Bob Kotick: Let me first convey our sympathies to those who have suffered during this difficult time. While very few of our own team members have contracted COVID-19, a number of our employees have been impacted by the illness and the passing of family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and everyone else affected by the pandemic.
But also, I have been awestruck during the last two months by the strength of our employees and their families, managing through unprecedented challenges from healthcare to childcare.
Our teams around the world have shown ingenuity and incredible resilience; and even faced with so many difficulties, our employees still ensure that the joy, the social connection, and the unexpected benefits of gaming as a way to keep our 400 million players around the world connected, engaged, and safely at home has continued without interruption.
Our employees and their families have shown incredible empathy for those affected by the pandemic in their communities, and across the world. They have organized meal deliveries, cared for the elderly, even the use of their own 3D printers, to create high-quality facial protection for their colleagues.
Our teams have shown unwavering support for the first responders, nurses, doctors, and medical professionals — working tirelessly in unimaginable conditions.
Our corporate social responsibility initiatives have been expanded to support programs to provide healthcare professionals with a variety of resources, including faster, more effective testing; and the use of tools like convalescent blood transfusion as a possible method of immunization. We have also increased our direct support for military families by millions of dollars.
Through our team’s dedication and incredibly hard work under very difficult circumstances, we delivered results significantly above our outlook for the first quarter; and this momentum will likely continue for the second quarter.
I have conducted almost a hundred earnings calls, and none was under a backdrop of so much uncertainty for the future. Our mission to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more meaningful than it is today.
At a time when so many forms of social interactions and entertainment experiences have been shut down, we are providing entertainment with positive impact for hundreds of millions of people through our games.
Our content, and connecting members of our communities around the world, is critically important. Our development and commercial teams quickly adapted to this new work environment; and as of now, we are on track to deliver compelling new content — including the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion, and the next premium Call of Duty release, both of which are planned for the second half of the year.
Our eSports organization has quickly pivoted to remote production, and continues to deliver live eSports for both: the Call of Duty League, and the Overwatch League — A direct result of the hard work and flexibility of our team owners, and our sponsors.
In the face of unprecedented circumstances, our extraordinary teams also delivered an extremely strong first quarter financial results. We significantly exceeded our outlook for both revenue and earnings per share.
We reached new heights for first quarter net bookings across each of mobile, console, and PC; and we exited the quarter with accelerating engagement, and momentum across the business — as people around the world turn to our content for entertainment and connection.
Blizzard also recorded strong growth in the first quarter led by World of Warcraft. After doubling in the second half of 2019, the WoW active community grew further in Q1.
Blizzard is seeing strong increases in engagement across our franchises, as people around the world stay home — adding to business momentum, as our game teams execute against the strongest pipeline of content in Blizzard’s history.
Momentum continued to increase in April with strong year-over-year growth in reach, engagement, and player investment.
As we build on our strong first quarter results, and our continuing momentum, I am excited to introduce our new president and chief operating officer: Daniel Alegre.
From his long tenure at Google, Daniel brings deep experience building direct digital relationships with consumers; fostering strategic relationships with key industry partners; and driving rapid growth internationally, and in early-stage businesses. His expertise and commitment to excellence in execution will be his focus.
I would also like to thank Coddy Johnson for his extraordinary contributions to the continued success of the company during his 12-year tenure, and for being a truly, truly valued friend.
Of course, our strong business performance wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of our dedicated, talented, and truly empathic teams around the world.
We are so grateful for the work you are doing under extremely challenging circumstances.
We are also appreciative of the continued support of our shareholders, partners, and players; and we wish you, and your families: health and safety through what remains a difficult time.
|ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Q1 2020 TRANSCRIPT|
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