Activision Blizzard has announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2010, ending June 30, and it posted net revenues of $967 million, which is down 7 percent from $1 billion yoy.
Net income was up to $219 million from $195 million during the same period in 2009.
For the first six months of the calendar year, in the US and Europe, Call of Duty was the number one third-party franchise and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the number one first-person action game, according to NPD, Chart-Track and Gfk.
Additionally, for the six month period, Activision was the number two third-party console and handheld publisher in the US, according to NPD.
According to more NPD figures, during the quarter, Call of Duty was the number 3 franchise in the US overall and the number one first-person action franchise. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the number one first-person action title overall in the US for the quarter.
It was also estimated StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty sold through more than 1 million units in its first 24 hours, making it the best-selling PC game of 2010, and 1.5 million units in its first 48 hours, setting a record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time. We told you about this earlier in the week, though.
During the quarter, NPD said Activision Blizzard had four top-10 PC games in the US with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, World of Warcraft Battle Chest and Diablo Battle Chest.
Life-to-date sales of map packs for the Call of Duty franchise surpassed 20 million units in the quarter as well, and sales from digital online channels grew more than 20 percent year-over-year.
The Guitar Hero franchise has also sold almost 40 million units lifetime, as of the quarter's end on June 30.
Despite moving the release of True Crime: Hong Kong into 2011, the firm has reaffirmed its 2010 outlook due to an increase in expectations for the Call of Duty brand in the fourth quarter.
For the calendar year, the company still expects net revenues of $4.2 billion and for Q3 of calendar year 2010, it expects net revenues of $600 million.
"Our quarterly results were fueled by continued strong consumer response to Activision Publishing's Call of Duty franchise and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft," said CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.
"For the first and second quarters, we outperformed our earnings per share outlook, and we grew our operating margin year over year for the six month period, driven by our focused effort to increase digital revenues. There are clearly more opportunities than ever before to create great games and we are at the forefront of doing so.
"Looking to the balance of the year, we expect to release the best slate in our company's history. Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is off to a strong start worldwide with midnight openings on July 27, 2010 at 3,100 GameStop stores in the U.S. and 8,000 retailers around the world. We are, of course, enthusiastic about Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, which began a closed beta test on June 30.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops is shaping up to be one of the best games Activision Publishing has ever created, the marketing programs are the biggest in the company's history and to date, pre-orders of the game exceed the pre-orders for Modern Warfare 2 at this time last year. This fall, our lineup includes Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, DJ Hero 2, Tony Hawk: SHRED, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, GoldenEye 007 and Bakugan, all of which look to be very promising as well.
"We have never been better positioned for the holiday season than we are today with such a strong slate of games and the best team in our industry to bring them to market."
COO Thomas Tippl expects the company's Wii software sales to fall, yet post a gain in sales for Xbox 360, PS3, and digital software for the rest of the year.
The financial call to investors is set to go off in a minute. We'll be listening.