Activision reports $1.5B revenue for holiday quarter, rise in WoW subscribers

Activision Blizzard announced today that its fourth quarter earnings were better than expected, with the company bringing in more than $1.5 billion in revenue.

During the 2013 calendar year, the Activision Blizzard earned $4.58 billion in GAAP net revenues, down from $4.85 billion in the 2012 calendar year.

The publisher took the top spot in console and handheld publishing in North America and Europe, with Call of Duty and Skylanders being among the top three best-selling franchises in 2013. World of Warcraft also held onto its place as the number one subscription-based MMO, with 7.8 million subscribers. That's an increase in subscribers from the previous quarter, in which Activision announced 7.6 million subscribers.

Other financial highlights include StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm being the best-selling PC game of the year, the Skylanders franchise generating more than $2 billion in worldwide sales from life to date, and Call of Duty: Ghosts being the top-selling title in both units and dollars in aggregate across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe combined.

Looking forward, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said it expects Bungie's upcoming first-person action game, Destiny, to be the publisher's "next billion dollar franchise." The company has in its 2014 pipeline "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."

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