Blizzard monthly players declined 40% after big spike for Overwatch 2 release

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Despite substantial revenue gains, Activision Blizzard’s Q1 quarter financial results revealed a drop in monthly active users across the board.

Overwatch 2 transitioned to a free-to-play model after OW1 found plenty of success as a premium title. The bold decision paid dividends, as 25 million users played in the first 10 days of the servers going live. The sequel achieved a daily player count peak nearly three times higher than the original.

OW2 still boasts a healthy player base three seasons into the game’s lifespan. Blizzard’s hero-shooter averaged a total of 25,714,974 active users during April 2023, accounting for a small rise from the beginning of 2023.

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Activision Blizzard credited World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2, and Diablo for generating revenue, but it didn’t necessarily translate to more players.

Blizzard active monthly users decreases by 18 million in Q1

CharlieINTEL reported: “Activision’s monthly active player count decreased from 111 million during Q4 2022 to 98 million during Q1 2023.”

The Call of Duty insider argued: “Blizzard’s player count drop is more significant,” as the monthly active player count fell to 27 million from 45 million. It’s important to note that this figure is for all Blizzard titles, not just Overwatch 2.

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Overwatch 2 launched on October 4, 2022. Blizzard’s monthly active player count spiked during the game’s first few months but has since returned back to a more normal figure.

Despite decreasing by 18 million, Q1 2023 saw a five million increase in active monthly users from Q1 2022.

Activision Blizzard acknowledged the following in its financial report: “Overwatch engagement moderated versus the Overwatch 2 launch quarter, hours played were approximately twice the levels seen prior to the release of the free-to-play experience.”

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OW2 player county numbers didn’t quite reach the same highs as Q4, but Activision Blizzard emphasized impressive growth in Season 3.

“Season 3, which launched in February, drove strong retention and consistent player investment versus the prior season.”

According to Active Player, OW2’s average monthly players have only increased every month, so the 40% decline for Blizzard failed to impede growth.

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