2012 was a great year for Activision Blizzard. A conference call with investors included the announcement that the Call of Duty and Skylanders were the number 1 and 3 game franchises worldwide as far as sales go, bringing Activision $3 billion in profits.
“ These results are due to the drive and creativity of our employees around the world,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said, “In the US and Europe, we were the number one publisher both at retail and digitally, with the number one title on both PCs and consoles in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The Skylanders series has sold 100 million toys in just 15 months, bringing in $1 billion in sales. We generated a total of $5 billion in revenues in 2012.”
Kotick and other staffers promised a strong year, including a new title, Skylanders: SWAP Force, which will allow you to combine the powers of two separate figures into one. Also announced was the next Call of Duty title, simply called Call of Duty 2013 for now, and Kotick also said work continues on Call of Duty Online for China – believed to launch sometime this year, but he said there was still no specific release date yet – as well as a new, still-unnamed project from Bungie, who famously created the Halo franchise.
Blizzard will specifically focus on more investment into the World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series, as well as an unannounced MMO that’s in the works. They also announced that BlizzCon will be making a return, but didn’t volunteer a date or location just yet.
Not everything was roses, though: Kotick said he was troubled by the “slower than expected” adoption of the Wii U, saying he was “disappointed,” in fact. Plus, he warned investors that this is most likely a transition year with new consoles from Sony and Microsoft on the way, which means they’re expecting Call of Duty 2013 to sell less than Black Ops 2 did, mainly due to the fracturing of the consumer base that a new console or two can bring about.
Kotick also added that game development costs will also be going up, but didn’t say whether that would mean the price of games at retail would reflect that.