Activision confirms new Call of Duty for 2020 as Warzone spurs growth

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Activision-Blizzard announced that Call of Duty: Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale extension of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare the company launched on March 10, has reached 75 million players. By drawing in both new and returning players, the new mode has caused an eight-fold year-over-year increase in the number of hours spent playing Modern Warfare.

Warzone is also leading players to upgrade to the full game. More players picked up Modern Warfare than any quarter since the game launched in October 2019, with the majority coming through Warzone. PC purchases are particularly high, doubling the number that was reached at this point in the lifespan of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

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Activision executives expect many of these new or reengaged players will pick up the next main Call of Duty, which is being developed by Treyarch and Raven and will release later this year. The company is working to keep players invested with the release of the fifth season of Warzone on Aug. 5.

While Warzone was the biggest source of growth for the company, an increased interest in video games during the COVID-19 pandemic led to better than expected results for all of Activision-Blizzard’s franchises. Activision’s revenue grew 270% year-over-year to $993 million, while the company’s total revenues hit $1.93 billion instead of the $1.69 billion expected.

Even as economies worldwide begin to reopen, Activision-Blizzard executives believe that some of these gains will linger. The company expects strong engagement throughout the rest of 2020 thanks to upcoming launches including Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 in September, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time in October, and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands sometime during the fall.

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