Activision Blizzard has released its quarterly report for the first quarter of 2013, which ended March 31, 2013. Revenue beat out expectations with $1.32 billion in sales, compared to the expected $1.16 billion. This is also an increase over the $1.17 billion earned during the first quarter of 2012. Profits reached $456 million, up from $384 million a year ago.
Of the total revenue 68 percent or $896 million came from retail channels, while 28 percent or $377 million came from digital channels. The other four percent came from distribution. By percent this is nearly identical to the first quarter of 2012, where 68 percent of the sales were at retail and 28 percent were digital.
World of Warcraft remains the most subscribed MMORPG with 8.3 million subscribers. However this is a drop of 1.3 million compared to the end of 2012. The company repeated that StarCraft II: Heard of the Swarm managed to sell 1.1 million units in its first two days.
Diablo III and StarCraft II: Heart of Swarm were both in the top 10 selling PC games for the quarter in North America and Europe. Activision Publishing was also the number one publisher for the quarter when you combine North America and Europe.
Skylanders Giants, when you add in the sales of accessories and figures, was the bestselling game in terms of overall dollars in both North America and Europe. The game was followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
"Our first-quarter performance was driven by continued consumer interest in all of our key franchises," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm was the #1 PC game for the quarter."
Kotick did add that while the start of 2013 has beaten expectations, the second half of the year has many questions that remain open. He stated the poor Wii U sales as a problem, as well as how well the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox will sell. He also mentioned the decline in the number of World of Warcraft subscribers.
"However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years," added Kotick.
Despite the uncertainties Activision did increase its expectations for revenue for the full 2013 fiscal year. The previous outlook was $4.09 billion and is now $4.22 billion. The publisher also expects revenue of $980 million for the second quarter of 2013.