Activision’s profits improved in the first quarter of 2013 from the same period last year, with $456 million – that’s over 13% ahead, as well as ahead of expectations – brought in between January and March. The company can also claim the two best-selling games in terms of revenues for the quarter: Skylanders: Giants and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
However, Activision says that the rest of the year will be a rough road. Subscriptions for World of Warcraft have fallen by about 1.3 million players to 8.3 million current subscribers. Many “competing products” have also seen delays to later this year, posing challenges for the already-crowded holiday season.
However, there are two big reason why Activision is a bit concerned: the “disappointing launch of Wii U” and “uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware.”
Activision’s concerns about next-gen are likely similar to my own: if Nintendo fans, who have been starving for serious new content for some time now, aren’t even converting to next-gen, is it really a good idea to bet heavily on fans of other platforms, who have seen steady releases over the last two years and will continue to see new games well into 2014?
As for Wii U, I still don’t think its main issue – that no one really knows where it’s going in the next year or two – has been sufficiently dealt with. I think a lot of people, both players and developers, are still on the fence until they see what Nintendo’s got up their sleeves for the rest of 2013 and beyond. Until Wii U’s upcoming games library can inspire at least as much confidence in the system’s future as Wii did, I don’t see people jumping on the console en masse any time soon.