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Only 30% of Activision profits come from console games

Bulk of publisher's income comes from Warcraft, mobile and PC games

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed that console games, including the Call of Duty, only provide a third of the publishing giant's operating profit. 70 per cent is raised from "non-console-based" games.

In its first quarter this year, Activision's profits hit $318 million, $189 million up on the same time in 2009.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal last week - when he also hinted at plans for a subscription-based Call of Duty - Kotick shrugged off concerns about a decline in sales for retail games.

"I care a lot less," he said. "It used to be, I would religiously look at weekly retail sell-through data, but it's a very small part of our business now. Today, probably 70 percent of our operating profit comes from non-console-based video games. So, while you might see a month-to-month change or volatility against expectations, that doesn't really get us too concerned."

Website Gamasutra confirmed with Activision that 'non-console-based video games' means just that, and does not incorporate console DLC.

Given Activision's relatively small hand in PC and mobile games at present, the vast bulk of this 70 per cent comes from World of Warcraft and its 11.5 million subscribers.

In 2009, Activision revealed that the MMO's operating profit stood at 55 per cent, compared to its 23 per cent overall profit margins for its most recent quarter. This would seem to clarify why Kotick is so interested in making Call of Duty into an online world.

The third World of Warcraft expansion, Catacylsm, is due for release later this year.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.