In every industry there are a few companies that defy the standard. Analysts are not currently bullish on the video game industry, projecting a decline in console sales by 20% while video game sales are weakened by the growing resale market. Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI) doesn’t seem to be phased by this news with projected 2013 revenue increasing by 4.6%.
Activision is known in the industry for its high quality games that have cult like followings. If you don’t believe me, drive in front of Gamestop ( GME) or Target ( TGT) on the midnight release of the next Call of Duty title. Past Call of Duty titles hold 4 of the top 6 best selling Xbox 360 games of all time rankings with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 selling 14.85 million copies worldwide and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 becoming the first game to generate $1 billion in 15 days on store shelves.
Other titles under the company’s brand include Guitar Hero, Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft, an online role playing game that brings in $1 billion in annual subscription fees. Another billion-dollar winner is the Sklanders franchise, which has become the number one children’s title in both the U.S. and Europe.At the end of 2013, we should see the release of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. This will help game sales as gamers upgrade consoles and purchase new content from game producers such as Activision. Another plus is that the new Microsoft console will supposedly require users to register their games online, restricting them from reselling their titles. This should boost top line sales and limit the resale market drag on publishers as consumers currently choose to buy used games at discounted prices.