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Activision reports $113m in profits for 2009; 2010 game plan is predictable


Today Activision Blizzard reported the financial results of its December quarter and the entire 2009 calendar year. For the year, Activision recorded a net income of $113 million, a modest turnaround from the $107 million in net losses for the company in 2008. Led by sales of Modern Warfare 2, all signs -- at least, this one -- pointed to an outstanding Q4 for the publisher. However, figures released today indicate that Activision actually posted a $286 million net loss during the period.

"Despite these challenging times, in 2010 we remain focused on expanding operating margins by growing our high-margin digital/online revenues, directing our resources to the largest and most profitable opportunities and realizing operational efficiencies globally," CEO Bobby Kotick said. "In calendar year 2010, we expect our net earnings and operating margin growth will be driven by our product slate that includes Blizzard Entertainment's Starcraft II and the World of Warcraft expansion pack, Cataclysm, as well as a diversified lineup based on Activision Publishing's best-selling franchises including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, together with other well-known titles such as True Crime, Spider-Man and Bakugan."

While few details were give about Activision's pending slate of sequels, spinoffs and possible reboots, Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Activision Publishing, did share a few words about the next True Crime game. "We'll be releasing a game in the $4 billion action genre, based on our True Crime franchise," Griffith said. "The game blends intense Hollywood-style driving with martial arts combat and shootouts to deliver an Asian cinema-inspired action thriller. This is a big open-world action game that looks especially strong." Griffith also confirmed that a new 007 game is still in the works for 2010.

Additionally, Activision noted that two new IPs are in development for its 2010 lineup and assured that additional DLC will continue to be released for Guitar Hero 5 (and presumably Band Hero), as well as for DJ Hero. The next installments in both music game franchises, Guitar Hero and DJ Hero, are due in "the back half of the year," according Griffith. Activision also announced that it has ceased developing new Guitar Hero games for the PlayStation 2 platform. Aw, shucks.

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