Activision Blizzard annual sales forecast disappoints

August 3, 2021

(Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc’s full-year forecast for adjusted sales came in below analysts’ estimates on Tuesday, as the easing of curbs weaken the pandemic-driven frenzy for its popular franchises “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush”.

Video game publishers saw a jump in consumer spending, as the COVID-19 pandemic made social distancing a norm last year, preventing casual gatherings with friends and family.

However, with the easing of restrictions, gamers are cutting their console time for outdoor activities, causing a dip in video games sales. Last week, Microsoft also said its fourth-quarter revenue for Xbox content and services fell.

Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular video games including “World of Warcraft”, is in the middle of a lawsuit by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing over equal pay violations, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment.

“We remain intensely focused on the well-being of our employees and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that our company has a welcoming, supportive and safe environment where all of our team members can thrive,” Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the company said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment, would leave the firm after nearly three years in the role. Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra have been appointed co-leaders of Blizzard.

The company raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast to $8.65 billion from $8.60 billion, while analysts were expecting $8.77 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Santa Monica, California-based Activision Blizzard reported adjusted revenue of $1.92 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, slightly above expectations of $1.90 billion.

Shares of the company rose 1.5% in extended trading.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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