Activision Blizzard re-commits to change during Q2 earnings call

Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot
Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot (Image credit: Activision)

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard reported its Q2 2021 financial results amidst the ongoing lawsuit.
  • The results noted that the company's business will be "adversely affected" if productivity is reduced or "prolonged periods of adverse publicity" continue.
  • Net bookings were down slightly year-over-year at $1.92 billion for the quarter.

Activision Blizzard shared its Q2 2021 financial results on Tuesday, the first financial results the company released since the onset of the ongoing lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges sexist workplace behavior and systemic abuse at the company. Following a recent employee walkout, it was announced on Tuesday before the release of the financial results that Blizzard president J. Allen Brack was stepping down.

Brack is replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who will be co-leading Blizzard Entertainment moving forward. During the conference call accompanying the financial results, Activision Blizzard reiterated CEO Bobby Kotick's earlier comments that each claim would be investigated and that any manager or leader found to have "impeded the integrity of our processes" would be terminated. Earlier on Tuesday, Activision Blizzard employees noted that their demands have not been listened to by leadership.

"We so appreciate the current and former employees who have come forward with courage," Kotick says.

"If we experience prolonged periods of adverse publicity, significantly reduced productivity or other negative consequences relating to this matter, our business likely would be adversely impacted," the results note.

Looking ahead, Activision Blizzard expects a strong 18-month period, as it reiterates the upcoming launch of Diablo 2: Resurrected on September 23. The company is still planning to launch the next Call of Duty title in the fourth quarter of 2021, reiterating that the game is led by Sledgehammer Games and noting that "we believe this release will be incredibly well received."

Mobile title Diablo Immortal has been moved from a launch in the second half of 2021 to sometime in 2022. Overwatch 2 has passed an "important milestone" and is currently approaching the "later stages" of development. Diablo 4 is also in active development, with the development team working on additional in-game content to drive engagement but there is no update as to when the game might launch.

The company reported net bookings of $1.92 billion for the quarter, down slightly year-over-year compared to $2.08 billion in Q2 2020.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • Screw Blizzard and all their games.
  • I love their games
  • The problem there would be that you are hurting the employees more than the higher ups. At this point the only way to get change is either for the employees start to leave or enough of a problem is made online that their public image is damaged. Companies care about their brand name more than anything else.
  • The employees could actually quite easily find new work, they're coming from one of the biggest PC developers... EVER. And games is a booming industry, if people wanted to leave they could.
  • Individually, maybe, collectively absolutely not. There's not enough slack in the industry to absorb the number of people who've signed on in demanding more changes if they all left at the same time. They could strike though. Unionize. It'd force changes.
  • Given the lack of a concrete plan of action there will be prolonged “negative” on the YoY profits. As long the management at Blizzard et al do not make long lasting changes for the betterment of their employees these “adverse” effects will continue.