Activision Blizzard announced this afternoon that the company pulled in better-than-expected second quarter earnings thanks in part to strong demand for their video game trifecta – Skylanders, CoD: Modern Warfare 3, and Diablo 3.
For the three months ended June 30, 2012 Activision’s net revenues totaled $1.08 billion (32% of which came from digital channels). This was down from the $1.15 billion for the same quarter last year, but up from the $950 million that the company was expecting. Net income for the second quarter totaled $185 million, down from $335 million in the prior year.
Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO, noted, “For the first six months, we had the top three best-selling games in North America and Europe… Skylanders Spyro’s Adventures and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and… [the] record setting Diablo III.”
Skylanders turned out to be one of the biggest hits for Activision for the first six months of their fiscal year. It was the best-selling console and handheld game in both North America and Europe when revenue of accessory packs, figures, and software is combined. Additionally, Skylander’s was the #1 action-figure line in the US for the same time period.
Diablo III was also credited for setting a new PC launch record for attracting more than 10 million players since its release on May 15, 2012.
It wasn’t all good news for Uncle Kotick, however, as the company revealed that the total number of World of Warcraft subscribers now stands at 9.1 million. This is down 1.1 million from the 10.2 million subscribers that Activision reported last quarter. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is expected to launch on September 25th, so will have to wait and see if the expansion will be enough to bring ex-WoW players back into the game.
[Update] Blizzard has stated that many of the lost WoW subscribers are players that “took a break” and switched over to Diablo III.
Overall, the better-than-expected results have allowed the company to raise their financial outlook for the year. Activision now expects calendar year net revenue to hit $4.33 billion (up from $4.2 billion) and EPS to come in at $0.69 (up from $0.65).