Call of Duty, one of the most acclaimed and best-selling franchises of all time, has lost millions of players in the past three months.
According to 2022 Q1 financials from earlier today, publisher Activision saw 100 million monthly active users across its games (mostly all Call of Duty games) between January and March 2022. That is a drop from 107 million monthly active users from the quarter before and 150 million from the first quarter of 2021.
In an accompanying press release, Activision blamed the declining player numbers on the “lower premium sales” of Vanguard compared to Black Ops Cold War from a year ago. The publisher also pointed fingers at the “lower engagement” in Warzone and the unchanged performance of Call of Duty: Mobile for the decline in its monthly active users.
Activision is now banking its hopes on the new Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 games that are pegged to release in 2022. That alongside an initiative to bring Warzone to mobile devices.
The upcoming series of new Call of Duty experiences are expected to nearly double the number of monthly active users. Activision is certainly confident because the publisher will reportedly skip an annual Call of Duty release in 2023 for the first time in recent history.
The drop in player activity comes ahead of Activision Blizzard being fully acquired by Microsoft as part of a $69 billion deal. This may as well be the perfect time for Microsoft to make the acquisition because Activision Blizzard combined has a number of heavy-hitters that are releasing after the deal goes through.
Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 are expected to be massive as will be Warzone Mobile when looking at the performance metrics of Call of Duty: Mobile.
Activision Blizzard then has Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 on its plate which are highly anticipated releases. There is also a new WarCraft mobile experience. Diablo Immortal has already secured more than 30 million pre-registrations. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight and the accompanying Wrath of the Lich King Classic are going to be huge as well.
Expect Call of Duty and the other franchises under Activision Blizzard to bounce back in the near future.