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ActiBlizz: Diablo 3 to launch Q2, new CoD "this year"

Activision Blizzard has released its full-year 2011 and Q4 financials, and has said to expect Diablo III during Q2 this year, which would place it somewhere between March and June, and a new entry in the Call of Duty franchise with "meaningful innovation" is expected this year.

For the year, revenues were $4.76 billion, compared with $4.45 billion year-over year. For the quarter ending December 31, revenues were $1.41 billion, compared with $1.43 billion year-over-year.

"As we continue to strengthen our leadership position in interactive entertainment, our proven management team and talented employees delivered another extraordinary year of outperformance," said CEO Bobby Kotick in the release. "With better than expected net revenues, record earnings, record operating margins, and having generated nearly $1 billion in operating cash flow, Activision Blizzard continues to set the industry success bar.

"Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft maintained its leadership position as the number one subscription-based MMORPG around the world and Activision Publishing's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the number one selling game. Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the biggest new IP launch in Activision's history and it is on track to become an important and sustainable franchise."

In March the firm will release the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection, a compilation of content previously released to Call of Duty Elite premium members, on the Xbox 360. It will contain Piazza, Liberation, and the recently announced Overwatch.

The firm also reaffirmed it anticipates two releases from Blizzard Entertainment for calender year 2012. One, is the aforementioned Diablo III, and other - although not mentioned by name - is the expected Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II.

2011 was also the eighth year of consecutive growth for the Call of Duty Franchise.

Expect Diablo 3 by the end of the year, and a new Call of Duty Game.

The firm also highlighted a few figured regarding Elite subscribers and Modern Warfare 3, most of which were already reported.

  • For the calendar year, in aggregate across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe, Activision Publishing's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the #1 best-selling title in dollars, and Call of Duty: Black Ops was the #5 best-selling title in dollars.
  • In November 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 became the first video game ever to surpass $775 million in retail sales in its first five days of release and the only entertainment property to cross the $1 billion mark in 16-days, eclipsing "Avatar's" 17-day record.
  • As of January 31, 2012, more than seven million gamers have registered for Call of Duty Elite, including more than 1.5 million premium annual memberships the company has sold for the online service.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players logged more than 639 million hours of online gameplay through December 31, 2011.
  • Total unique online gamers playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 were more than 12% greater than the total unique online gamers who played Call of Duty: Black Ops during the first two months after each game's release.
  • In North America and Europe, including accessory packs and figures, Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the #8 best-selling game in dollars for the fourth quarter of 2011 and #1 selling kids' title in dollars in the calendar year. Additionally, in North America, including accessory packs and figures, Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the #10 best-selling title in dollars.
  • For the calendar year, Blizzard Entertainment had two top-10 PC games in North America and Europe with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
  • Activision Blizzard purchased an aggregate of 61 million shares of its common stock for approximately $692 million in 2011.

Blizzards Q4 2011 and year end results were down, but the firm still reported 500 million in income. Sub numbers for WoW ended flat with 10.2 million subs - which is a 100,000 loss - and more news on DotA and Heart of the Swarm will be announced at a later date.

Over 29 million people viewed the WoW Chuck Norris advert on YouTube, said Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime, and the game is off to a "good start" in Brazil.

Activision Blizzard has released a set of financial slides which contain all the information posted above, and you can view them in the gallery below.

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Stephany Nunneley

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Half-blind/half-dyslexic, bad typist, wine enthusiast, humanitarian, intellectual savant, idiot savior, lover of all things nonsensical, animal hoarder and highly sarcastic.

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