Overwatch is now Activision Blizzard’s eighth $1 billion franchise

It’s easy to forget that Activision and Blizzard (and Candy Crush maker King) are all part of the same company, but they are and they’ve just reported their best ever sales for the three months from January to March.

Thanks to the relatively lukewarm response to Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and the aging Destiny, Activision itself did the worst of the three, with sales of ‘only’ £215 million. That’s down on last year, with an operating margin of just 11% – compared to 38% and 35% for Blizzard and King, respectively.

The signs are that this will be only a temporary blip though, as apparently last week’s reveal of Call Of Duty: WWII was the most watched livestream ever for the series. The reveal trailer itself has also become the fastest video to reach 10 million views in the Call Of Duty series. Most importantly for Activision, pre-orders are described as being, ‘off to a very strong start’.

The online shooter Overwatch now boasts over 30 million players worldwide, making it Blizzard’s fastest growing new franchise.

It also becomes the eighth Activision Blizzard game to earn over $1 billion, with in-game microtransactions up 25% from last year. The other seven games aren’t named, but are likely to include Call Of Duty, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo.

Activision Blizzard as a whole earned record sales in the last three months of $1.73 billion, with an operating margin of 43% and cash flows of $411 million – up 22% on the same time last year.

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