Activision Reports Record Breaking Sales for Fourth Quarter
In its last quarter report for 2014, Activision reported record growth in earnings per share for investors. The growth was attributed to the publisher's expansion into its IP with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and the new IP launch of Destiny. When Destiny was released last fall, it broke records for biggest console launch in history with 16M registered users to date. The report also listed the COD franchise as the most popular console game globally bringing in $11B in revenue. According to the report to investors, Activision's Skylanders kids game series is also the #1 selling console game, and the company has currently sold over 240M of the game's "smart toys". On the MMORPG front, World of Warcraft series continues to see substantial growth along with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft gaining 25M registered players so far. On top of that, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ranked as the #1 PC RPG of the year and had a successful launch on consoles with Ultimate Evil. On January 11, 2015 Activision released its open beta for a Free-to-play PC version of Call of Duty for the China market. The move is presumably prompted to compete with similar games like League of Legends that offer "free-to-play games with monetization through in-game microtransactions," according to an Activision 2014 annual report. Activision also made some game release announcements. Its 6 vs.6 online multiplayer team-based shooter Overwatch is a new IP for the company and is expected to enter beta sometime this year. According to a Gameranx article CEO Eric Hirshberg also revealed that Destiny is set to see a major DLC release sometime this fall. The content is in addition to House of Wolves expansion pack slated for Q2 of this year.