So EA and Activision had their Q1 calls…

…and they were loaded with a lot of back patting and congratulatory news. Neither company is in danger of being “taken over” or bought out. They did have a number of interesting things to say in their earnings conference calls though.

On the EA side:

  • SWTOR membership is down to 1.3mil at the end of April, down from a high of 1.7. EA blames this on casuals and trial subs leaving the game. The interesting thing is how they spun it to be a positive – the percentage of paying members is now higher.
  • SWTOR is not the biggest moneymaker for EA. It’s not even in their Top 5, but it is in their Top 10.
  • They consider 2012 as a “down” year for consoles in light of the $80mil investment in Gen4.
  • 11mil users of Origin which reported about $150mil in revenue. So yeah, Origin is going to be around for a long time.

But what about Activision:

  • They mentioned Bungie’s new universe, developing Call of Duty for China, and a new MMO from Blizzard which we may hear more about in 2013
  • They noted that, by their estimates, Skylander’s Q1 sales exceeded those of Star Wars toys.
  • Skylanders Giants is launching in the Fall
  • Lots of MW3 numbers: 40mil monthly users, Elite has 10mil registered members with 2mil paying subs, 850K clans and teams
  • Talked up Black Ops 2, especially the zombie mode. I never really cared for zombie mode myself, but Bobby Kotick and crew are really excited for it.
  • Quite a few Skylanders numbers: $500mil life to date sales for Q1, 20mil toys sold in 2011, 1mil webworld users, aiming to establish more licenses such as with Frito Lay, plush toys, apparel, and etc.
  • Skylanders Giants will have super sized toys

Blizzard also had some stuff to talk about after Activision was done talking up Skylanders and its sequel:

  • WoW’s membership is now at 10.2mil
  • 1.2mil bought into the annual pass
  • After the MLG tournament in Anaheim (June 9 – 10), plans for a Heart of the Swarm beta will be announced
  • They hope to foster local heroes in tournaments and then bring them all together at worldwide events
  • Teaming up with Korean TV for new leagues in South Korea
  • No news on Diablo 3 for China – they’re focused primarily on the release dates elsewhere in the world for now.

All in all, nothing too unexpected from Activision. It was interesting that when asked about their plans for Gen4, they simply said “no comment” unlike EA. I was also hoping they’d mention something more about Blizzard’s new MMO or Bungie’s IP, but that turned out to be only wishful thinking. From the general gist of things, I guess we’ll know more in 2013.


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