VU Games revenues up 35 percent in 2005

Publisher attributes spike in sales primarily to continued success of World of Warcraft and strong debut of 50 Cent: Bulletproof.

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Paris-based Vivendi Universal reported its preliminary tally of revenue from 2005 today, and while it didn't report how much of the take was profits, it appears to have been a good year for the company.

Every one of Vivendi's subsidiaries posted increased revenues over 2004, with VU Games posting the most marked improvement. VU Games raked in 641 million euros ($775 million), almost 35 percent more than the 475 million euros ($574 million) it brought in for 2004. Vivendi attributes the leap largely to the success of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft and the thugged-out urban action game 50 Cent: Bulletproof. Robots, F.E.A.R., The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and Crash Tag Team Racing were also named as strong sellers for the company.

Vivendi also reported its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2005. VU Games' revenue actually dropped from 2004, down 7 percent from 264 million euros ($319 million) to 245 million euros ($296 million). The company blamed the slide on "an exceptional quarter in 2004," in which Half-Life 2 and World of Warcraft both debuted.

As strong a showing for the year as VU Games had, it still represents a relatively small part of Vivendi Universal's overall business. Between Vivendi's music, movie, and telecom interests, the company's overall revenue for 2005 was more than 19 billion euros ($23 billion). That's an increase of 7 percent over the company's 2004 totals, while 2005's fourth-quarter revenues of $5.5 billion euros was an increase of a little less than 4 percent over the year before.

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