Then latest set of financial figures from Vivendi Universal show that the group's Games division saw revenues rising by 76 per cent in the second quarter of the year, largely due to the exceptionally strong performance of World of Warcraft.
The Blizzard-developed title, which currently has 2 million subscribers in North America, Europe and South Korea, along with an additional 1.5 million in China via local partner The9, is the most popular massively multiplayer game in the world.
Thanks largely to the success of this title, Q2 revenues were up by 76 per cent to 125 million Euro - while first half revenues were up 61 per cent to 236 million Euro, with other titles such as Robots, SWAT 4, Half-Life 2, Simpsons Hit and Run and Empire Earth II also fingered as strong performers.
The success of World of Warcraft and its impact on VU Games' bottom line underscores comments made by VU Games president Phil O'Neil speaking to GamesIndustry.biz earlier this year.
"I'm not sure Blizzard is the jewel in the crown," he told us in response to a question about how important the studio is to VU Games. "I would suggest that it's the crown."
"Blizzard is the crown," he continued; "we have some nice rings and bracelets and other pieces of jewellery inherent in the company, but Blizzard, without a doubt, from a commercial standpoint and a creative standpoint, is the crown of Vivendi-Universal Games and from a go-forward standpoint, will clearly be the engine that drives Vivendi-Universal Games' success."
Overall results for the entire Vivendi Universal group showed that second quarter sales rose by eight per cent to 4.62 billion Euro, while first half sales totalled 9.13 billion Euro - up nine per cent year on year.