Activision Blizzard reports sales decline, employee boost in Q2 earnings

Activision Blizzard has reported a sales decline for Q2 2022, but planned growth may right the ship.
call of duty modern warfare 2

Activision Blizzard has released its Q2 2022 financial earnings report to the public, outlining an overall decline in sales, but major plans for future growth. While net revenue dropped year-on-year, Activision Blizzard is currently on a major hiring spree, with embattled CEO Bobby Kotick announcing a 25% year-on-year increase in employee headcount – a sign of change on the horizon.

Activision Blizzard is currently investing in a number of major projects, including a mystery new survival game and still-in-development titles like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. The company has allegedly suffered from extreme staff turnover over the last two years, following major controversies about its workplace culture and treatment of women. Allegedly, the company also struggled to hire new staff, although Kotick’s statement seems to indicate these issues are now resolved.

‘Even in a challenging economic environment, with so many companies announcing hiring freezes and layoffs, our development headcount grew 25% year-over-year as of the end of the second quarter,’ Kotick said.

The new hires (including those nabbed during the company’s acquisition of developer Proletariat and Vicarious Visions), alongside existing staff, will be focusing on upcoming launches for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Overwatch, all of which are predicted to contribute massively to revenue growth.

Read: Can World of Warcraft: Dragonflight revive the declining MMO?

According to Activision Blizzard’s reporting, the primary reason for the reported net revenue drop – from US $2.296 billion in Q2 2021 to US $1.644 billion in Q2 2022 – was Call of Duty: Vanguard not performing as well as anticipated. Many critics labelled the game cliched and tired when it launched in late 2021, and it appears this sentiment carried over to sales figures and audience opinion.

Not even the wild success of Diablo Immortal was enough to cover this failure, it appears – although Activision Blizzard was surprisingly cagey about reporting revenue figures for the game. These were not included in the Q2 2022 earnings report, although it was noted that the success of the game contributed to the company’s revenue totals.

Despite this drop in year-on-year revenue, Activision Blizzard appears to be hopeful for the future. Overwatch 2 is set to make a major splash for the company in October, as is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Diablo 4 is likely on the horizon after these blockbuster releases. There are several new projects in the works, and existing properties like Diablo Immortal that appear to be driving major growth.

Activision Blizzard is also on the cusp of being officially acquired by Xbox, which will likely reshape the vision and outlook for the company going forward. While Q2 2022 appears to be a disappointment, the company will be well-positioned to bounce back in the later half of 2022.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.