Feb 3 (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc, which is
being acquired by Microsoft Corp 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
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 on Tuesday had lowered its
annual adjusted sales forecast and missed quarterly estimates
with fewer consumers picking up new gaming titles.
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.
(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna