Vivendi reports Blizzard's first billion-dollar year

WOW maker's sales surge 59 percent to over $1.2 billion in revenue in '07; other game divisions' revs slide by 29 percent to $303.1 million; total VG haul over $1.5 billion.

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With its merger with Activision looming, Vivendi Games today reported revenue for 2007, its final year as a direct subsidiary of French multinational Vivendi SA. The gaming division saw a record €1.02 billion ($1.51 billion) in revenue, a 26.6 percent jump over the previous year's €804 million ($1.15 billion) haul. However, for the fourth quarter, the division saw sales slip 7.4 percent to €302 million ($447.8 million). (The company did not release net profit figures.)

To the surprise of no one who read NPD's 2007 PC game-sales report, Vivendi Games said its success was "driven by the continued momentum of World of Warcraft, its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)." The company reported that sustained interest in WOW and the release of its first expansion, the Burning Crusade, added 2 million subscribers to the game, bringing its user base to over 10 million.

As a result, the revenues of WOW's developer and publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, shot up 58 percent to reach €814 million ($1.2 billion), putting it over the billion-dollar mark for the first time in its corporate history. Vivendi's non-Blizzard game divisions--Sierra Entertainment, Sierra Online and Vivendi Games Mobile--saw their revenue sink 29 percent year on year to €204 million ($303 million). For the fourth quarter, Blizzard's sales rose 19 percent to reach €186 million ($276 million) while non-Blizzard game revenue slid 32 percent to €116 million ($172 million).

Today's Vivendi Games numbers may well be the last before the division is subsumed into Activision Blizzard. In December, Vivendi and Activision stunned the game industry by announcing the formation of the new megapublisher, whose assets are valued at nearly $19 billion dollars. Vivendi SA will have a controlling stake in Activision Blizzard, which will have a structure that leaves Blizzard largely intact and folds all other Vivendi Games into Activision. It is still awaiting stockholder and regulator approval.

Discussion

105 comments
djrobst
djrobst

makes you wonder how much xbox live is worth per month also without even taking into account dlc or games you buy, just gold time

t_walk1
t_walk1

WoW will be the dominant player in the MMO world for years to come but even it will go by the wayside at some point

zarum_666
zarum_666

Now it's time for blizzard to use that money and return a favor for all of there players / ex-hardcore players to get them back. =P new content!

Spanky551
Spanky551

@Humorguy_basic Blizzard, the developer, had it's first billion dollar. Blizzard is owned by Vivendi, which posted $1.15 billion last year.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

dead_god86 - look at the article above again - it says 10 million user base'. Isn't a user someone who's playing? I.e 'using the game?!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Can you explain to me how this is the first billion dollar year, when they say that last year $1.15 billion was made?! Oh and re players vs subscribers - Blizzard certainly like to talk about 10 million players as well as 10 million subscribers! Also WoW and The Sims 2 are a huge burden on PC gaming, because despite PC gaming's decline nearly everybody will always say in response to that, that look at the sales of WoW and The Sims - so the rest of the market could disappear and people would still say Pc gaming was strong because of these two 'fad' titles. When we all talk about PC gaming doing well or doing badly, can we just leave out WoW and The Sims in the argument?

armless1987
armless1987

So much BS on this forum. Wow has ten million Active players, i.e ten million ppl are currently playing the game.Some of these will be first time buyers who might only play the game for a month or2 but most are hardcore players. As for the moron who said this "Its because WOW has caught on as a fad rather than a game." Afad is something that catches on for a short amount of time not something that lasts for 5 years with millions of players paying lots of money to pay it. As for it being too expensive, like blank2k2 says, it costs 9 quid a month and it has enough fun content if you like that sort of thing to be the only game you need to play all year. The only criticism I would give it in that respect is that it will prevent people from buying a lot of other awesome games coming out, but thats personal choice. Its real dumb to criticise a game that 10 mil ppl dont mind paying 10quid a month for as being too expensive, anygame you dont like is gonna be too expensive isnt it. Get a life and stop coming on forums for a game you dont play criticising it.

RedeyedPancake
RedeyedPancake

How is it that they are still getting new subscribers this long after the launch date? Its because WOW has caught on as a fad rather than a game. It has moved into the focal point of pop culture so it is now okay to play it where as in the past it was regulated to the "nerd" crowd. Heck, even Chris Paul, the All-Star Hornets guard, plays it now.

okassar
okassar

WoW is too expensive, but I'm not going to say it's overrated.I tryed it at my friend's house and I indeed came to the conclusion that it was a well rounded and yet addicting video game.But what the hell...people waste too much time on their %#%#@& playing that game.I bet a big reason 23% of American adults are obese because of it(just kidding...but quite possibly a reality).I vowed to myself never to even go through the demo of the game,I don't want to waste my life.I could play Halo 3 and exercise and go to the mall and chill with my friends and that would be as much as a length of time an obsessed WoW player would be stuck to his computer playing that game.I demand Blizzard to give a refund to those kind of people,not from the billions of dollars they made,but from the lives they took.I wouldn't be surprised if there was a mass grave for parents coming in saying "my son lost his life playing WoW".

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

meh i thought WoW was over rated... But be my guest of you want to pay 12-15 bucks a month to play a game online... I think they should lower the monthly fee... on no they will only make 1.4 billion if they did that...

shadow9669
shadow9669

i bet there thinking right now what are we going to do with all this money

JordanCupcakes
JordanCupcakes

I have played WoW before having 2 accts, currently probably about to get back into the game soon as well....it's so addicting =D...i have no problem with the monthly fees, the content is great and always being added on to.

Coldbloodio
Coldbloodio

I think that they will release WOTLK and then make like WOW 2 or something. Because IMO WOTLK ends it unless they make warcraft 4 with a new storyline or something :\

Blank2k2
Blank2k2

Alot of people cant seem to get there head around the whole "Monthly Fee" thing, i dont see the problem.... WoW has a game that keeps players addicted for Years, rather than days, £7 per month for a game that keeps u entertained for the whole month (better than a new Xbox360 Game at £40 that keeps u entertained for a week or 2). plus were paying for an excellent service, big updates every month or 2 from 1.0 to infinity... rather than most PC games going 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 - stop. Blizzard have huge server farms to maintain to run the WoW service, that costs mega bucks... its not a match making service like every other none-mmorpg game out there, £7/month is a bargain! Also the numbers may not match up to the subscribers because i assume thats all profits... the server farms etc cost a small country every month.

dead_god86
dead_god86

@Humorguy_basic 1. I don't think there is 10mil players, just 10mil existing accounts(not too sure how they work it out though) 2. of the money we pay for the subscription, not all of it is PROFIT, they have to pay employees, pay for equipments used to make new patches etc. anyway, pretty damn impressive, and this year is only going to be greater for them, although WotLK looks like an end of year release

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

I have still yet to get WoW but will eventually

Rumstocker
Rumstocker

This is impressive due to the cost of what they are selling... every day readers must note that REVENUE is simply your income from total sales... I could buy ten million ps3's at wal mart and sell them on ebay for $100 a piece and report REVENUE of $1 billion... Revenue does take into effect the $4 billion I spent on the PS3... My gross profit would be a $3 billion loss however... since Blizzard main product is a subscription fee... their Revenue more closely resembles the important number which is their GROSS PROFIT on sales... you still have to take out taxes and stuff until you can get to their true Net Income but blizzard continues to be amazing... and they deserve every penny

Lum_Yatsura
Lum_Yatsura

Blizzard is notorious for LONG development cycles, but also just as well known for nearly always putting out hits both commercially and with fans. Coincidentally, both the original versions of WoW and The Sims 2 were released in 2004.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Excuse me, but at $15 a month times 12 months, that's $180. $180 times ten million subscribers is $1.8 billion! Something;s not right, or am I missing something?! Oh, and for all hardcore PC gamers that think games only sell if they have super duper high end graphics, etc. Take sales of WoW (4 year old average graphics) and The Sims series (average graphics) and you barely have a PC gaming market left! :)

ob-1
ob-1

We need a D3 3D with more open controls. Thats when I call in sick to work

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Jesus, 1 billion?! WoW is like a freakin disease with no cure. I'm glad I left that addictive game, but that nagging urge to return is still there...Blizzard knows how to keep peoples' souls... I would like to see something new from Blizzard, now that they are with Activision.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It's amazing how this game is 4 years old and people still play the crap out of it. Blizzard did a great job with WOW and it shows. I can't wait to see what they do for their next MMO outing. I'd really like to see them up the ante in terms of combat, content, and graphics. I'd also like to see more action in the games and less sitting around. I think they almost hit the sweet spot with WOW, but I think they can do better.

BOERGOE
BOERGOE

Man i hope this does not encourage other MMO company's to have a monthly fee on there games in the future

deadmeat59
deadmeat59

the milkage just keeps on coming

Srinivassa
Srinivassa

Yay! What a fantastic profit machine Blizzard has become! Maybe they can charge us to play StarCraft 2 on-line now!

vass86
vass86

although i don't play it i have to say warcraft is a fun and very well made game.

02sfraser
02sfraser

its no suprise blizzard have made a billion $ with WoW

BringTheBlood
BringTheBlood

Blizz has it made, i dont care what people say, WoW is still growing by the millions and once litch king comes out, thatll sky-rocket with another 3 to 5 million joining, once litch king is settled in they will be sitting at about a 15 or so million players. and then if thats not enough, starcraft 2 is coming out too, which pretty much speaks for its self.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

WOW is almost a pure profit generator for them now - those figures are amazing.

Legend4000
Legend4000

I think the numbers are just going to get bigger for Acti-Blizz. People may say they are tired of the same games and that they want new IPs or new games, but the fact is when litch king comes out its going to sell as good or better than burning crusade.

Vihlo
Vihlo

That's quite the huge number, but if you think about it, if the WoW Expansion and Starcraft 2 hit this year, that number will be crushed easily.

Nick209
Nick209

How long is going to be until world of starcraft? That would top WoW's subscriber base in korea alone in it's first year. Also, with profits like that how long till the first blizzard employee ends up in rehab?

bluesteelMeGaSE
bluesteelMeGaSE

I don't see StarCraft II being delayed for budget reasons any time soon. I also see other games being announced in the near future because of this milestone for Blizzard. Nice job. Storm the market with another whirlwind of 'awesome', Blizzard, you've got the resources.

Sokol4ever
Sokol4ever

With that kind of budget, maybe they could work something out, like for example new Diablo game :)

XxSPAZxX
XxSPAZxX

I'm glad they did so good. I just hope they start releasing some new games.

Poshkidney
Poshkidney

wow people pay for grind and boredom with wow blizzard give it up your useless.

Leonagard
Leonagard

Im happy for them! I had paid for one year and a half than I got tired of it but I know there are people that still like it... Im waiting for a new game blizz not starcraft 2...

neomana
neomana

Maybe Blizzard could put a bit of money toward giving us Diablo III, Diablo II was possibly the greatest game of its time and if they do as good a job with the 3rd then that $1.2billion could be dwarfed. So come on Bliz Boys stick a larger crew on developing it!

-owenG-
-owenG-

Thats because 17 million chinese is about 0.000000001 percent of the chinese population

keyhunter
keyhunter

Oh wow. Big deal. 17 million chinese people play Lineage 2.