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Activision Q2 – Record digital sales, more Black Ops DLC

Wednesday, 3 August 2011 21:31 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Activision Blizzard has announced better-than-expected financial results for Q2 of 2011 with $335 million in profit and net revenues of $1.1 billion, which is a 66 percent increase on Q2 2010′s $967 million.

ActiBlizz Q2 Highlights


Digital sales during Q2 grew in the “double digits”.

LtD sales of Black Ops are at 25M compared to 22M LtD for Modern Warfare 2.

Black Ops DLC sold 14 million units, up 40% compared to MW2.

Pre-orders for MW3 have “significantly exceeded” pre-orders for Black Ops.

A Wii SKU for MW3 will be released this year.

Elite beta launched on July 14 and has 3 million registrants.

Blizzard will not commit to a 2011 Dibalo 3 release.

WoW subs are down to 11.1 million; subs numbers driven by seasons.

Next WoW content update slated for release this year.

The company delivered record net revenues from digital channels, representing a 27 percent increase year-over-year, and accounting for 37 percent of the company’s total net revenues bringing in $423 million with $660 million in retail sales, which is a record 37 percent revenue growth.

“Our better-than-expected second-quarter performance was driven by record digital sales of our online-enabled franchises, said CEO Bobby Kotick. “For the six month period, net revenues from digital channels grew more than 20 percent, driving record operating margin and EPS growth of more than 50 percent.

“Looking to the balance of the year, while we have numerous releases we believe our audiences will be especially excited by three key properties Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, our new online service Call of Duty Elite and Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, all of which are shaping up to be incredible.

“To date, pre-orders for Modern Warfare 3 have significantly exceeded the pre-orders for Black Ops at this time last year. In addition, we believe that Call of Duty Elite, which was built for Modern Warfare 3 and is expected to launch with the game on November 8, should redefine social connectivity for multiplayer gaming. Additionally, we expect that Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure will change the way we look at toys and video games by bringing the world of toys, video games and the Internet together in an unprecedented way.

“Today, there are more ways than ever for players to access entertainment online and play games which have truly become one of the most compelling forms of entertainment in the world.”

Activision CFO Thomas Tippl said the firm expects $1.8 billion in revenue for calender year, and revenue of  $650 million for the September quarter.

The only game to be released during that time will be X-Men: Destiny, which releases on September 27.

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg noted the hardware installed base which stands at 268 million ”is growing, but more money is being spent on must-have games,” so the firm will continue to focus on “innovation, more modes and stickier universes in new and existing franchises.”

The firm expects the installed base to increase by 44 million during the current year, reaching a total of 312 million by the end of December 2011. The firm estimates that the installed bases for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii are currently at 43, 31, and 64 million, respectively, with handhelds currently at an installed base of 130 million

Black Ops: Rezurrection and MW3

A new map pack is heading to Black Ops called Rezurrection, at least it’s new to those who didn’t get the code in the Hardened or Prestige Edition of the game. It is set for release on August 23 on Xbox Live for 1200 MS points, with PC and PS3 getting it at a later date.

“Pre-orders for Modern Warfare 3 have significantly exceeded the pre-orders for Black Ops at this time last year.”

The pack contains the new Moon level, four re-mastered levels of Zombie lore: Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese, the Zombie factory that started it all, an enhanced Zombies Soundtrack including three tracks never before available for purchase, and a new Zombies Moon theme.

Activison’s Eric Hirshberg also highlighted during the call to investors that Call of Duty: Black Ops was the number one game in the US and Europe for the first half of 2011, and to date, Black Ops players have logged more than 2.2 billion hours of online gameplay.

Total unique online gamers playing Black Ops were more than 30 percent greater than the total unique online gamers who played Modern Warfare 2 during the first eight months after each game’s release.

Black Ops digital content First Strike, Esscalation and Annihilation sold 14 million units in DLC, which is up 40 percent compared to MW2.

Compared to Facebook games, more people play Black Ops and spend more money on DLC than than any Facebook game and user spend on conjunctive micro-transactions.  The percentage of Black Ops players is also higher than any Facebook game as well.

A Wii Sku for MW3 will be released this year, Hirshberg promised, and all of those who attend the firm’s Call of Duty XP event in September will be handed a free code for the game’s Hardened Edition.

Hirshberg also highlighted Modern Warfare 3′s Spec Ops mode, calling it the “third leg on the stool” of the franchise. He said with the game running at 60fps, it was the game’s “secret sauce,” and because of this, it will be the “best shooter across all platforms.”

Elite will provide 24/7 online entertainment

Touching upon Call of Duty: Elite, Hirshberg said it was all part of Activision’s plan to have an “always connected” way to develop a long-term relationships with consumers, while providing a 24/7 online entertainment services via online platforms.

“We believe Elite will reset bar for multiplayer and create a large connected community,” he said. “Many features will be free and will be superior to any free service in the industry and will be a first when offering many new innovations.

“For premium members, all DLC will be free and the service will give unprecedented control over multiplayer experience while creating a social service allowing users to find others via their likes, interests and affiliation and allowing custom perks and weapons to be added to the menus through various platforms and mobile.”

For those who do not wish to participate in Elite, Hirshberg said the Call of Duty “out of the box experience will be the same as ever.”

The beta for the service, which launched on July 14, has seen over 3 million registrants.

During the holiday season, Activision plans to launch its “biggest retail campaign ever” to draw attention to both Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Elite.

Blizzard: WoW subs down, SCII Starter edition

For Q2, Blizzard Entertainment had two top-10 PC titles with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and sales were up year-over-year for the first half of the firm’s fiscal year to $313 million compared to $299 million year-over-year, due to Cataclysm sales and the release of the expansion in China.

Mike Morahime, president and a co-founder of Blizzard, said the firm saw a decrease in subscriptions to 11.1 million during Q2, but since the new starter edition of the game which allows players to play unhindered up to level 20, the firm has seen a significant increase in new accounts.

“As our players become more experienced playing over the years, they have become much better and faster at consuming content, and with Cataclysm they were able to consume the content faster than previous expansions, and that’s why we’re working on the development of more content,” he said.

He said the new content update will include new raids and content which he believes “will keep things fresh for current players and give lapsed players a reason to come back.”

“We are still working hard to ship [Diablo 3] before the end of the year, but we are not ready to commit to a release date at this time.”

Subs seem to be driven by seasons, and it is normal to see declines between content updates, and the next update will hit later this year. The update is rumored, thanks to a trademark filing, to be set in Pandaria which is home to the Pandaren race.

Morhaime said the firm is working hard on getting Diablo 3 ready for a release by the end of the year, but it “will still not commit to a release date.”

“The timing on the Diablo 3 release date will come down to a lot of moving parts in putting out a complex release. We talked about the new auction house technology which has not been fully tested. We’re not yet in beta, and it’s just going to come down to when the game is ready for primetime. So, we’ll know more when we hit beta and when we’ve put some of these new systems into test.

“It’s a brand new infrastructure with a lot of moving parts.”

The beta for the game is still on track for launch this quarter.

For StarCraft II, Morhaime highlighted the Starter Edition for it, which is basically a larger demo than the one currently on the market.

Similar to the one for WoW, it includes the first four missions of the single-player campaign, ability to play as the Terran race in user created maps, the first two Tactical Command and Covert Ops missions, and access to four custom maps. Any achievements earned will carry over into the full game upon purchase.

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12 Comments

  1. someguy2

    So does this mean Bungie’s Universe will definitely be some sort of online connected game where you purchase stuff like an MMO?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. triggerhappy

    My little brother has been dying to play the classic zombie maps, this is good new for zombie fans. Suppose it will make finding a classic zombie match easier too.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. someguy2

    The map pack is actually called Rezurrection not resurrection.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Stephany Nunneley

    @3 yeah I am fixing it. The press release had it spelled correctly, not the Black Ops way. :p

    EDIT: There. That better? :D

    #4 4 years ago
  5. ceiling cat

    I am excited over the new COD, I hope it does not bomb like BO on dual core CPUs.

    ———
    My blog about game design theory
    http://baserespawn.blogspot.com/

    #5 4 years ago
  6. someguy2

    @4 Yes, I can now sleep properly. If you hadn’t have changed that I would be going to sleep with that on my mind thinking ‘has Stephany changed the s to a z?’

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Stephany Nunneley

    @6 LOL!!!!! :D :D

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    Okay. Added slides. Woo hoo.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Moonwalker1982

    OMFG…are these fuckers actually charging 1200 points for OLD MAPS? Old fucking zombie maps? What a joke, and the biggest joke is…people actually still buy it too.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Shonak

    There’s a new spyro coming out, why do I hear of that yet? Gosh, I sure as hell hope it will be as amazing the PS2 titles back in that days.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Stephany Nunneley

    @11 It was announced ages ago! :)

    http://www.vg247.com/2011/06/06/skylanders-spyros-adventure-will-be-first-ever-cross-platform-gameplay-experience-says-activision/

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dralen

    @9 This is why they have such a massive profit margin. And yes it is a joke.

    #12 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The Last of Us will bring many of the same elements to the big screen as the small one, according to writer Neil Druckmann. Although The Last of Us will have to be adapted in various ways to make the transition from lengthy interactive adventure to cinema-friendly story arc, Druckmann is hoping to keep the […]

  • Microsoft is fixing Xbox One’s slow controllers

    Xbox One control pads have many charms, but quick start up is not one of them. The Xbox One controller currently takes up to five seconds to connect to your console after switching on, which is an eternity for someone with an attention span as short as mine. Luckily, Microsoft is working to fix this […]

  • Lucius 2 releases on Friday the 13th (of course)

    Lucius 2 has a really fitting release date. Lucius developer Shiver Games has produced a follow-up to the dark tale of an evil child, and it’s coming your way on February 13 – which just so happens to be a Friday. Lucius 2: The Prophecy will set you back $20, and release through Steam. As […]

  • Saints Row 4: Re-Elected PS4 recalled in Australia, incorrect content to blame

    Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has been recalled in Australia due to a mysterious manufacturing issue. An Australian PR representative said that the retail PS4 version of Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has “a serious manufacturing issue” and has been recalled nation-wide. Here’s what we were told (emphasis mine): “A manufacturing issue has caused an incorrectly classified […]

  • The Whispered World follow up now coming to PS4, too

    Deadalic’s gorgeous-looking adventure Silence has been confirmed for a fourth platform. Originally announced for Mac and PC with an Xbox One port one revealed at a later date, Silence is now on its way to PS4 as well. All versions are due later this year. Silence is Deadalic’s first multi-platform release and in my mind […]

  • Mythbusters to tackle DOOM this weekend

    DOOM is the subject of the next episode of Mythbusters. Having been airing for over ten years now, Mythbusters has pretty much run out of myths to bust, which is why we find ourselves in 2015 with an episode dedicating to answering the question “could DOOM be real?” Bethesda has rveealed that the January 31 […]

  • Destiny hosting a Bungie Bounty – go go go

    Destiny players have a chance to take down Bungie employees in return for one of the most exclusive vanity items in the game. Destiny’s Bungie Bounties usually feature guests from the community, and today’s event is no exception. Joining Bungie community manager David “Deej” Dague are several members of Bungie.org, the developer’s most staunch fan […]

  • Elite: Dangerous developer issues lay-offs

    Elite: Dangerous team Frontier Developments has had to let staff go. At least 15 staff have been laid off from the developer’s Halifax studio. According to an investor update, this decision will allow Frontier to focus its efforts at its primary studio in Cambridge, England. “With its business emphasis now on two major self-published franchises, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs free for a limited time

    Dragon Age: Inquisition tunes can be yours for the bargain price of zero cashmoney. The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition will be made available for purchase from various digital distributors sometime after February 9. Until then, though, you can have them for free – including their sheet music. To take advantage of this generous […]

  • Even the Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 teaser is frightening

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is probably going to be just as tense and uncomfortable as its two prequels. This teaser for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is the first we’ve heard of the project since creator Scott Cawthon confirmed it is in the works. The third entry in the series is now up on […]

  • 6.6 million Xbox consoles shipped last quarter

    Xbox One and Xbox 360 console sales were strong last quarter, although Microsoft isn’t talking hard numbers yet. Microsoft shipped 6.6 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles to retailers in the quarter ending December 31, the company revealed in its latest financial briefing. This figure wasn’t broken down by platform, and Microsoft didn’t supply […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection: five minutes of b-roll footage

    We may not have proper, uncut gameplay footage of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but we have the next best thing. Homeworld Remastered Collection was confirmed to release on February 25. Gearbox has only showed a trailer, but no extended gameplay demos. There was however a b-roll video showing at PAX South, and we’ve embedded it […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered looks sharp in these new screens

    Grim Fandango will come back from the dead with the Remastered edition, and it’s looking great. Grim Fandango Remastered has a few new screens available to prove that even old games can look stunning with the right remaster, especially ones with an already well-defined art style. Have a look at them below and get excited. […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: beta weapons, maps, modes, progression system and more

    The Battlefield Hardline beta will include a third new map and a new game mode, on top of what’s already announced. You may remember last week DICE started a community mission for all Battlefield 4 players. The goal was to reach 2 billion points playing Rush mode. That goal has been achieved and as a […]

  • Dying Light launch trailer is one last display of its forte

    The launch trailer for Dying Light is here one day ahead of the game’s release. Techland and Warner Bros. have put out the launch trailer for Dying Light. The trailer is a short reminder of the game’s main selling points: free-running, weapon crafting, drop-kicking zombies. Reviews should start to come out tomorrow for the game […]

  • Watch The Witcher 3 developers stream new gameplay on Twitch

    The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED is hosting a Twitch live-stream to show off brand new gameplay footage and answer some fan questions. The live-stream will start at 7:00pm GMT, 2:00pm EST, 11:00am PST. It will show off plenty of new footage, some of which was shown only to the press so far. The […]

  • Finally, some screens for Final Fantasy 15

    Patience is a virtue and we finally have our hands on a few gameplay screens from Final Fantasy 15. There’s not a lot of them, but they show the impressive lighting and they’re all gameplay as far as I can tell, so take a look. There is no release date for Final Fantasy 15 as […]

  • Here’s 15 minutes of gameplay from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 1080p

    The Witcher 3 has a new direct-feed, 1080p video available that’s 100% gameplay. Would you like some gameplay of The Witcher 3 in beautiful 1080p? Why, of course you would! The gameplay below shows combat, conversations, travelling. In short, it’s a small sample of everything the game will offer. If you’re looking to learn much […]

  • Two Mortal Kombat X characters to be revealed this week

    Mortal Kombat X will get not one, but two character reveals this week. Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has been at again on Twitter, teasing all kinds of reveals over the past few days. Firstly, Boon tweeted this image, which at first glance appears to show a character holding a bow. However, further examination by […]

  • Planetside 2 successfully claims the Guinness World Record for biggest FPS battle

    The Planetside 2 community has successfully organised an online battle involving over 1000 players, breaking the previous Guinness World Record. The event, which was organised by Planetside Battles was pitched to the community last week. 1,158 players have answered the call, smashing the record for “Most Players Online in an FPS Battle.” The previous 999 […]

  • Microsoft aiming for Xbox One-to-PC streaming to function while you watch TV

    Streaming Xbox One games to PC while you watch TV on the console through the HDMI pass-through is something Microsoft is hoping to achieve when the service launches with Windows 10. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has been on Twitter answering fan questions following last week’s Windows 10 event. One interesting bit that came out of those […]

  • Everything we know about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is sure to be one of the biggest RPGs of the year, due for release in May on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Delayed since its target release of 2015, CD Projekt Red’s latest game takes the series to a true open world environment, and charges the player with tracking […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date leaked – rumour

    According to an email sent to some YouTubers, the upcoming beta for Battlefield Hardline is scheduled for February 3. The date for the Battlefield Hardline beta is believed to be February 3. It comes from an email that’s been sent by Ronku to various YouTubers reminding them of the starting date, February 3. Ronku is […]

  • The history of The Witcher: beyond the Road With No Return

    We take a look at The Witcher franchise, from the original short stories to its blockbuster video games. The world was first introduced to Geralt through a set of short stories called The Witcher (English translation) written by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The first short story was published in the Polish fantasy and science fiction magazine […]

  • Bringing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to life

    In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED takes a whopping enormous map and fills it with stuff you actually want to see and do. Do you remember back before Oblivion came out there was a lot of chat about how much more lifelike and realistic the NPCs would be? Rather than just hanging […]

  • The big Witcher 3 questions answered: delays, playing as Ciri, and why enemies don’t scale

    Spending some time with The Witcher 3 level designer Miles Tost we were able to put some of our immediate questions to him after playing the game for over 4 hours. “That sense of improvement doesn’t happen if the monsters around you remain the same strength, there’s no sense of achievement.” Tost is a relaxed […]

  • The Witcher 3 sets a new generational standard for graphics

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the new standard in outrageously pretty. “The Witcher 3 is more than just eye-candy. Destiny, once the loveliest thing I had ever looked upon, has been outclassed.” The Witcher 3 is even better looking than the screenshots would have you believe, and until you see it in motion, running […]

  • The Witcher 3: hands-on with the RPG of the year

    Getting to know a bawdy hero; Geralt of Rivia’s third outing is accessible, untamed, and dripping with story. Warning: some spoilers are inevitable. “The Witcher 3 is horror and violence. It’s charming, witty and cheeky. Like Geralt, it knows what it wants and it’s going to grab it with both hands.” The Witcher 3: Wild […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel gets Lady Hammerlock DLC tomorrow

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 tomorrow, January 27. The new playable character comes with three skill trees and the action skill Cold As Ice. If you haven’t bought the season pass for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel you can download the DLC for $9.99, you lucky […]

  • A limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 just sold for $128,000

    Sony has just auctioned one of its limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 consoles for over $128,000. The model had the serial number 00001, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations,” said a rep for […]

  • Here’s Killer Instinct’s new Omen and Golem fighters in action

    Microsoft has revealed Killer Instinct Season 2′s fighter Omen in a new trailer. Stick around for the end of the video and you’ll also get a peek at another new fighter, Golem. Omen is a bonus character and as such isn’t available as part of the main season roster. He’s available for free to Ultra […]

  • Digital copies of Far Cry 4 are being deleted from Uplay

    Ubisoft appears to be deleting copies of Far Cry 4 bought through digital third-party retailers. According to the Ubisoft support forums, copies of the game acquired via G2Play and G2A are being removed from Uplay. Users had not been given any warning by publisher Ubisoft that the game will be removed, although it is now […]

  • Gearbox wants “badass” talent for the next Borderlands

    Borderlands 3 may not have been announced at PAX this weekend, but studio boss Randy Pitchford is currently recruiting for the next game in the series. We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com pic.twitter.com/ZG9dLytX1B — Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 26, 2015 A recruitment push would suggest […]

  • Destiny: less grind, fairer economy in House of Wolves DLC

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it aims to lessen the grind in House of Wolves, and it won’t repeat mistakes it made with rewards in The Dark Below. Gear rewards will be fairer, according to lead designer Luke Smith in a Neogaf thread. For example, buying from a vendor should not invalidate gear rewarded for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Disaster

    Over two months since release and Xbox One’s big Christmas game is still a turkey, says Rich Stanton. “The game has now been available for two-and-a-half months, including the blockbuster Christmas season, and by any reasonable standard it doesn’t work.” Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched worldwide on November 11, 2014. Intended as something of […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection dated, first gameplay footage released

    Homeworld Remastered Collection has a release date, and as promised, the gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake has been released along with the news that Homeworld Shipbreaker development continues. The video was shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel earlier this morning at PAX South. Last year, Gearbox had said hoped to release the title […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry has landed on Kickstarter

    The Kickstarter for Clock Tower spiritual successor, Project Scissors, recently announced as Night Cry, has launched. A teaser directed by The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu was released for the game earlier this month, and the full short film can be viewed below. Shimizu is also creative director on the project and Silent Hill creative and environment […]

  • Toukiden Kiwami mission trailer released, pre-order bonuses detailed

    Pre-order bonuses for Toukiden Kiwami have been announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Here’s the pre-order bonus list for each participating retailer: North America GameStop – Armor inspired by new slayers Reki and Soma’s costumes and classic armor from Toukiden‘s six original NPC slayers. Amazon – 2 exclusive pieces of armor: a set of Tenko […]

  • More Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy 15 info doled out by Tabata

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD director Hajime Tabata took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, and answered a variety of questions pertaining to the game and Final Fantasy 15. According to Tabata, the first playthrough of the game will last around 40 hours, but “the real fun” starts from the second playthrough which contains new events. […]

  • This video gives you an idea of what Borderlands Online is like

    A video for Borderlands Online, the China-exclusive title from 2K, Shanda Games and Gearbox, has been released. Posted on MMO Culture, the video was released to announce the “technical test” which started today. Borderlands Online is an instance-based online shooter, and will probably never reach western shores. Still, you can have a look anyway.