for the PC. Its key product franchises include World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Like Activision, it delivers content and generates revenue through both retail and digital channels. Blizzard also includes activities related to the Overwatch League, a global professional eSports league. Revenue rose 20.1% YOY in Q2 2020 to $461 million, comprising nearly 23% of Activision Blizzard's total revenue. Operating income rose 170.7% to $203 million, accounting for about 21% of operating income for all segments.

King

King develops and publishes interactive entertainment content and services, particularly for the mobile platform, but some are distributed via PCs. Its key product franchise is Candy Crush, available for both mobile and PC users. The segment's games are free, but players can make in-game purchases using either virtual or real currency. One of King's growing sources of revenue is in-game advertising. Revenue rose 10.8% YOY in Q2 2020 to $553 million, comprising about 28% of the Activision Blizzard's total revenue. Operating income rose 24.0% to $212 million, accounting for nearly 22% of the operating income for all segments.

A note to readers that Activision Blizzard also generates some revenue and operating income from its distribution business, which is not represented as a reportable segment and falls under the company's "Other" category. The segment breakdowns above and pie charts exclude data from this "Other" category.

Activision Blizzard’s Recent Developments

As part of its efforts to continue expanding its eSports offerings, Activision Blizzard announced in the first half of August the appointment of Major League Baseball (MLB) executive Tony Petitti to the role of President of Sports and Entertainment. Mr. Petitti most recently served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of MLB and has 30 years of experience in sports and entertainment.

How Activision Blizzard Reports Diversity & Inclusiveness

As part of our effort to improve the awareness of the importance of diversity in companies, we offer investors a glimpse into the transparency of Activision Blizzard and its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and social responsibility. We examined the data Activision Blizzard releases to show you how it reports the diversity of its board and workforce to help readers make educated purchasing and investing decisions.

Below is a table of potential diversity measurements. It shows whether Activision Blizzard discloses its data about the diversity of its board of directors, C-Suite, general management, and employees overall, as is marked with a ✔. It also shows whether Activision Blizzard breaks down those reports to reveal the diversity of itself by race, gender, ability, veteran status, and LGBTQ+ identity.

Activision Blizzard Diversity & Inclusiveness Reporting
  Race Gender Ability Veteran Status Sexual Orientation
Board of Directors          
C-Suite
 
       
General Management          
Employees