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Activision (ATVI) Launches Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

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Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) recently announced the availability of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a sequel to the original Call of Duty: Black Ops game.

The game includes three playing modes: multiplayer mode, the new co-operative Zombies survival mode and single-player campaign. All three modes are integrated to support a theme which combines 1980s’ pop culture with a gripping conspiracy, set at the height of the Cold War.

Coronavirus-Led Gaming Surge Aids Prospects

Video games have gained massive traction due to coronavirus-induced social distancing practices and lockdowns that have compelled people to stay at home. Per the NPD Group report, consumer spending on video games in the United States reached $11.2 billion and sales of video game content reached $10.4 billion in the third quarter of 2020.

Activision, along with its Zacks Toys-Games-Hobbies industry peers like Nintendo (NTDOY - Free Report) , Electronic Arts (EA - Free Report) and Take Two Interactive (TTWO - Free Report) , is benefiting from this trend.

Notably, Activision's shares are up 30.5% year to date compared with the industry’s rally of 17.8%.

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Activision Blizzard, Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Activision Blizzard, Inc Quote

Activision has leveraged this ongoing wave by increasing its in-game spending to drive net bookings and expand its user base.

Markedly, in the recently concluded third quarter, Activision Blizzard’s in-game net bookings were up 76.6% year over year to $1.2 billion, driven by strong adoption of its gaming franchises: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare & Warzone, World of Witchcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Friends Saga.

Moreover, launch of Black Ops Cold War drives expansion of the company’s existing product portfolio. It will also boost Call of Duty franchise’s presence across platforms and geographies. Activision also launched Call of Duty: Warzone in March, which has gained significant player base within a short span of time.

Additionally, as per App Annie, the company’s division, King’s Candy Crush Saga was the top-grossing title in U.S. app stores in 2019. It also benefited from higher advertising net bookings despite coronavirus-led disruption on ad spending.    

Moreover, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company expects net bookings to be $8.1 billion for 2020. Accelerated gaming demand and a robust product portfolio are expected to aid the company’s top line. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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