Activision loses 50m players in a year with Warzone decline & Vanguard disappointment

call of duty mobile game on hijacked with activision logo in bottom right cornerActivision

Activision has reported that its active monthly playerbase dropped by 50 million in just a year, citing issues with Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone as contributing factors to the tremendous downturn.

On March 31, 2021, Activision was reporting around 150 million active monthly users, which was predominantly earned through their Call of Duty titles, including free-to-play battle royale Warzone, which took over after being released in March 2020.

In each quarter since then, however, the number has dropped significantly, to the point that just a year later, they only have 100 million active monthly users, dropping by over 30% year-on-year.

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This is in contrast to the other publishers under the same umbrella, with Blizzard and King showing very minor drops in active monthly users.

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Activision cites Warzone & Vanguard as reasons for drop

While Activision does publish other titles, they attribute these drops in numbers to both Vanguard, the current mainline Call of Duty game, and the decreasing interest in Warzone.

As explained in their Q1 2022 financial results, Activision reps said: “Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC declined year-over-year in the first quarter, reflecting lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard versus the year ago title and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone.”

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While worded carefully, the message is clear: Activision has lost a large percentage of their playerbase due to lower sales of Vanguard and a depleting engagement in Warzone.

With leaks and reports slowly starting to come out about Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2, both due to arrive in 2022/23, it will be interesting to see whether this number turns back in the right direction for Activision.

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