Yesterday, Activision Blizzard had its second quarter earnings call and surprisingly the focus of the call was not around either World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. Instead it was Diablo III that was heralded as the biggest winner of the past quarter for the company. Diablo III scored more than 10,000,000 units sold since its release.
Also not surprising if you know any kids who play games is that Skylanders, including toy sales, was the best selling game for the first half of 2012. CEO Bobby Kotick also made sure to add that the toy sales of Skylanders outsold the highest selling toy lines in both the US and Europe.
As a result of the $1.05 billion dollars in overall earnings, predictions have gone up a full million for their $4.3 billion in expected earnings for the year. Still to come this year, Activision Blizzard has a full lineup for the remainder of the year with World of Warcraft’s Mists of Pandaria expansion , the juggernaut of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the toy powerhouse Skylanders Giants and franchise player Transformers: Fall of Cybertron featuring the dinobots. With the last Call of Duty breaking the billion dollar mark on top of these other huge titles, Activision Blizzard looks to maintain its top spot in the gaming world.
Bobby would also comment publically for the first time about Vivendi and the potential sale of Activision Blizzard. “While we’re unable to comment on Vivendi’s behalf, we continue to remain focused on strong execution, the delivery of great games and the provision of superior shareholder returns as we have for over 20 years. Our strategy has served us very well in the past and will position us very well for the future.”
With earnings reports like this, it would make any stockholder wonder why Vivendi would have Activision up for sale unless they are hoping for a purchase higher than what their controlling 61% stake in the company is currently valued out.
The good news is that this is a positive report in the gaming industry. While there have been so many sad and disappointing reports this year between 38 Studios or Radical Games, just to name a few, it is good to see that the industry can still have success stories.