Activision Rounds Out Strong Year-End for Game Publishers

If Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) can teach us anything, it’s that the video-game industry is defined by blockbusters. The publisher’s record fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 performance was driven by just a few chart-topping titles, demonstrating that it’s quality and not quantity that matters in the entertainment industry.

Activision highlighted the fact that, “in November 2012, Black Ops II became the first video game ever to cross the $1 billion mark in 15-days, eclipsing “Avatar’s” 17-day movie record.” Black Ops II was the number-one best-selling title in aggregate across all platforms in Europe and the U.S. for the 2012 calendar year.

Also highlighted was the fact that World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was the number-three best-selling PC game, and the franchise maintains its spot as the largest subscription-based MMORPG with over 9.6 million players. Diablo III broke a PC-game sales record with 12 million copies sold through December, taking the number-one retail spot. All in all, Activision nailed it. In fact, they did so well that they’ve had to tone down people’s expectations for 2013…

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($)in millions 1,406 1,172 1,075 841.00 1,767
Diluted EPS($) 0.08 0.33 0.16 0.20 0.31