Activision Q2 sales slide to $967M, True Crime delayed

Publisher reports 7% decline in April-June revenues as digital sales surpass retail; Hong Kong-set sequel bumped to 2011.

Activision Blizzard preempted its second-quarter earnings report with two notable achievements this week. First, the publisher said that Call of Duty franchise multiplayer map packs had now shifted more than 20 million units and a day later announced that Blizzard Entertainment's Starcraft II had sold 1.5 million units within 48 hours. However, the game company's actual earnings report wasn't uniformly positive, as the April-June period saw sinking revenues but growing profits.

Blur had a slow jump off the line.

For the three-month period, Activision Blizzard said total revenues came in at $967 million, down 7 percent from the $1.04 billion brought in a year before. Net income saw a significant bump during the period, however, rising to $219 million from $195 million during the year prior.

Activision Blizzard chief operating officer Thomas Tippl attributed the revenue shortfall to foreign exchange rates. He also said that Bizarre Creation's Blur and Raven Software's Singularity underperformed during the quarter. Of note, neither title cracked the NPD Group's top 10 retail sales chart during their debut months of May and June, respectively.

Activision Blizzard said that earnings during the period were driven by the continued success of its stalwart Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises. Of the former, Activision Blizzard said Modern Warfare 2 was the number three overall franchise in the US during the quarter, a ranking that rose to number one in the first-person shooter space.

The publisher also used its second-quarter earnings report to reveal one change to its 2010 release schedule. Once slated for a fall 2010 release, United Front Games' True Crime: Hong Kong is now expected to arrive in 2011. According to Activision Blizzard, the delay was necessary "in order to give the development team more time to deliver the high-quality entertainment experience they envision for the game."

Despite the delay, Activision Blizzard maintained its outlook for its 2010 calendar year, thanks to an increase in expectations from the Call of Duty franchise during the fourth quarter. As such, the publisher still plans to pull in $4.2 billion during the year, with earnings per share expected to hit $0.49.

As part of a post-earnings conference call, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick also offered some deeper insight into the publisher's earnings. "This is the first quarter that our sales from online channels outweighed our retail results," Kotick said. The publisher also noted that digital online sales grew more than 20 percent year-over-year during the quarter.

During his portion of the conference call, Tippl confirmed that the Guitar Hero franchise has sold nearly 40 million units through the quarter. He also briefly touched upon the Infinity Ward situation, which saw a number of defections after studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West were fired in March. According to Tippl, Activision has this year hired some 60 employees to work at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, which is at work on an action adventure set in the Call of Duty franchise.

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Discussion

154 comments
Amauris96
Amauris96

I don't want them to cancel True Crime. I reallyy wanntt that game ],:

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

I hope they don't cancel it or I will be reaaaaaaaally angry!

k0k066
k0k066

true cirme delayed ha?? well that was to be expected most good games come in 2011 and that looks a great game,well what the hell still waiting :'(

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i miss true crime.

pixo45
pixo45

F**king Activision. lol

Goku375
Goku375

hope you are listening activision .

Goku375
Goku375

if they r shifting true crime to 2011 . they better be overcoming with the texture pop ups which are common in now a days games. or else it is not worth the wait

EL1TESN1P3S
EL1TESN1P3S

This game looks amazing the only thing i dont really like is the foot work for fighting its needs work im a Mixed martial artist and i would love to be able to help the mechanics and speed of the side kick counter which is a single leg takedown its very unrealistic and maybe having enemys coming at you more because i noticed that you would eliminate an enemy and the others would be standing around doing nothing

Ezio66
Ezio66

what the hell. 2011

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

meh....Coolyfett has not played any of those Call of Duty shooters...all those shoot em up games look the same to Coolyfett. Someone needs to come with something new.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Nonetheless, it still can't be said that Activision is doing badly by any stretch of the imagination.

leondrel1
leondrel1

There is nothing sad in this post, their revenues may have fallen but their profits have increased. Reading comprehension people.

Echorai
Echorai

"Activision sales", "True Crime delayed"... these together reminded me of that recent Game Informer article entitled "Thirteen Evil Things Activision Hasn't Done Yet". It's a HILARIOUS article. Check it out.

magusat999
magusat999

I want Activision to succeed - because that's one more set of games that I can play. But if they can make almost a billion dollars and still be crying broke then they need some serious restructuring! How much crack does a game company need to survive? All these big old expensive game companies really need to start looking at what they are wasting money on and FOCUS on producing games - I bet most of that money is going into pockets and marketing... I'm paying you $60.00 so that you can make more great games, not for you to buy Leer Jets for every Chairman in your company. It's ridiculous and stupid how some of these companies call themselves "doing business".

schawnneo
schawnneo

To Activision: Fix the damn 'auto shut down' bug !!!

gamerpipe
gamerpipe

They ll solve it. They ll make new map pack and price it $1 trillion billion dollars.

grungeman91
grungeman91

I think Kotick just shat in his expensive slacks.

bennae66
bennae66

oh, so sad! i contribute very little to activision. unfortunatley they include blizzard now, so i had to get starcraft. other than that, call of duty and the house that built it can go jump in a lake. with bricks tied to each ankle. blindfolded.

Keitha313
Keitha313

@jojogo2 Its called freedom of speech, And for your information one i didn't pre-order Black Ops and two neither did i pre-order MW2 because i could tell from the get go they would be disappointments only way i would play those games is if i borrowed it off of someone and no other way i can go through my whole entire game-list and i can also guarantee their is not a single Activision title in it.

Keitha313
Keitha313

Well i hope their profits keep on sliding down im sick of Activision hates a strong word but i do dislike them, They just don't care any more what the gamer wants to see. Like for example Call of duty series were great until they implemented all these perks, killstreaks and the radar it just completely takes away any skill, Gameplay just basically getting watered down so any one can just pick up a controller and do good because the game isn't hard at all. I'm honestly surprised they did not do the same for Starcraft 2. To put it simply Activision take a great game and ruin it almost 70% of the time they are just as bad as EA now.

xdude85
xdude85

Since when is making $967 million not enough? It really amazes me how Activision shows how greedy they are.

SamiRDuran
SamiRDuran

cod and wow will keep making money for activision forever

amari24
amari24

This sucks, I was really looking foward to playing True Crimes soon.

SirMordredX
SirMordredX

Well, that's a shame - I was looking forward to living a Hong-Kong action cinema movie in a game format before the year was out, but hell - as usual, if it's better this way for the sake of polish - it's better this way. Hands down.

xScatmanJohnx
xScatmanJohnx

Ah damn they delayed True Crime. I dont want to wait any longer for this game to release after i've heard that it will have a ''real time damage system'' so your character takes visual damage such as bleeding, blood on clothes and even the clothes taking damage...

jojogo2
jojogo2

I guarantee everyone on here who is talking bad about Activision has a copy of Black Ops (The Prestige Edition) pre-ordered right now while they sit back and play StarCraft 2 If y'all hate the company, and the boss, and the games they make: DONT BUY THEM THEN

luke_717
luke_717

Oh no! lets donate them some money, they got nothing to eat.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

That's too bad that Singularity didn't do too well, as I like Raven as a developer. Not too surprised though; they blew their marketing budget over a year too early and the game took too long to come out after delays, so by the time it did it was a little bit behind technologically. Oh well. P.S. Thumbs up if you hate Bobby Kotick

schawnneo
schawnneo

Getting a beer to celebrate now!!

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

Thing is, despite my distaste with Activision's greedy ethics, I'll still probably get Black Ops. Eventually, since money is tight these days. But I did enjoy World At War. Considerably. The multiplayer played a large part in that, admittedly, and if Black Ops' MP is ruined in the same way that MW2's was, that'll take away from it straight away.

okassar
okassar

Oh poor Activision, they came just short of a billion dollars for 3 months of ripping people off with ridiculously priced DLC and shovelware.

RTHKI
RTHKI

bongsyas they didnt lose 967 million, that was total revenue, learn to read

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@bongsyas 23 - they didn't lose $967m - $967m was their revenue figure (actual money taken), which was down on whatever last years figure was for revenue for the same period..... what their profit cut was out of that revenue though is anyone's guess - I certainly wouldn't mind 0.1% of it(!) ha ha Oh - and Activision wouldn't feed their children, they'd let them starve while they were busy counting their $967m ;) lol

SunOfAtom
SunOfAtom

Man, $967 million. My heart bleeds.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

oh no, they lost $967m, how will they feed the kids now.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Guilty confession: I bought both Transformers and Blur. I think they're both a lot of fun, and I wish Blur had a bigger community.

Zevvion
Zevvion

I love delays. Don't get me wrong, I want to play the game as fast as possible, but there have been games that just were short of amazing because the developers did not get slightly more time. I just love how you can tell when finally playing a game, the extra time was well worth it. I'm looking forward to True Crime HK. I'm not expecting it to be the best game this year, but I definitely think it will be fun. I had tons of fun with Streets of LA anyway.

MohammedMusfa
MohammedMusfa

Finally!!!! I smell the dawn of a new era!!!!!!

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

when it goes down to a dollar, ill be happy. but in full disclosure... i bought the transformers game and loved it.

sieg6529
sieg6529

yeesh, and my ATVI stock is down 7%. get it together guys!

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR (DA) MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR COMPANY..... "Neil Armstrong" LOL :)

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

Increase in operating costs is probably due to legal costs for all the lawsuits they have pending (Infinity Ward, West and Zampella, No Doubt to name a few) and recently lost (vs former defense lawyer and vs Greg Hastings). I seriously doubt it has anything to do with the exchange rate as they claim since they are a US based country. I can see it for the asian countries, but if anything the exchange rate should be helping Activision. Fail with the smoke & mirrors Tippl!

XeonForce
XeonForce

As long as your net profit is strong (i.e. the money you bank) which in this case even went positive, I'd be happy. What we learned today, is that big companies have big egos, and they are in fact quite sensitive- ...please...

bodamer
bodamer

See poster "Frimmel" for correct response to this article.

raazter94
raazter94

Why are people so obsessed with money now adays? They earn profit, and then they get greedy for more money. Be happy with what you have. Make some decent games for once. The only COD i liked was 4. MW2 took greed to a new level. No dedicated servers on PC meant that IW and Activision wanted money from PC gamers. PC will never be the same as console and Activision soiled themselves from the ORIGINAL platform of the Call of Duty series. I bought MW2 for PC and it was good at first, but now with hackers everywhere, its a terrible game and community. Im happy I have Battlefield 2, Bad Company 2 and I am currently waiting for Battlefiled 3.. You console guys should also get Battlefield 3. Support EA, not Activision.