Activision rides Black Ops 2, Skylanders in first quarter

Activision Blizzard enjoyed a strong start to its 2013 fiscal year, thanks to Skylanders Giants, Black Ops 2, and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. The largest publisher in the U.S. gave investors (and weirdos like us) a look at its performance from January to the end of March in its most recent financial statement.

Heart of the Swarm was Activision’s biggest release for the quarter, uniting disparate PC hordes the world over behind the first expansion to the vaunted RTS series. Skylanders and Call of Duty kept raking in the most and second-most cash of any game franchise in the U.S., if you include accessory packs and figures.

World of Warcraft hemorrhaged 1.3 million subscribers from January to March, but it’s still the No. 1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world with 8.3 million paid customers. And yes, a team is still working on cross-franchise DOTA game Blizzard All-Stars, according to a brief aside from Mike Morhaime during a conference call with investors.

Activision brought in $1.32 billion in revenue over the quarter, besting the same period last year which saw $1.17 billion in revenue. Comparing the same two periods, its net income grew from $384 million to $456 million.

The publisher expects a strong year overall with Skylanders Swap Force and Call of Duty: Ghosts leading the charge into the holiday season. Oddly, Deadpool: The Game never came up. Hm.

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