Activision gets almost 70% of its revenue from three franchises

Tauren dance, baby.Activision’s fiscal report for 2009 contained some seriously juicy news. First, there’s the scandal at Infinity Ward. Second, there’s this. The report included statistics regarding the company’s revenue sources, revealing that a large majority, like 68%, come from just three franchises: World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Guitar Hero. The report also noted that WoW accounts for a whopping 98% of Blizzard’s revenue.

The obvious concern is for one of those franchises to flop. One bad Call of Duty and suddenly Activision doesn’t look so stable. As the company puts things, “Due to this dependence on a limited number of franchises, the failure to achieve anticipated results by one or more products based on these franchises may significantly harm our business and financial results.” I would say so, fellas.

We already know that rhythm games are on the decline and WoW hasn’t grown in more than a year. No wonder Blizzard’s trying to push Starcraft 2 out the door by mid-year.

Source: Kotaku


Waldo is this week’s top-grossing iPhone game

Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey.If the success of Virtual Console titles tells us anything, it’s that gamers love their nerdy past. Classic titles sell like mad, and I know I practically flip when I find out something I loved is coming to a new console. One developer’s been paying attention to the classic game frenzy, and it’s turned a childhood classic into a serious moneymaker.

To find the game, you only have to look at this weeks’ top-grossing iPhone OS games. At the top of the charts, yes all the way at number one, is Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey. This isn’t just a fluke, either. The game beat out Call of Duty: World at War Zombies and Dragon Lair to take the top spot.

Among other games Waldo has pushed out this week are Super Monkey Ball 2, The Sims 3, and Tetris. It’s quite an achievement, really, and something developer Ludia has got to be happy with.


MW2 javelin glitch is grounds for Xbox Live ban

Modern Warfare 2 javelin.If you’re interested in what it feels like to get a temp ban on Xbox Live, go do a little suicide bombing in Modern Warfare 2. As Microsoft’s Stephen Toulouse tweets it: “While IW works on getting the MW2 glitch fixed, people we catch using it will recieve suspensions from LIVE. Play fair everyone.”

Now I understand the idea to an extent – bans because of game ruining – but banning players for something that game developers missed seems a little ridiculous. There are far easier ways to ruin games, like throwing them in your opponents favor, that won’t get you banned (I’m not talking about boosting here). And really, who hasn’t gotten a little tipsy/slaphappy/what-have-you and had a little fun.

I won’t say the glitch isn’t a game breaker. It is. But temp bans on a paid service for a glitch that almost everyone in the game is now aware of? One that really isn’t that hard to stop (how bout you don’t shoot the guy running around with a javy)? This kind of thing makes me want to go eat a glass apple.


Modern Warfare 2 sells…a whole bunch on day one

Modern Warfare 2 sniper.Alongside the release of Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 there’s a war of numbers breaking out. Analysts are trying to be the first to pin down a sales estimate, a number that has so far varied by several million units. At first it was Ben Schachter claiming 7 million for day one. Michael Pachter thinks Ben’s crazy, and estimates just 4 million copies for the first day. I’m inclined to trust Pachter, since even he puts things over the top at times.

Whatever the real number, it has a lot of zeroes, and that’s got to make Activision pretty happy. Most analysts still think the 12 million unit estimate for the quarter through December is conservative. That puts total sales by year end somewhere around $700 million, which is just obscene. By comparison, Halo 3 just made it through 8 million units in its first 3 months. As a throwback, Joystiq also mentioned that Street Fighter II, which literally everyone I knew owned, sold 6.3 million units total worldwide.

Hopefully the end of the quarter will bring some hard and fast numbers for us. Until then, go throw some knives at some people. It’s insanely fun.


Modern Warfare 2 pirate arrested

Modern Warfare 2 Bundle.Christian Del Adamo’s plan was simple enough – buy a stolen Modern Warfare 2 bundle before it released, crack the game code, and sell illegal copies for profit. Del Adamo was going to use donations to get the bundle, which he would later repay with copies of the game. He was even talking to a hologram maker to make his copies seem a little less shady. And it all would have worked out if it weren’t for that damn internet.

Activision got word of the idea, which Del Adamo had apparently posted to sites Activision watches, and contacted, who then tracked down our thief using Facebook, of all things. Poor guy had just turned 18 in August, too. Welcome to trial as an adult, Christian.

Detectives in LA busted another guy who admitted to stealing a crate of the console bundles from a retail store and then selling them for $800 on Craig’s List. I’m not sure why I expect these people to show some discretion but I do. Then again, they are trying to steal, copy, and sell what is about to become the biggest entertainment launch of all time, and they’re posting about it publicly. Assuming they’re somewhat interested in gaming, shouldn’t decades of stupid villains have taught these guys something?

Source: Venture Beat


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