If you're an old school PC gamer, a quick way to get depressed is to head over to your local GameStop or Babbages and browse the PC section. The lone rack (at best) is a far cry from the days of shelves lining stores like Software Etc.* with PC titles, but that doesn't mean the platform is dead, Steam and other digital platforms have change the way PC gamers shop, and it's the reason Activision Blizzard's digital sales are at an all time high.
Activision reported digital revenues of $1.6 billion for all of 2011, which accounted for more than a third -- 34 percent -- of the company's total net revenues last year, which totaled $4.76 billion on a GAAP basis and $4.45 billion on a non-GAAP basis (compared to $4.49 billion and $4.80 billion, respectively, for 2010). All of these numbers are higher than what Activision anticipated.
"As we continue to strengthen our leadership position in interactive entertainment, our proven management team and talented employees delivered another extraordinary year of outperformance," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "With better than expected net revenues, record earnings, record operating margins, and having generated nearly $1 billion in operating cash flow, Activision Blizzard continues to set the industry success bar."
Activision owes its continued to success to popular franchises like World of Warcraft, which remained the No. 1 subscription based MMORPG around the world in 2011, and Call of Duty, of which Modern Warfare 3 was the best selling game for all of 2011, Activation said.
*Award yourself a million geek points if you've ever shopped at a Software Etc.