Activision Blizzard (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box this week to discuss the steps the game maker is taking to help its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kotick also offered a few updates on how the business is doing.
"Most of our games are seeing record levels of engagement," he said. Call of Duty released a new free-to-play version, Warzone, in March, which has already attracted 50 million players and puts the company on track to see an increase in its monthly active users.
Holding up better than most
It's not a situation to celebrate. As Kotick said, "No one wins in a situation like this." But the higher levels of engagement Activision and other game companies are likely seeing right now speaks to the value these companies bring to the table in this environment.
At the time of the interview, this growth stock was hitting a 52-week high of $64 despite the broader market being down. Investors are betting Activision will hold up in the short term given the extra time people have on their hands to play online games.
"In periods like this where people are at home, they're definitely getting the joy and the sense of camaraderie," Kotick said, highlighting the social experiences Activision Blizzard's games provide. He also said they are seeing people return who haven't played games for a while, and "a lot of new players are coming for the first time."
Activision Blizzard finished 2019 with 409 million active players across all its games. "That number will probably be higher as we approach the end of ," Kotick said.