Activision Blizzard got some good news yesterday in an investor release that showed the earnings for the fourth quarter and the 2013 calendar year were better than expected. Along with that good news, it was revealed that sales of Diablo III had hit 15 million copies since its initial release on PC in 2012 and its expansion to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013. Those figures only look to increase with the release of the expansion pack Reaper of Souls, due to hit PC and Mac on March 25, as well as with the PS4 version of the game, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition.
The investor release said, “For the calendar year 2013, GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.56 billion and represented 34% of the company’s total revenues.”
“2013 was a transformational year for Activision Blizzard and for our industry,” Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO, said. “Our transaction with Vivendi returned us to independence and eliminated the challenges and constraints of being a controlled company. The continued success of our games delivered better-than-expected financial results.”
The company’s successes are being driven by two major franchises, Call of Duty and Skylanders. Both of those franchises are said to have “4 of the top 10 best selling games in North America and Europe.” Adding to this success is the widely popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, which now has around 7.8 million subscribers worldwide. Coming later this year will be the highly anticipated Destiny, which Kotick has high hopes for. “We expect Bungie’s Destiny, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing’s next billion dollar franchise. We expect that Destiny will become the best-selling new video game IP in history.”
While Destiny’s success remains to be seen (and may even be being overstated) it’s no doubt that Activision is on the right track. Call of Duty, which will now operate on a three year development cycle between Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward, and Treyarch, remains one of the highest selling franchises out there and Skylanders is still holding its own even with competition from Disney Infinity. World of Warcraft has solidified and increased its player base, as the game is welcoming to newcomers and veterans alike. With all of this going for it, Activision looks to remain a force in the industry for some time to come.
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