Daily Recap: May 7, 2009
More earnings statements, game announcements, and a touch of the whimsical. Time for today’s news roundup!
Just a couple of days ago, Electronic Arts announced its quarterly and yearly financial statement; today, Activision followed that up with its own release, and the returns are very impressive. Activision-Blizzard posted a $981 million net revenue in the first quarter of this year — no, that’s not a yearly figure. That beats the publishing giant’s own projections for the quarter by more than $100 million, and has caused the company to raise its revenue expectations for the 2009 calendar year to $4.3 billion.
“Our better-than-expected first quarter results were driven by strong global consumer response to the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, despite challenging economic times,” Activision CEO Robert Kotick said.
Of course, as happens from time to time, some games that were rumored to exist were confirmed in the financial release. Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero, and DJ Hero were all confirmed in the report, and Guitar Hero: Van Halenwas made official later in the day. GH5 is a follow up to 2008’s Guitar Hero: World Tour and 2009’s Guitar Hero: Metallica (our review of which is here.) Band Hero is going to be family friendly, and DJ Hero will feature hip-hop, R&B, electronic, techno, and dance music and a turntable peripheral.
In non-music-game-related Activision news, during the earnings conference call, word leaked out (repoted by Kotaku) that details on the next entry in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise may be coming at next month’s E3 convention. One of Activision’s older cash cows, THPS went underground (as opposed to Underground) last year as developer Neversoft focused on Guitar Hero games. Looks like EA’s Skate series may have some competition once again.
Meanwhile, Nintendo continues to print money. They also released financial numbers today, and they are ludicrous – GameSpot reports $2.8 billion in net revenue and $6 billion in operating profit in the last year, more than $18 billion in total sales worldwide, and a total rise of 8.5 percent over the numbers Nintendo turned over last year.
Even crazier is the amount of consoles sold to fuel those numbers: 26 million Wii consoles sold worldwide, which puts the system above 50 million sold in its lifetime, and 31 million DS units sold, lifting the handheld above the 100-million mark. Even though Nintendo gets the short end of the stick from many jilted hardcore gamers, it’s clear their bottom line is hardly hurting because of that.
We mentioned earlier in the week the anticipation for the newest piece of Fallout 3 DLC, Broken Steel, but it seems that Bethesda’s add-on fell on its face upon launch – Xbox 360 gamers were having problems with the achievements, and PC gamers couldn’t even install the DLC whatsoever. Apparently that has been fixed, with threads in the Fallout 3 forums saying that both issues have been resolved. Hopefully no problems will beset our brave editor Aaron Thayer as he tackles the Fallout 3 DLC suite this weekend.
Lastly, a little indie gaming to lighten the mood after all that financial talk. “Today I Die,” a simple yet very moving poetic flash game, has been released by creator Daniel Benmurgi, who previously made “I Wish I Were The Moon” and “Storyteller.” We found this game via Kotaku, and will share the same hint that they suggested: Try the jellyfish.