Activision released its quarterly earnings reports yesterday, and along with an investor call, released some interesting information – like the fact that Bungie is hard at work already on the next game in the Destiny franchise.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg told investors that that Destiny‘s “next full game release” is being developed alongside “future expansion packs”.
Yes, there’s a wealth of expansion content coming to Destiny, but that doesn’t mean Activision doesn’t want even more of your money when the release the next core game in the Destiny franchise. Why wouldn’t they, when they have 9.5 million people playing the game – many who will be sucked in to a new one. Destiny has 9.5 million registered users, Activision says, and the active players play an average of three hours a day. World of Warcraft subscriptions are also up, from 6.8 million to 7.4 million. Destiny and world of Warcraft, together with the money people have spent on Hearthstone, have sent Activision-Blizzard’s profits through the roof.
On a GAAP (generally accepted accounting practices) basis, Activision’s sales increased from $691 million to $753 million, reducing losses from $0.05 per share to $0.03 per share. Using Non-GAAP – which is code for creative accounting – net revenues soar from from $657 million to a record $1.17 billion. That’s not bad for a single quarter. The next one should earn them some decent cash too, with Advanced Warfare now out of the gate.
“Our record third-quarter results were driven by Destiny, the biggest new videogame franchise launch of all time, as well as strong sales from Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which now has over 20 million registered players1, and World of Warcraft, which saw a quarterly increase in subscribers to 7.41 million in anticipation of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor release,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We are raising our full-year non-GAAP outlook and we expect to deliver double-digit non-GAAP revenue growth year-over-year and record non-GAAP earnings per share.”
He continued, “In addition to new content releases of Skylanders Trap Team and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, next week Blizzard Entertainment plans to launch World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Today, we have some of the most important franchises in entertainment and we expect to continue growing our product portfolio in 2015 with two additional franchises — Call of Duty Online, which we expect will enter an unlimited beta test, including virtual item sales, in China during the first quarter, and Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm. Looking ahead, we have more opportunities than ever before to fuel our growth by creating great content using new platforms and business models while also expanding into new geographies. We are embracing all of these growth opportunities with the same commitment to excellence that we have demonstrated over the past 23 years.”
Activision’s doing okay it seems. They’ve gone a long way in the last generation to not being the most hated publishers, trimming the fat from its release schedule and focusing instead on a few core properties.
Last Updated: November 5, 2014