Well as it turns out: burning a World Tree in cold blood does pay off.
Although the player base was on fire going into the launch of World of Warcraft's Battle for Azeroth expansion, Activision saw the green in the end. Speaking on an earnings call CFO Spencer Adam Neumann noted that Blizzard grew segment revenue "20% year over year," a figure that was specifically driven by Battle for Azeroth. Neumann says that this "offset lower revenue" from Overwatchand Hearthstone, noting that they invested heavily in the Overwatch League for the former and that the latter couldn't compete with its own massive Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion from last year.
Neumann says that World of Warcraft, Call of Duty (Black Ops 4) and Candy [Crush] are their big earners and will "set the stage for continued opportunities in 2019." Directly following up COO Collister Johnson steps in to note that the company is "energized" by the performance of Black Ops 4, noting higher player engagement beyond day one sales. Johnson also praises the lasting appeal of the series' zombie mode and progression systems, as well as the new mode on the block: Blackout (Battle Royale).
Just in case you weren't sure if WoW was still a big deal -- it is. Oh and maybe you wanted your 1000th re-assurance that yes, Call of Duty still sells year after year.
Activision Blizzard [Seeking Alpha]