Diablo III sets Blizzard preorder record

[UPDATE]: Dungeon-crawling RPG hits new highs, but Activision Blizzard's revenues and profits decline.

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Diablo III can lay claim to the title of Blizzard's most anticipated game ever, as the PC action role-playing game was today confirmed as the developer's most preordered title of all time. That news comes with a slight asterisk, as it includes copies of the game owed through the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, which gives a free copy to anyone who signs up for a full year of the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

A decade between games can help build anticipation.
A decade between games can help build anticipation.

The Diablo III news was announced as part of Activision Blizzard's earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, which also included some noteworthy stats for the Activision half of the company. The publisher confirmed that the Call of Duty Elite service has 10 million registered users now, with more than 2 million of them paying for the premium tier membership. The game-and-toy synergy of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure also continued to sell for the company, with more than 30 million toys sold through March. It has been doing so well that Activision's internal estimates have Skylanders toys outselling even Star Wars for the first three months of the year.

As for the company's actual financial figures, revenues and net profit both surpassed projections set in February, but fell short of the company's performance for the same quarter last year. For the quarter, Activision posted sales of $1.17 billion, down year-over-year from $1.45 billion. It also chalked up $384 million in net income, down from $503 million for the same period last year.

The results beat expectations sufficiently for Activision Blizzard to up its full-year forecast. The company now expects the calendar year 2012 to see it ring up $4.2 billion in sales (up from $4.15 billion) and earnings per share of $0.65, up from $0.63.

[CORRECTION]: This article previously stated that Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said Diablo III was one of two Blizzard titles set to launch in 2012. He actually said Diablo III was one of "at least" two Blizzard titles launching this year. GameSpot regrets the error.

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