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'World Of Warcraft' Record Sales Could Make Activision's Stock Attractive Ahead Of Earnings

'World Of Warcraft' Record Sales Could Make Activision's Stock Attractive Ahead Of Earnings

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) reported some stunning numbers for its 16-year-old PC franchise.

What Happened: The “World of Warcraft” PC game celebrated its 16th anniversary in November. The anniversary coincided with the release of the eight expansion of the franchise.

“World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” was reported as the fastest selling PC game of all time by Activision Blizzard.

The PC game sold 3.7 million copies in its first 24 hours globally. This broke a record previously held by Activision Blizzard with its “Diablo III” game, which was released in 2012 and sold 3.5 million copies in its first 24 hours.

Related Link: Pete Najarian Gives His Bullish Thoughts On Activision

Why It’s Important: The expansion pack release has led to a resurgence in people playing “World of Warcraft.”

“In the months leading up to the expansion’s release and the time since launch, the game reached and has sustained its highest number of players on monthly or longer-term subscriptions compared to the same period ahead of and following any WoW expansion in the bast decade,” the company said.

Player time in game year-to-date has nearly doubled compared to the same period last year, according to the company.

First day sales of “Shadowlands” were up 8.8% to the last expansion pack released in 2018 according to Barrons. “World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth” sold 3.4 million copies in its first day.

The 2016 release of “World of Warcraft: Legion” sold 3.3 million copies in its first day back in 2016.

All of those expansions were considered to be among the fastest-selling PC games ever by Activision Blizzard in press releases. This is the first time Activision Blizzard has used the wording of the fastest-selling PC game of all time.

The expansion pack was sold for a suggested retail price of $39.99 for the base package. Expanded editions were sold for $59.99 and $79.99 each.

Benzinga’s Take: The success of “Shadowlands” could be what shares of Activision Blizzard need to rally into Christmas and ahead of fourth-quarter earnings.

The company did not initially release sales figures for its latest “Call of Duty” game as it has in years past. When the company did share an update, it was to say that the entire “Call of Duty” franchise had bookings of $3 billion in the last 12 months.

That announcement didn’t speak to the success of the latest release and could be a worrisome sign.

The success of “World of Warcraft” could be a huge positive for the company and could boost the franchise for some time. Monthly subscriptions paid to play WoW online could bring strong recurring revenue for the company.

Activision will report its fourth-quarter earnings in February.

ATVI Price Action: Shares of Activision Blizzard were down 2% to $82.24 on Wednesday. Shares are up 41% year-to-date.


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