Activision Blizzard’s new releases Call of Duty®: Black Ops, Starcraft II®: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™ were the main driving force of this strong performance. Revenues from digital channels accounted for over 30% of the Activision Blizzard’s overall revenues.
World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™ , which was launched on December 7, 2010, sold through more than 3.3 million copies worldwide during its first 24 hours of release, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. As of December 31, 2010, more than 12 million gamers worldwide had subscribed to play World of Warcraft® 3. In November 2010, Call of Duty®: Black Ops became the first video game ever to surpass $650 million in retail sales in its first five days of release 4. To date, the game has achieved more than $1 billion in retail sales worldwide 5.
Activision Blizzard continues to invest in opportunities afforded by online gaming worldwide and will reduce its exposure to low-margin and low-potential businesses. In 2011 and beyond, Activision Blizzard will allocate its resources toward high-margin growth and long term opportunities. New developments include Blizzard Entertainment’s games, investments in forthcoming Call of Duty® titles, the development of a digital community surrounding the Call of Duty® franchise, a new property from Bungie and an innovative new universe Skylanders Spyro®‘s Adventure® that will bring the world of toys, video games and the Internet together in an unprecedented way.
Activision Blizzard announced a new stock repurchase program under which the company can repurchase up to $1.5 billion of the company’s outstanding common stock. As of December 31, 2010, Activision Blizzard had purchased an aggregate of 86 million shares of its common stock for approximately $966 million under the $1 billion 2010 program. As of December 31, 2010, Vivendi held an approximate 61% interest (non diluted) in Activision Blizzard.