Activision Reports Losses
“Our significant accomplishments in 2009 are the result of the expertise and skills of our employees around the world. Their hard work and commitment to excellence made us stronger even during difficult times. Our strategy and capabilities are supported by a very strong financial position. We continue to put our cash to work, including the announcements we made today – the authorization of our second billion dollar stock buyback program in two years and our first cash dividend, both of which reflect our confidence in the future and our 18-year commitment to industry leading shareholder value creation,” Kotick added.
In the U.S. and Europe, for calendar year 2009, Activision Blizzard increased its share 1.8 points over the previous year across all platforms to 16% and had two of the top-five best-selling franchises on the consoles across all platforms -- Call of Duty and Guitar Hero®, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk. Additionally, the company was the #1 U.S. publisher overall for the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft and the #1 third-party publisher for the Nintendo Wii™, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
Other highlights are as follows:
* For calendar year 2009, Activision Blizzard had the highest share point gain of any publisher in Europe from 11.9% to 13.9%, according to Charttrack and Gfk.
* Guitar Hero was a top-four franchise overall and the #1 music franchise in the U.S. and Europe for the calendar year, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* In the U.S. and Europe, DJ Hero™ was the highest grossing new intellectual property launched in 2009, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* Activision Blizzard had two of the top five best-selling PC titles in dollars in the U.S. and Europe for the calendar year -- Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare™ 2 and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King™, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* For the December quarter, Activision Blizzard was the #1 publisher overall in the U.S. and Europe and grew its share 1.7 points over the previous year across all platforms to 20.1%, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* During the December quarter, in the U.S. and Europe, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the #1 best-selling console title in dollars and the Call of Duty franchise was the #1 franchise overall, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk.
* In November 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 became the first video game ever to surpass $550 million in retail sales in its first five days of release, according to Activision Publishing’s internal estimates. To date, the game has sold more than $1 billion in retail sales worldwide, according to The NPD, Charttrack and Gfk.
* On November 17, 2009, Activision Publishing announced the appointments of industry veterans Glen A. Schofield as Vice President and General Manager and Michael Condrey as Vice President and COO of Sledgehammer Games, a new wholly-owned game development studio located in Foster City, California.
* On December 14, 2009, Activision Publishing announced that the company is currently in development on a new open world True Crime game inspired by classic Hollywood and Asian cinema-style action thrillers. The game which is being developed by United Front Games is expected to launch later this year.
* As of December 31, 2009, approximately 11.5 million gamers worldwide are subscribed to play Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft.
* As of December 31, 2009, Activision Blizzard completed its $1.25 billion authorized stock repurchase program. The company purchased approximately 115 million shares of common stock at an average price of $10.87 per share since the program’s inception in November 2008.
* On February 2, 2010, Activision Publishing announced that David Haddad, Chief Operating Officer of Guitar Hero, has assumed the operational responsibilities for the Guitar Hero business unit.