Black Ops 2 and Skylanders star in Activision’s best ever year

Activision’s Call Of Duty: Black Ops II was the best-selling title across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe for calendar 2012, the company has said. In November last year, Black Ops II also became the first video game ever to generate a $1 billion in 15 days, according to the publisher’s latest financials.

The Skylanders franchise has now generated more than $1 billion lifetime worldwide sales, said Activision, having sold more than 100 million Skylanders toys worldwide. It was a strong calendar year for Blizzard’s titles, too, with Diablo III was the best-selling PC game at retail during 2012, with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was the third best-selling PC game at retail with World of Warcraft’s 9.6 million subscribers making it the number one subscription-based MMORPG.

As a result Activision has beaten sales expectations for the calendar year and for the three months up to December 2012. For calendar year 2012, the publisher delivered record net revenues of $4.86 billion, up from $4.76 billion in 2011. Net revenues from digital channels were $1.54 billion and represented 32% of Activision’s total revenues. For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered record revenues of $1.77 billion, as compared with $1.41 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011.

“We are very pleased to report that Activision Blizzard delivered the best performance in its history,” said CEO Bobby Kotick. “With better-than expected net revenues, record operating margins and record earnings, and over $1.3 billion in operating cash flow, we continue to set the industry success bar. I would like to thank our incredibly talented employees around the world for their passion, drive and creativity, which continues to fuel our success.”

Kotick promised to invest in established franchises and “several new properties” for 2013, but added that it does not expect to beat 2012′s record performance because of “a challenged global economy, the ongoing console transition and a difficult year-over-year comparison because of Blizzard’s record-shattering Diablo III success in 2012.”

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