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Market Insight

Western Games Publishers roll in record usage results in Q216

August 10, 2016  | Subscribers Only

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Games publishers continued the process of changing metrics in assessing the health of their businesses. This was partially driven by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US tightening reporting requirements to eliminate some of the deferred revenue reporting under the “Non-GAAP” heading. However, the significant change for broader market watchers is the move toward reporting engagement instead of unit sales. Western publishers reported some record results along those metrics.

On August 4 Activision Blizzard reported revenue of $1.57 billion in the second calendar quarter compared to $1.04 billion in the same period a year ago. The year over year comparison shows just how much of an impact the King acquisition has had on the company’s revenue. IHS Markit estimates that without the impact of the King contribution, ATVI revenue would have come in closer to $1.17 billion.

The company reported Overwatch had over 15 million players by the time of the earnings report, and, and had broken Diablo III’s record as the fastest selling PC game in China. The game is also in the number one spot in Korean Internet Game Rooms garnering 30% of play time.

The company said that Blizzard had its biggest quarter in MAUs with 33 million including double digit growth in MAUs for World of Warcraft. Activision set a record for second quarter MAUs with 49 million and King saw its MAUs decline to 409, which was expected.

On August 4 Take Two Interactive reported GAAP revenue of $311.6 million in the second quarter compared to $275.3 million in the same period a year ago. The biggest contributors during the quarter were Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto Online, NBA 2K16 and Battleborn.

On August 2 Electronic Arts reported GAAP revenue of $1.27 billion compared to $1.2 billion in the year ago period. The company revealed a few user stats on some of its flagship titles. Battlefield had more than 11.5 million unique players, while Star Wars Battlefield had 6.6 million. Madden NFL 16 unique players grew 20% over last year and Madden NFL mobile had 20% more monthly active players than in Q215. Although it did not release any numbers, EA said that EA Access had doubled its subscriber base over the same period a year ago.

Only July 19 Ubisoft announced IFRS revenue of €139 ($154) million in the quarter compared to €96 ($107) million in Q215. The company reported total MAUs for the company’s titles were up 53% year over year. Back catalog drove most of the revenue in the quarter with 36.3% growth to €126.8 million with 2 mobile titles, one handheld and DLC for The Division rounding out the remainder of revenue.

For further competitive analysis please refer to the upcoming Games Market Monitor: Publisher Results and Competitor Comparison, Q2 2016

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