Activision Blizzard recently released financial results for its second quarter ending June 30th, and the $195 million USD profit (from $1.04 billion USD in sales) demonstrated well-placed leverage of their combined strengths. The profit was a 600 percent increase over Activision's results posted just one year before, though much of this growth was attributed to its merger with Blizzard. In this way, ActiBlizz benefited from both its console and World of Warcraft business.
WoW alone accounted for $324 million USD in sales, nearly a third of ActiBlizz's total quarterly revenue. Console software sales also did the company proud, making it the top third-party console/handheld publisher in North America for the second quarter of the 2009 calendar year. Titles like Prototype (the publisher's top new IP), X-Men Legends: Wolverine and of course the Transformer movie tie-in games all played their part in helping secure success. While figures from ActiBlizz financial reports confirm that Nintendo's Wii easily leads the North American install base for consoles, the Xbox 360 was still the more lucrative platform.
Indeed, Microsoft's console generated the largest amount of software sales for the publisher by far with over $231 million USD. The PlayStation 3 and Wii meanwhile trailed at $152 million USD and $118 million USD in sales, respectively. ActiBlizz scored $48 million USD from Nintendo DS software sales, topping the $17 million USD generated from their PlayStation Portable games. The PlayStation 2 helped pick up the slack for Sony, living up to its stalwart legacy by generating $44 million USD in software sales. Finally, ActiBlizz's remaining PC software sales (not related in any way to WoW) amounted to $41 million USD.
Backed with such sales, you might forget that ActiBlizz already saw fit to push back the release of several key titles until sometime 2010, including StarCraft II and Singularity. The publisher still stands to reap benefits from the big-name delays, as Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter predicts titles like SCII and even a possible WoW expansion pack will play their part in scoring software unit sales totalling no less than 16 million next year. Pachter believes SCII alone will score somewhere around 6 million units in sales for the publisher, divided evenly between two campaign packs.
The analyst further praised ActiBlizz as a "well-managed company with a clear strategy that is executing well", anticipating sales growth in excess of 20 percent during the next fiscal year. That's probably nicer than the things that are being said about ActiBlizz CEO Robert Kotick these days, particularly after his remarks during the company's Q2 earnings conference call that he would raise the pricing of their premium game bundles even higher if he had the chance.