World of Warcraft subscriber numbers continue to slide but at a much slower pace than the previous quarter.
Activision has reported another solid financial quarter for 2013, pulling in GAAP net revenues of $691 million over the three month period that ended September 30. That's down rather substantially from the $841 million earned over the same period in 2012, but higher than its prior outlook of $635 million.
"Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share. Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digital revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue," Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said. "This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round."
Activision said Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Skylanders Giants are two of the top-five best-selling games year-to-date in both North America and Europe, while StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the top-selling PC game of the year so far. The World of Warcraft juggernaut also continues to roll along with roughly 7.6 million users, down from the 7.7 million it reported in July but not nearly as precipitously as the loss from April to June of this year, which saw the game lose 600,000 subscribers.
Despite the successful quarter, Kotick said the fourth quarter of the year "presents a unique and challenging landscape" because of the looming console transition. "We are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges successfully," he said, "particularly in light of the recent completion of our transaction with Vivendi and the focus and flexibility provided by our return to independence."
Activision is forecasting GAAP revenues for the final quarter of 2013 of $1.26 billion, down slightly from its prior outlook of $1.3 billion, but has increased its full-year revenue outlook from $4.31 billion to $4.32 billion.