Activision credits Skylanders, Diablo 3 for Q2 success

By Steve Watts, Aug 02, 2012 3:15pm PDT

Activision's Q2 2012 results were released today, boasting positive results and an optimistic outlook for the rest of the fiscal year. The quarter ending on June 30 saw non-GAAP revenues of $1.05 billion, an improvement over its forecast of $950 million. It credited the success of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and Diablo 3 for the results, even as it acknowledged some shifting habits in its other big franchises.

Skylanders was consistently the best-selling console and handheld game in overall dollars for the first six months of this year, thanks to accessory packs and figures. Diablo 3 was the biggest PC game, gaining 10 million players in its time on the market so far. Ongoing subscriptions in World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 3 DLC helped the bottom line, and those digital sales accounted for 32% of total revenue in the period.

However, those sales are slipping. Activision reported that WoW now has approximately 9.1 million subscribers -- an impressive number to be sure, but still a declining trend. The company noted in its earnings call that their data shows some players took a break from WoW to play Diablo 3. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg also said during the call that "a la carte DLC sales have not performed as well as in years past."

Looking forward, the company is expecting several games and other content initiatives to finish the year strong, including Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, more Modern Warfare 3 DLC, its Chinese F2P Call of Duty, Mists of Pandaria, and the upcoming release of Skylanders Giants. Company president Bobby Kotick noted that Skylanders Giants, in particular, will have a "significantly greater retail presence" than its predecessor, which was already wildly successful itself.

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