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Activision reports Q1FY 2013 profits dip to $174 million

Declines in "transformational" 2013 year were "better than expected", says publisher

Activision Blizzard has claimed "better than expected" results for its FYQ1 2014 results, despite significant declines year-on-year.

For the quarter ended December 31, the firm reported net profits of $174 million, down from around $354 million during the same period in 2012.

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Net revenues in the quarter were also down to around $1.52 billion, from $1.77 billion the year prior.

For the calendar year 2013, net revenues hit $4.58 billion, down from the $4.86 billion clocked in 2012, and net profits of just over $1 billion, down from $1.15 billion.

Revenues from digital channels in the year accounted for 34 per cent of the firm's total revenues, or around $1.56 billion.

The publisher blamed "declines" in last-generation software sales which, despite strong launches, were not offset by sales of new-generation Xbox One and PS4 software.

CEO Bobby Kotick commented, "2013 was a transformational year for Activision Blizzard and for our industry. Our transaction with Vivendi returned us to independence and eliminated the challenges and constraints of being a controlled company."

The exec is confident of the firm's 2014 outlook, with what he called "the strongest and most diverse pipeline of games in our history".

"We expect Bungie's Destiny, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing's next billion dollar franchise," he said. "Activision Publishing also has terrific new games planned for the Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, and Blizzard Entertainment has an expansion to the top-selling PC and console game Diablo III and another major new release.

"Also in our pipeline for 2014 and the next few years are at least three potentially groundbreaking new free-to-play franchises-Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm, and Activision Publishing's Call of Duty Online. We believe these games have great global potential. Free-to-play as a business model has now achieved scale, both in the West and in China. Hearthstone, which released in open beta on PC last month and which Blizzard Entertainment plans to expand this year to tablets and smartphones, is already attracting millions of players with strong engagement and monetization in the West and China, putting it on track to join World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft as their fourth mega
franchise."

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