Activision Blizzard () posted weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings on Monday in a surprise pre-market release that indicated stronger demand for its latest Call of Duty franchise.
Activision said adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in March were at 64 cents per share, down 23.8% from the same period last year and in large part shy of the Street consensus estimate of 71 cents per share. Group adjusted revenues, according to the company, fell 20.5 percent to $1.48 billion, while the analysts slowed down the $1.8 billion investment.
The video game company, which is on the verge of being purchased by Microsoft () for $69 billion, said monthly active users fell by 14.5% from last year to 372 million, bringing in game billings down 24.6% to $1.01 billion because to a decrease in less-than-expected demand for its Call of Duty: Vanguard release.
Activision's stock was marked 0.3 percent lower in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release, indicating a value of $78.450 each.
Activision, which is said to be selling 'World of Warcraft,' a company that has also released its $69 billion offering, has said that it will close in the second quarter of next year.
"In light of the proposed transaction with Microsoft, and as is common during the pendency of an acquisition, Activision Blizzard will not be hosting a conference call, equating an earnings presentation, or providing financial guidance as part of its first quarter earnings release," the company said.
According to the investors, CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to lead Activision, but will report to Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer.
Microsoft will have access to 30 internal game development studios as well as e-sports publishing capabilities when the deal closes later this year, touting in bolstering its XBox console offerings.
"Gaming is today's most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment, and it will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," said CEO Satya Nadella at the time of the purchase. "We're investing heavily in world-class content, community, and the cloud in order to usher in a new era of gaming, that puts players and creators first, and makes gaming safe, inclusive, and accessible to everyone."