Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forbes is bullish too

Franchises are at the heart of Activision's success:

"Guitar Hero"
Activision (nasdaq: ATVI - news - people ) bought this game from its creators for $100 million and turned it from a modest hit into a gaming phenomenon. Even people who had never played typical videogames enjoy strumming a plastic guitar in time to music. The brand's most recent release: "Guitar Hero World Tour."

Released: 2005
Copies sold: 25 million
Gross annual revenue: $2 billion

"World of Warcraft"
What is probably the most profitable videogame in history now has 11 million subscribers who can interact with each other online in the biggest of all "massively multiplayer" videogames.

Released: 2004
Subscribers: 11 million
Gross annual revenue: $1 billion

"Call of Duty"
Players fight their way across World War II battlegrounds, often in league with small groups of friends linked by the Internet. Hit sequels feature modern warfare in the Middle East.

Released: 2003
Copies sold: 33 million
Gross annual revenue: $1.8 billion

"Tony Hawk"
Rather than forcing gamers to follow a scripted story line, the games allow skaters to roam free in cities and skate parks. That daring creative choice helped make the game Activision's first hit franchise. Its most recent release: "Tony Hawk's Proving Ground."

Released: 1999
Copies sold: 40 million
Gross annual revenue: $1.6 billion

Now we still have the new Starcraft and Diablo on the way...

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