Activision – and the power of digital

All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks
at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell
short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for
always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of
yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, was the force that digital downloads
have become for the company.
Mw2-stimulus  

For the first time, Activsion’s revenue from digital sales
topped that of retail sales, as “Modern Warfare 2” continued to flex is
muscles.

According to Activision execs, total sales of “MW2” map
packs year-to-date are high enough that they would rank as one of the year’s top 5 selling games. And if you add map pack sales with the copies of the game that
are still being sold at retail, “Modern Warfare 2’s” revenue would top “Red
Dead Redemption,” 2010’s top-seller so far.

All totaled, Activision says it sold more than 5 million
“Call of Duty” map packs during the quarter – the equivalent of between $50
million and $75 million in revenue.

Digital will be increasingly important to Activision this
year, as free trial periods of “Starcraft II” come to an end in Korea and
Taiwan, which should significantly increase sales of those titles. (Management
also said initial sales of the real-time strategy game were more than double
that of “World of Warcraft,” which certainly bodes well for the long-term power
of the game, as well as the two upcoming sequels/add-ons.)

Other tidbits from yesterday’s announcement:

* Bungie
Studios is now almost entirely focused on working on their next franchise,
which Activision will publish. Work on “Halo: Reach” has, for the most
part, wrapped up.

* “True
Crime: Hong Kong” has been pushed back to 2011 to give developers more
time to work on the game. (This is notable as Activision very rarely delays games – and the “True Crime” franchise historically hasn’t been a top
performer anyway.)

* Besides
the work it’s doing on new “Starcraft” installments, a new “Diablo” game
and the upcoming “World of Warcraft” expansion, Blizzard Entertainment is
working on an “entirely new” intellectual property, which will be a
massively multiplayer game. (Blizzard has been working on that game for
over three years now – but yesterday’s announcement kills speculation that it will be an MMO centered around “Starcraft”.) 

More Digital

  • Jack Ma Alibaba

    Alibaba Looking at Expansion in Advertising, Media Sectors

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Streams Over 180 Million Hours to TV Screens Every Day

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

  • Trump Davos

    Trump Tariffs Could Make Apple Watch, Sonos Speakers More Expensive (Report)

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

  • ABC - More In Common

    ABC Hopes Feel-Good Series for Facebook About Americans Uniting Goes Viral

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

  • Disney Cycles VR Short Film

    Disney Animation's First VR Film, 'Cycles,' Set to Premiere

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

  • Beta Film Boards ‘The Pier,’ from

    Beta Film Boards ‘The Pier,’ from ‘Casa de Papel’ Creator Alex Pina

    All in all, it was a mixed financial quarter for the folks at Activision. Earnings per share were higher than expected, but revenue fell short – which was somewhat shocking for a company that has a reputation for always meeting or beating the guidance it gives investors. The real story of yesterday’s earnings announcement, though, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content