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Activision misses quarterly adjusted sales estimates on subdued demand

Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O), which is being acquired by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) for $68.7 billion, missed market estimates for fourth-quarter adjusted sales on Thursday, as the pandemic-fueled sales boost for its games such as “Call of Duty” showed signs of cooling.

Videogame sales in the United States surged since the start of the pandemic, as people were forced to stay at home amid restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the virus. According to data from research firm NPD, total consumer spending on video games reached a record $60.4 billion in 2021, 8% higher than in 2020.

However, a vaccine-aided return of pre-pandemic habits such as eating in restaurants and meeting in person have hit that momentum.

The videogame publisher said net bookings for “Call of Duty” on console and PC declined year-over-year in the fourth quarter, reflecting lower premium sales for “Call of Duty: Vanguard” compared with the previous edition and lower engagement in “Call of Duty: Warzone”.

Rival Electronic Arts Inc (EA.O) on Tuesday had lowered its annual adjusted sales forecast and missed quarterly estimates with fewer consumers picking up new gaming titles. read more

Activision’s quarterly adjusted sales stood at $2.49 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $2.82 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income for the quarter rose to $564 million, or 72 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $508 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier. Reuters

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