Activision Blizzard sales miss as ‘Call of Duty’ sees weak demand

FILE PHOTO: The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles

(Reuters) -Videogame publisher Activision Blizzard Inc missed estimates for first-quarter adjusted sales on Monday, hurt by low demand for its latest title “Call of Duty: Vanguard”.

Activision’s performance has taken a hit from lower premium sales for “Call of Duty: Vanguard” and weaker engagement in “Call of Duty: Warzone”, with a return to pre-pandemic habits pressing gamers to spend less time on their consoles.

The company, which is being taken over by Microsoft Corp, has also been facing backlash over its response to allegations of internal sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees.

The Santa Monica, California-based company’s quarterly adjusted sales stood at $1.48 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $1.80 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income for the quarter ended March 31 fell to $395 million, or 50 cents per share, from $619 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Activision earned 64 cents per share.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Richard Rohan Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)