Activision Blizzard today announced better-than-expected financial results for the fourth quarter and calendar year 2013. The company revealed that as of December 31, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 7.8 million subscribers. In addition, Diablo III has sold more than 15 million copies.
Here are the highlights that Activision presented during its earnings call:
In North America and Europe combined, Activision Publishing was the #1 console and handheld publisher for the calendar year with the #2 and #3 best-selling franchises—Call of Duty and Skylanders, including toys and accessories.
In North America and Europe combined, for the calendar year, Activision Publishing had four of the top-10 titles overall.
For the fourth quarter, in aggregate across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe combined, Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty: Ghostswas the #1 best-selling title in both units and dollars and the #1 best-selling game on both next-gen platforms in both units and dollars. Additionally, for the calendar year, Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the #9 best-selling title in both units and dollars.
For the calendar year, in North America and Europe combined, Skylanders Giants, including toys and accessories, was the #4 best-selling handheld and console game in dollars overall and Skylanders SWAP Force, including toys and accessories, was the #6 best-selling handheld and console game in dollars overall.
As of December 31, 2013, the Skylanders franchise has generated, life-to-date, more than $2 billion in worldwide sales1 and, at the end of the year, Activision had sold approximately 175 million Skylanders toys worldwide.
For the calendar year in North America, Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm was the #1 best-selling PC game.
As of December 31, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 7.8 million subscribers.
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer, Activision Blizzard, said:
“2013 was a transformational year for Activision Blizzard and for our industry. 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, including stronger net revenues and earnings per share, and over $1.26 billion in operating cash flow.”
“As we look to 2014 and beyond, we have the strongest and most diverse pipeline of games in our history. In 2014, we expect these releases to enable us to grow non-GAAP revenues year over year and generate record non-GAAP earnings per share. We expect Bungie’s Destiny, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing’s next billion dollar franchise. Activision Publishing also has terrific new games planned for the Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, and Blizzard Entertainment has an expansion to the top-selling PC and console game Diablo III and another major new release. Also in our pipeline for 2014 and the next few years are at least three potentially groundbreaking new free-to-play franchises—Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm, and Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty Online. We believe these games have great global potential. Free-to-play as a business model has now achieved scale, both in the West and in China. Hearthstone, which released in open beta on PC last month and which Blizzard Entertainment plans to expand this year to tablets and smartphones, is already attracting millions of players with strong engagement and monetization in the West and China, putting it on track to join World of Warcraft®, Diablo, and StarCraft as their fourth mega franchise.”
Good then then for Activision and Blizzard.