Activision Blizzard Posts Positive Financial Results; Expects to Expand to 10 AAA Blockbusters Franchises in 2015
Activision Blizzard posted its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014, and they’re definitely positive.
- In North America and Europe combined, Activision Publishing was the #1 retail publisher and had three of the top five best‐selling new releases for the calendar year — #1 Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare, #3 Destiny, and #5 Skylanders® Trap Team. 2
- Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the #1 top‐selling console game globally for the calendar year.3 Additionally, in 2014, Call of Duty was the #1 franchise in North America for the sixth year in a row.4 Call of Duty franchise revenues now exceed $11 billion in retail sales worldwide since it first launched in 2003.5Activision Blizzard Announces Fourth Quarter and CY 2014 Financial Results 3
- Activision Publishing’s Destiny was the most successful launch of a new video game franchise in history.2 Destiny was also the #1 top‐selling new video game IP and the #3 top‐selling new release in North America and Europe, combined, for the calendar year.2 To date, Destiny has more than 16 million registered users and active players are playing the game an average of over three hours per day.
- Activision Publishing’s Skylanders Trap Team was the #1 top‐selling kids console game globally for the calendar year. For the third consecutive year, Skylanders was the #1 kids video game franchise of the year in the U.S., and globally.3
- At BlizzCon® on November 7, 2014, Blizzard Entertainment announced a new intellectual property, Overwatch™ — a highly accessible multi‐player game featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all‐new Blizzard game universe.
- On November 13, 2014, Blizzard Entertainment launched Warlords of Draenor™, the fifth expansion for the #1 subscription‐based MMORPG in the world, World of Warcraft®. The expansion sold‐through more than 3.3 million copies as of the first 24 hours of its availability and helped drive World of Warcraft to more than 10 million global subscribers at the end of 2014.
- On December 8, 2014, Blizzard Entertainment launched Goblins vs Gnomes™, the first expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The release of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on Android tablets followed on December 15, 2014.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick accompanied the press release with an extensive comment:
2014 was another successful year as we achieved record results and introduced new franchises with outstanding gameplay, expanded on exciting new business models and continued investing in some of the world’s most important entertainment franchises. We delivered record earnings per share which increased more than 50% from the previous year, double‐digit revenue growth, and record high‐margin digital revenues that represent an all‐time high of 46% of total revenues (all non‐GAAP).
We expanded our franchise portfolio by launching two of the industry’s most successful new brands, Blizzard’s Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, and the biggest new IP launch in industry history, Destiny®. Combined, these franchises attracted over 40 million registered players worldwide and generated more than $850 million in non‐GAAP revenue.1 This year, we expect to expand our franchise portfolio to 10 blockbusters, up from five franchises at the beginning of 2014. Our amazingly talented teams will continue to produce the world’s best content for gamers.
We have a growing portfolio of the very best franchises and great confidence in our future. Our Board has once again increased our dividend, authorized a $750 million share repurchase program and the repayment of another $250 million of our debt, and we have returned nearly $10 billion to our shareholders in dividends and repurchases since 2008.