New year, same old calendar. It’s the first earnings season of 2023!
Long-time fans of the site know this is the place for the most comprehensive calendar of earnings dates covering companies across gaming, media and technology. The perfect post for any bookmarks bar.
My calendar’s grown over the years, now boasting over a hundred companies including content publishers, consumer electronic manufactures, software developers, cloud giants, media providers, independent game makers and internet conglomerates. I guarantee there’s something here for everyone.
The latest quarter of results will include sales from the highly-coveted holiday season for those involved in pushing products or attracting eyeballs. In general, it was a challenging quarter across these industries coming off highs of 2021, including a number of record-setting reports. Cost inflation, geopolitical issues and supply disruptions are all still present in the market, among other macroeconomic pressures. This year is off to a tough start for many folks in the tech industry in particular, as layoffs at major firms like Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon impact talented people whom I hope land on their feet.
In order to track everything, I’ve organized the above image and the below Google Sheets document for easy usage. I’ve also listed out three key companies to watch in the coming weeks within these industries. Thanks for visiting!
Activision Blizzard (ATVI): Monday, February 6th
When Activision Blizzard reports its fiscal fourth quarter report in February, the big story remains the pending acquisition by Microsoft which has potentially hit snags in key regulatory markets. There’s also the tenuous relationship between management and workers during ongoing unionization efforts, plus workplace condition improvements that executives claim are happening. I don’t expect much in this department, though it would be ideal to hear more about how executives plan to make it a better place to work.
In terms of results, all signs point to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 having a massive holiday, so I expect Activision’s contribution to be sizeable which will boost the overall company on a growth trajectory. On the other hand, I’m bearish on Overwatch 2 and Blizzard’s recent output. Looking ahead, forecasts should be strong as Diablo IV launches in June and there’s still the mysterious language around this year’s “premium” Call of Duty release. Could this be an opportunity to say if it’s a new annualized title or an expansion for the latest game? While I’d welcome it, color me a skeptic.
Embracer Group (EMBRAC B): Thursday, February 16th
During mid-February, when Embracer Group reports its third fiscal financials of 2022, the big question will loom: Are there any companies soon to be embraced by its acquisition touch? All has been quiet lately on the purchasing front for Embracer since snatching up Square Enix assets last year, curious for a company known to gobble up studios big and small to expand its robust portfolio and add to the “quantity over quality” strategy. As of its recent Q2 update, the broader group has 12 operating groups, almost 16 thousand employees, 132 internal studios and a whopping 234 projects in the pipeline. Twenty five of which are supposedly AAA level launches due by March 2026.
Still, partially on lackluster reception of key titles like Saints Row and the recent delay of Dead Island 2 yet again, the company reduced its full-year forecast. Combine that with a major structural change in Volition, the team behind Saints Row, becoming a part of Gearbox Publishing, and I’m curious about the viability of big budget releases for Embracer as opposed to targeting that mid-cost tier like SpongeBob SquarePants and Goat Simulator alongside select re-releases of legacy game properties. Its business is now diversified enough to weather storms, yet I’m still waiting for the sort of organic growth that comes from buying companies over a number of years.
Ubisoft (UBI): Thursday, February 16th
Out of all the big third-party gaming publishers, Ubisoft had a tough go in 2022. Even before its upcoming third quarter earnings announcement, it preemptively shared a gloomy financial update and outlook change just a couple weeks back. In addition to blaming macroeconomic conditions, the same ones its peers are operating under, management pointed to costs associated with cancelling three more unannounced projects on top of four it already killed back in July. Part of the rough patch is under-performance from Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023, the former being the most baffling considering how well Nintendo Switch titles tend to sell.
In what’s turned into a meme, Ubisoft also yet again delayed pirate game Skull & Bones to an undetermined time in “early fiscal 2023 – 2024.” Reports recently point to the company experimented with upwards of a dozen battle royale projects, following its theme of chasing trends instead of setting them. CEO Yves Guillemot and team claim that upcoming releases like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will bolster the business and help its return to growth, yet I’m skeptical this can actually be a bounce-back year for Ubisoft. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been quietly shopping itself around to potential buyers, perhaps garnering interest from Tencent or Amazon, because its model hasn’t been working lately. 2023 is as important a year as ever in the company’s history, and its future as a going concern.
Sources: Company Investor Relations Websites.