Activision-Blizzard Release Q3 Financial Report

It’s Activision-Blizzard’s turn to release their financial reports for the past quarter.  The company managed to make a good amount of profit, but was down compared to the same time last year.  The publisher ended up making $691 million in revenue, down 18% from last year.

“Despite short term uncertainties, as we look forward to 2014, we have a very strong pipeline,” noted Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a call to investors this evening.  “We expect multiple releases across our major franchises, including the first Diablo 3 expansion and the PS4 version along with significant and exciting new content for World of Warcraft.

“We also expect to launch new Call of Duty and Skylanders titles and our major, new potential franchise with Bungie’s Destiny. We will also continue to develop Call of Duty Online with our partner TenCent for the growing Chinese market, as well as Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm.

“In the coming year we will continue to invest prudently in world class entertainment franchises, and expand our global footprint.”

Activision-Blizzard noted strong sales for Diablo III, which has moved over 14 million copies worldwide across PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.  The publisher is confident that the release of Diablo III on PS4 next year will help push sales even higher.

While Diablo continues to grow, World of Warcraft continues to shrink.  The MMO lost an additional 100,000 subscribers in the past quarter bringing the total number of subscribers down to 7.6 million.

The publisher also addressed Call of Duty: Ghosts sales.  Yesterday Activision announced that they had shipped $1 billion worth of copies to retailers, but neglected to say how many copies were actually sold to consumers.  Today they confirmed that sales were lower than last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II, though no numbers were given.  Activision attributes this to the next-gen consoles and the fact that some people are holding off on buying the game until the PS4 and Xbox One release.

“Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share,” Kotick continued.  “Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digital revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue. This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round.”

“We recently released new titles in two of the most popular franchises in entertainment, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders: SWAP Force. We are thrilled by the quality  of  those  games  and we are excited to how what we can do with them on next generation consoles in the coming weeks.

“We are also in the process of a beta launch for our first major free-to-play game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.  However, we continue to believe that the fourth quarter this year presents a unique and challenging landscape due to increased competition and uncertainties surrounding the console transition.

“We are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges successfully, particularly in light of the recent completion of our transaction with Vivendi and the focus and flexibility provided by our return to independence.”