Call of Duty and Overwatch publisher Activision Blizzard has lost millions of players compared to this time last year but, despite that decrease, has grown its pool of developers by 25%.
During its latest earnings results, Activision Blizzard revealed that its monthly active users – categorised as anyone who accesses one of its games in that timeframe – fell from 372 million at the end of March 2022 to 361 million at the end of June.
This drop continues the publisher’s downward trend as the number of monthly active users on June 30 last year was 408 million, and it has fallen relatively steadily ever since. There are some extenuating circumstances at work – Activision Blizzard has had a notably quiet release schedule recently, party down to game delays, and a natural reduction in players after COVID lockdowns..
The lowering number of players hasn’t deterred Activision Blizzard from investing in its development teams, however, as the report also states that this has grown considerably since June last year.
“During the second quarter, our teams made strong progress on a broad pipeline of content across established franchises,” it said. “We continue to increase investment in our creative resources to meet the demand for our content – our development headcount at the end of the second quarter grew by 25% year-over-year.”
With the ongoing Call of Duty franchise (albeit with a reported year’s break), Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, and more in the works, Activision is clearly looking to bounce back from this quieter period by assigning more developers to its projects and ensuring new games arrive soon.
Call of Duty: Vanguard, part of Activision Blizzard’s headlining franchise, underperformed last year, with the company telling investors in May that “the game’s World War II setting didn’t resonate with some of our community”.
It’s also faced severe criticism and been presented with several lawsuits in the past year for the “frat boy culture” that allegedly exists within the walls of Activision Blizzard. The state of California launched the first lawsuit that prompted several more.
For a full timeline of the events that have transpired since, including Xbox’s intent to acquire Activision Blizzard, check out Reso’s story here.
Ryan Dinsdale is an Reso freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.