Activision Posts Lower Sales, Profits As ‘Call of Duty’ Slumps

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Activision Posts Lower Sales, Profits As ‘Call of Duty’ Slumps
A Look at Activision Blizzard's Workplace Harassment Lawsuit

Activision Blizzard posted declining revenues and profits in its first-quarter earnings report Monday, as the video game publisher coped with its flagship “Call of Duty” franchise underperforming as well as pandemic-induced delays to its release of other popular titles.


The Santa Monica-based company reported a roughly 22% drop in total sales, to $1.77 billion, compared to first quarter of 2021—citing lower-than-expected sales for “Call of Duty: Vanguard,” its latest entrant in the popular “Call of Duty” first-person shooter series. Activision’s profits saw an even bigger decline, falling 36% from the year-earlier period to $395 million.

While “Call of Duty” is usually one of Activision’s highest-performing franchises, the latest “Call of Duty: Vanguard” installment, released last fall, has failed to retain fans’ favor. Activision said the franchise generated lower net bookings on both console and PC last quarter, contributing to a nearly 29% year-on-year decline in the company’s total net bookings, to $1.48 billion.

The disappointing earnings come as Activision seeks to get its $69 billion merger with Microsoft, announced in January, over the line. (The transaction, which is still subject to clearance by antitrust regulators, has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close by mid-2023, Activision said.) It also faces challenges including an ongoing union dispute, investigations from state and federal authorities into an allegedly toxic workplace culture, sexual harassment lawsuits from current and former employees and, most recently, insider trading probes involving controversial CEO Bobby Kotick.

Activision also continues to deal with the fallout from the pandemic, which may have boosted the gaming sector at large but has also pushed back release windows for key franchises like “World of Warcraft,” “Diablo” and “Overwatch,” contributing to the drop in sales. Usually, if a “Call of Duty” game underperforms, Activision has other new titles to lean on—but it still has no release date for two of its most-anticipated releases, “Diablo 4” and “Overwatch 2.”

The company cited the Warcraft franchise’s “product cycle timing,” in particular, as contributing to the drag on its Blizzard division’s earnings, but said the current second quarter “represents the start of a period of planned substantial releases across Blizzard’s portfolio.”

Those include “Diablo Immortal,” a free-to-play title geared mostly toward mobile devices that will be released on June 2. Activision’s mobile gaming business was a rare bright spot in its first-quarter report—with mobile platform revenues up 10% year-on-year, to $807 million, and comprising a growing 46% share of its total sales. The company’s “Candy Crush” title remained the top-grossing mobile game franchise in U.S. app stores for the 19th consecutive quarter, it said.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

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samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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