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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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    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]

  • Splatoon Nintendo Direct airs Thursday, May 7

    A Nintendo Direct focused on Splatoon, the Wii U multiplayer title, on May 7. It will kick off at 7am PDT/10am EDT/3pm UK and it can be watched via the Nintendo Direct website. You can also have a look at the game through Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The last game-specific presentation took place last week and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: clean up the streets as a member of the San Andreas PD with this new mod

    Remember the awesome mods for GTA 4 and San Andreas that let you run amok online as a member of the po-po? Well, dust off your taser and load up your gun, because it’s coming to GTA 5. The new mod for GTA 5 is currently in alpha and can be downloaded at palmbeachgames.com. You […]

  • Indie shoot ‘em up Project Root comes to Xbox One, PS4 and PSVita

    Project Root is a self-proclaimed rejig of the shoot ‘em up genre that was released on PC last year, and it’s finally coming to consoles. Combining free-roaming elements with the usual business of shooting things, Project Root was released this week for Xbox One, PS4 and the PSVita.

  • You can now bet on eSports online, starting with League of Legends

    If you’re getting bored with sticking a pony on the races, you can expand your gambling horizons at Unikrn where you can watch esports streams and get a little action on the side. The new platform was set up by Rahul Sood – previously the general manager of Microsoft Ventures. At the moment, customers are […]

  • Has Watch Dogs 2 been leaked?

    Ubisoft employee, Julien Risse, may have inadvertently confirmed Watch Dogs 2, thanks to his online CV over at LinkedIn. Videogamer.com spotted the slip up, in which Risse lists Watch Dogs, the DLC Bad Blood, and Watch Dogs 2 on his profile. Creative Director Jonathan Morin has already talked about his ideas for improvements for the […]

  • GTA 5′s Trevor makes his Jackass debut, complete with leopard-print knickers

    YouTuber Abstract Mode has shared his vision of what Trevor Philips’ life might have been like, had he not been completely batshit crazy. Watch Trevor get mauled, run over, and hit by a train, before taking a majestic swan-dive into someone else’s pool at the climax. Thanks, Kotaku.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 season pass will cost you £35

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t released until November 6, but you can already hand over your cash for the Season Pass. The Season Pass is available for pre-purchase on Steam for £34.99, and will cover four DLC packs – although the details we have on the content are limited to ‘exciting’ at this […]

  • GTA Online’s cheating assholes are no match for this player’s vengeance

    Think you’re smart for using invisibility and infinite ammo glitches? You need to be taught a lesson, sucker. You can have all the hacks you want but if your GTA Online game is weak, you’ll still get your ass handed to you. As this fool discovered when attempting to hassle another player. There’s a fair […]

  • PS4 sales help Sony’s games division swing to profit

    Sony’s PlayStation business has made an operating profit of 48.1 billion yen ($404m / £261.5m) in the past 12 months. That’s thanks to stellar sales of the PlayStation 4 and PS Plus, even as sales of the PS3 have stalled and the company wrote off costs for the PSTV and PS Vita. The profit puts […]

  • New patch for Dirt Rally gives co-driver’s attitude a tune-up

    Dirt Rally gets a new patch three days after release on Steam. On Monday, we reported that the newest Dirt game has popped up on Steam’s Early Access and is available to pick up for £24.99, as well as giving you an eyeful of tasty screenshots. The patch – released yesterday – fixes some issues […]

  • New The Witcher 3 screenshots show combat, exploration and general carousing

    New screenshots released on the official facebook page for The Witcher 3 show Geralt annihilating a winged beast, out and about in the world exploring, and living the life of Reily amidst a bustling feast. We were already treated to some glorious screenshots a few days ago, but these new ones are in-game and give […]

  • Destiny: 14 things you might have missed during House of Wolves intel drops

    Destiny: House of Wolves does a great deal more than just slap some new content on the existing game structure. House of Wolves changes Destiny in a lot of interesting and very welcome ways. Bungie showed off many of these changes in its livestream, and let both me and Arekkz come and have a look […]

  • Scratch that cyberpunk itch with Technobabylon on May 21 – new trailer

    Technobabylon more like Wrecked-yo-babbling with my smooth flow about how good Wadjet Eye games are. I don’t know y’all, it’s clock off time and everything feels like a reach. Wadjet Eye makes pretty good adventure games – award winning, in fact. The latest project to spring forth from the benevolent, sheltering hand of the label […]

  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore brings exclusive new features to PS4, Vita in northern summer

    Skullgirls, the little indie fighter that could, is getting another crack at it. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the second re-release of the one-time troubled 2D versus fighter from lab Zero Games. Having survived the shut down of its developer and collapse of its publishing contrast, Skullgirls re-emerged as Skullgirls: Encore, adding in a ton of […]

  • Danganronpa series generates “impressive” sales for Vita exclusive

    Danganronpa is selling quite nicely, thank you, says NIS America. Danganronpa is a series of murder mystery visual novel puzzlers in a similar vein to games like 999. Two of these have been released for Vita in the west – Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. Speaking to MCV, NIS America CEO and president Takuro […]

  • I have no idea what is going on in J-Stars Victory VS+ but I kind of like it

    In this J-Stars Victory VS+ trailer, we see – uhh. Well. We certainly see some things. Look y’all, I was a massive weaboo in high school, but that was back in the dark ages when we had to take out Manga Entertainment VHS tapes from dingy little specialist rental joints that were literally underground, and […]

  • Please just watch this terrific trailer for Toren

    Toren is the kind of game I dream about when I drift off to sleep at night. This indie puzzle adventure strikes a spark in my little soul in the same way as Ico and Tequila Works’ Rime do. Mysterious, almost ethereal fantasy setting – check. Chance to actually walk around in that setting – […]

  • Play classic MS-DOS games on your own tweets

    In today’s episode of “what will they think of next”, someone’s figured out how to post playable versions of classic games in tweets. For some time now, Twitter has allowed you to embed various forms of media in tweets, most noticeably YouTube videos, simply by pasting a URL into the compose field. Turns out this […]

  • VR: Unreal Engine to add HTC Vive support

    The biggest digital PC game distributor and the most popular game development engine have both backed VR. It’s going to happen. An upcoming Unreal Engine 4 update will expand the development suite’s support to the HTC Vive, Valve’s VR headset. In this glorious new future where work on one of the most important engines in […]

  • WWE 2K15 PC supports modding

    WWE 2K15 may be the series’ PC debut, but it’s already getting into the spirit of the platform. WWE 2K15 does indeed support mods on PC, 2K’s Marcus Stephenson has confirmed. @ElementGamesTV you can. Now buy. — Marcus Stephenson (@stephensonmc) April 28, 2015 As Destructoid points out, this opens the door to all sorts of […]

  • Overkill’s The Walking Dead coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2016

    Overkill’s The Walking Dead is one step closer to your grasping little paws. Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be published by 505 Games, Overkill parent Starbreeze has announced. 505 also published Payday 2, Overkill’s previous title, so the two companies have established a working relationship. In a press release, the publisher said the co-op title […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 pre-orders net Advanced Warfare DLC

    Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for later, enjoy bonus Advanced Warfare content now. Blacks Ops 3 is being supported by a rather cunning pre-order incentive even more likely to get you to lay your cash down sooner than you might otherwise. Gamespot reports a Black Ops 3 pre-order will receive a couple of […]

  • Steam Game Ban system lets developers determine who to block

    Steam users can now be blocked from individual games by their developers. Steam has always supported multiplayer bans for disruptive users, but a newly-implemented system allows developers to ban users from individual games using their own anti-cheat systems. Game Bans are enforced by Valve, but are enacted at the developer’s request and discretion. This change […]

  • Far Cry 4 devs matching Red Cross donations up to $100K to aid Nepal earthquake victims

    Far Cry 4 developer Ubisoft Montreal will match any pledges made to The Red Cross up to $100,000 to aid Nepal after the 7.8 earthquake struck the area in and around Kathmandu in Nepal. According to Ubisoft: “Having spent the last few years working on Far Cry 4, a game heavily inspired by Nepal and […]

  • Tales of Zestiria retail listing notes September release date, PS4 version

    Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, and while it’s confirmed as a PlayStation 3 release, a Dutch retailer has it listed as coming to PS4 as well. Of course, listing it for PS4 could also be a typo, not that I would personally know about that sort of thing, really. However, according […]