Tidbits From Activision’s Q1 Financial Results

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Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
ZAP!
ZAP!

The person writing up Activision’s financial press releases has it easy. Going back the past few years, each release touts “record” or “better-than-expected” results, largely on Call of Duty’s back.

That hasn’t changed with the company’s first quarter 2012 results, which were, unlike much of the industry, “better-than-expected.”

Activision has a second weapon now, too: Skylanders. More than 30 million of those little buggers has been sold since Skylanders launched last October, and Skylanders Giants is out later this year.

After reading Activison’s financial results and listening to the call with investors and analysts this afternoon, here are the bits that stood out. The first one stuck me as particularly interesting:

  • Revenues from downloadable content for Call of Duty “decreased significantly,” which Activision attributes to making players wait too long for it. Presumably, that won't be the case with Black Ops II.
  • The reduced revenue from downloadable content was “partially” offset by Call of Duty Elite memberships.
  • The Infinity Ward lawsuit goes to trial on May 29, barring another delay, and the company is putting aside money to potentially pay the lawsuit, should the decision go against Activision. If that happens, the company could owe more than $1 billion to Jason West, Vince Zampella, and others. Activision “does not believe such a result would be justified,” but is actively preparing for the lawsuit to have such a large financial impact.
  • More than 30 million Skylanders toys have been sold since last October.
  • Activision is positioning Skylanders to be Activision’s next $1 billion dollar franchise.
  • More than two million users have signed up for annual Call of Duty Elite memberships.
  • No new details on Bungie’s next game or any indication it would be revealed at E3.
  • Likewise, no new details on Blizzard’s next MMO, except that it’s still coming.
  • Diablo III already has more pre-orders than any other Blizzard game.
  • World of Warcraft is holding steady at 10.2 million users, the same number as last quarter. Hmm.
  • Someone asked about next-generation development investments, but it declined to comment.
Avatar image for patrickklepek
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
ZAP!
ZAP!

The person writing up Activision’s financial press releases has it easy. Going back the past few years, each release touts “record” or “better-than-expected” results, largely on Call of Duty’s back.

That hasn’t changed with the company’s first quarter 2012 results, which were, unlike much of the industry, “better-than-expected.”

Activision has a second weapon now, too: Skylanders. More than 30 million of those little buggers has been sold since Skylanders launched last October, and Skylanders Giants is out later this year.

After reading Activison’s financial results and listening to the call with investors and analysts this afternoon, here are the bits that stood out. The first one stuck me as particularly interesting:

  • Revenues from downloadable content for Call of Duty “decreased significantly,” which Activision attributes to making players wait too long for it. Presumably, that won't be the case with Black Ops II.
  • The reduced revenue from downloadable content was “partially” offset by Call of Duty Elite memberships.
  • The Infinity Ward lawsuit goes to trial on May 29, barring another delay, and the company is putting aside money to potentially pay the lawsuit, should the decision go against Activision. If that happens, the company could owe more than $1 billion to Jason West, Vince Zampella, and others. Activision “does not believe such a result would be justified,” but is actively preparing for the lawsuit to have such a large financial impact.
  • More than 30 million Skylanders toys have been sold since last October.
  • Activision is positioning Skylanders to be Activision’s next $1 billion dollar franchise.
  • More than two million users have signed up for annual Call of Duty Elite memberships.
  • No new details on Bungie’s next game or any indication it would be revealed at E3.
  • Likewise, no new details on Blizzard’s next MMO, except that it’s still coming.
  • Diablo III already has more pre-orders than any other Blizzard game.
  • World of Warcraft is holding steady at 10.2 million users, the same number as last quarter. Hmm.
  • Someone asked about next-generation development investments, but it declined to comment.
Avatar image for supersonic1305
#2 Posted by SuperSonic1305 (115 posts) -

Activision sucks

Avatar image for leejunfan83
#3 Posted by leejunfan83 (1166 posts) -

Fuck Activision

Avatar image for razielcuts
#4 Posted by RazielCuts (3281 posts) -

Is 'Tidbits from..' GiantBomb's newest feature?

Avatar image for gnorbooth
#5 Edited by Gnorbooth (298 posts) -

Take all of my Skylanders!

Avatar image for zaapp1
#6 Posted by Zaapp1 (711 posts) -

Let it be known that Jeff was right all along about the Skylanders.

Avatar image for drdarkstryfe
#7 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (2182 posts) -

No one better understands the current business of the industry than Activision.

Avatar image for morningstar
#8 Posted by Morningstar (2408 posts) -

Oh them skylanders.

Avatar image for fjordson
#9 Posted by Fjordson (2568 posts) -

Damn, still 10 million WoW subs, record pre-orders or Diablo III? Blizzard is a beast of epic proportions.

Avatar image for ben_h
#10 Posted by Ben_H (4029 posts) -

I appreciate that instead of writing "first" or crap like that people instead opted to insult Activision.

Avatar image for cale
#11 Posted by CaLe (4762 posts) -

I don't have anything to say. I'm not in the mood to be witty or to pretend I'm foreign and write in broken English. I can't be bothered right now.

Avatar image for phatmac
#12 Posted by Phatmac (5931 posts) -

Money money money.

Avatar image for mracoon
#13 Posted by mracoon (5105 posts) -

Patrick, you have to go to the IW-Activison trial if only so you have a reason to wear a press fedora.

Moderator
Avatar image for bob_loblaws_law_blog
#14 Posted by Bob_Loblaws_Law_Blog (5 posts) -

I always find this junk so interesting, jolly good show klepek

Avatar image for joey_ravn
#15 Posted by JoeyRavn (5251 posts) -

Of those 30 million Skylanders sold, 10 were bought by Jeff. In a nutshell, he did what those guys did in EVE Online, but in real life.

Avatar image for bionicmonster
#16 Posted by BionicMonster (1046 posts) -

I think wows subscription base will rise by at least 2 million when Mists Of Pandaria is released.

Avatar image for eljay
#17 Posted by Eljay (165 posts) -

Even as EA and most other companies are running to social gaming Activision just sits back and enjoys the flows from everything else they have going on. I may not like all their products but I do admire their ability to stick to their business model and not go chasing after the latest crazes. No surprise its them and everyone else in the market right now.

Avatar image for dany
#19 Posted by Dany (8018 posts) -

@SuperSonic1305 said:

Activision sucks

@leejunfan83 said:

Fuck Activision

@SoothsayerGB said:

Glad to hear they are doing so well. They make great games. Those Skylanders numbers are hilarious! Can't wait for the MMO. : D

Avatar image for rohok
#20 Posted by Rohok (581 posts) -

Activision, EA, and Ubisoft can **** ** **** ****** *** ******* ************* *** **************** *** donkey ** ***** **** **

Avatar image for dexterkid
#21 Posted by DexterKid (686 posts) -

You forgot to mention that 1.2M people signed up for the WoW Annual Pass, almost as many as the total userbase of SWTOR.

Avatar image for moonshadow101
#22 Posted by Moonshadow101 (752 posts) -

Oh, right. Bungie still exists! Funny how easy it is to forget that.

Avatar image for stealthraptor
#23 Posted by StealthRaptor (568 posts) -

At least I haven't given them much for CoD.

Avatar image for noisician
#24 Posted by Noisician (77 posts) -

Boy, 1 billion really is the new 1 million. Also, I fucking love end-of-quarter financial results.

Avatar image for killawogg
#25 Posted by killawogg (244 posts) -

damn i need about 3 or 4 more skylanders to have them all, just to get ready for the giants

Avatar image for vextroid
#26 Posted by Vextroid (1544 posts) -

Activision made some money... Good to know.

Avatar image for spankmealotus
#27 Posted by Spankmealotus (322 posts) -

this is all good...can i play diablo3 yet? no? damnit!

Avatar image for mrmazz
#28 Posted by MrMazz (1188 posts) -

Did Bobby Kotic see his shadow?

Avatar image for butano
#29 Posted by butano (1998 posts) -

Oh hey, Activision's making monies. Who knew?

Avatar image for aiurflux
#30 Posted by AiurFlux (954 posts) -
  • Activision is positioning Skylanders to be Activision’s next $1 billion dollar franchise.
  • More than two million users have signed up for annual Call of Duty Elite memberships.

I really want to hit something right now.

Avatar image for tourgen
#31 Posted by tourgen (4568 posts) -

I just realized I don't own a single Activision game on any console or PC. It's not even a boycott or anything. I just don't like to play the games they publish. It's pretty weird it worked out like that. I don't know, maybe there is something in my steam account I am missing.

Avatar image for brotherstereo
#32 Posted by brotherstereo (44 posts) -

Yes, demand for Call of Duty DLC is declining! Finally...

Avatar image for jacksukeru
#33 Posted by jacksukeru (6635 posts) -

@Rohok said:

Activision, EA, and Ubisoft can **** ** **** ****** *** ******* ************* *** **************** *** donkey ** ***** **** **

My what a unintelligible sentence! I will just have to try and decode it as best I can!

"Activision, EA, and Ubisoft can take me from behind and squeeze intelligently for supernationalism gas donkey up forum hate !!"

There we go : D

Avatar image for baillie
#34 Posted by Baillie (4709 posts) -

Well, the user-base here sure are good at making themselves out to be moronic!

Avatar image for deanoxd
#35 Posted by DeanoXD (721 posts) -

I just want to clarify, 10.2M is world wide monthly paying accounts right?

Avatar image for ronald
#36 Posted by Ronald (1510 posts) -

Damn, Activision has enough money to just sit over $1 billion aside just in case they need to give it to West and Zampella.

Activision “does not believe such a result would be justified,”

You think so, Activision? What else are they going to say "We are going to lose this case, but want to lose it in grand fashion." It would be crazy if they did lose, because it would mean enough money would go to Respawn to keep them in business indefinitely.

Avatar image for meatsim
#37 Posted by MeatSim (11157 posts) -

Yup no shortage of money in Activision's coffers.

Avatar image for laserbolts
#38 Posted by laserbolts (5506 posts) -

2 million signed up for call of duty elite? damn that is depressing.

Avatar image for laserbolts
#39 Edited by laserbolts (5506 posts) -

2 million signed up for call of duty elite? damn that is depressing.

@Rohok said:

Activision, EA, and Ubisoft can **** ** **** ****** *** ******* ************* *** **************** *** donkey ** ***** **** **

oh you rebel you

Avatar image for sooty
#40 Posted by Sooty (8193 posts) -

Boring.

Avatar image for astrofunk
#41 Posted by astrofunk (25 posts) -

Grrr... Why do people like things that I don't like!?

Avatar image for gunrun
#42 Posted by Gunrun (15 posts) -

Why "Tidbits". The word is titbits.

Avatar image for billyhoush
#43 Edited by billyhoush (1270 posts) -

I can't wait to follow the court case at the end of this month. It's gonna be like the nerd version of the OJ Simpson trial.

Avatar image for yukoasho
#44 Posted by yukoasho (2248 posts) -

Hopefully hardcore trolls calm the fuck down about Skylanders. There's no telling whether this can be annualized like CoD, or whether it'll have any lasting appeal. Everything made for super-young children has always been exploitative, but the little shits have short attention spans.

@laserbolts said:

2 million signed up for call of duty elite? damn that is depressing.

Not sure why. They wanted something and they paid for it.

Avatar image for shway
#45 Posted by shway (184 posts) -

people that rage over a successful company being able to make a profit and still produce mostly decent game makes me laugh.

Avatar image for wintermute
#46 Posted by wintermute (433 posts) -

@CaLe said:

I don't have anything to say. I'm not in the mood to be witty or to pretend I'm foreign and write in broken English. I can't be bothered right now.

Oh, but it so much funny! You take rest, I'll chip in my shovel for cause!

Avatar image for jazz_lafayette
#47 Posted by Jazz_Lafayette (3897 posts) -

All I can think of is executives sitting in a boardroom at the top of Activision-Blizzard Towers(TM) sipping scotch and chuckling as they look down at the shorter-by-17-floors EA building. Wait... maybe I can create an elaborate fiction out of this and sell it to Ubisoft for the next Assassin's Creed game.

Avatar image for klaimore
#48 Posted by Klaimore (1013 posts) -

Is the hmm link to star wars a way of saying that didn't matter to world of Warcraft players?

Avatar image for spilledmilkfactory
#49 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (2085 posts) -

@Eljay said:

Even as EA and most other companies are running to social gaming Activision just sits back and enjoys the flows from everything else they have going on. I may not like all their products but I do admire their ability to stick to their business model and not go chasing after the latest crazes. No surprise its them and everyone else in the market right now.

What this duder said. I may have disdain for most of their business strategies, but at the same time they've proven that developing for the "core" can be vastly more profitable than the casual gaming that seems to be the new craze.

Avatar image for ildon
#50 Posted by ildon (617 posts) -

I think a better "Hmmm" link would have been to the WoW Annual Pass rather than SW:ToR. We'll see if there's another dip in about 2-6 months. Maybe a little longer after that depending on Mists of Pandaria timing.

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