Giant Bomb News


Tidbits From Activision’s Q1 Financial Results

Call of Duty remains big, WoW subscriptions hold steady, and Skylanders.


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.
Patrick Klepek on Google+