Even with Blizzard Entertainment’s billion-dollar contribution, parent company Activision Blizzard failed to make any money last year. The company lost $107 million in 2008, of which a huge chunk occurred during the last three months of the year.
Activision Blizzard, which I’ll refer to as Blizzardvision from here on out, lost $72 million on sales of $1.6 billion during the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31. A year earlier, it made $86 million on sales of $453 million. But not counting certain items, such as the merger, the company posted a profit of $429 million on $2.3 billion in sales.
A big discrepancy between the two sales numbers is, of course, thanks to Blizzard. Blizzard and its many millions joined Activision in July 2008.
For the whole year 2008, the company reported a net loss of $107 million on revenues of $3.03 billion.
Little was mentioned of Blizzard, other than pointing out that as of Dec. 23, World of Warcraft had 11.5 million subscribers worldwide.
But buried in the numbers, Blizzardvision offered some insight into how big Warcraft and other Blizzard titles really are. An “MMOG” category — it stands for massively multiplayer online game — was included in the company’s report. For the year, Blizzardvision’s MMOG revenues were $1.15 billion, or 38 percent of total game revenues. That compares to the readjusted prior year of $1.02 billion of revenues from MMOGs.
Last year, Activision had no MMOG category. Then again, Activision is more of a console and PC game company, with games like Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Tony Hawk and Crash Bandicoot. Blizzardvision’s MMOG games are pretty much limited to World of Warcraft.
The console game category did hold its own and posted slightly more revenues than MMOGs, at $1.29 billion for the year. Blizzard had four top 10-best selling PC games and the top 2 best-selling console game for the year. In fact, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” became the first video game to have $1 billion in sales.
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