Meet Activision Blizzard's Next 2 Blockbusters

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Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI  ) gave investors plenty to cheer last week when it posted its fourth-quarter earnings results. Sure, the video-game publisher's sales and profit fell as compared with 2012's record numbers. But Activision had warned all along that last year would be a transitional one.

More important to forward-looking investors is the company's upcoming slate of titles -- and by that standard, things are pointing in just one direction for Activision: up. It has a record pipeline for 2014, including two new properties set to become major franchises in their own right.

Destiny: Bungie

Source: Bungie.

Destiny is an action game from developer Bungie, best known for producing the epic Halo franchise. That brand sold more than 50 million units and averaged a 90 score -- out of 100 -- across all of Bungie's chapters. Gaming site IGN, to pick just one example, called Halo 2 a "noble achievement in storytelling, gameplay balance, and multiplayer design" and "easily the best console-based online game on Earth."

Activision believes that Destiny could become its third billion-dollar franchise, joining Skylanders and Call of Duty at the top of the podium. That forecast isn't just blustering, either: The game is on track to become the most pre-ordered title in history. Destiny also has some critical notches on its belt already: It took home 50 awards at last year's E3 conference and walked away the "Best in Show" prize from Gamescom. The game launches across Xbox and PlayStation consoles in early September.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: Blizzard

Source: Blizzard.

Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy game that is populated with characters from the World of Warcraft universe. With the WoW franchise no longer posting much growth, Blizzard is hoping to use this title to expand the brand to a much broader audience. That strategy appears to be working: Hearthstone launched in beta mode last month and has already attracted "millions of players" and "strong engagement and monetization," according to the company.

Blizzard thinks that Hearthstone will quickly join Diablo, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft as one of the studio's top franchises. Already available on PCs, look for the title to expand to smartphones and tablets in the next few months.

Foolish bottom line
There's no arguing that Activision had a rough 2013. The transition into the next generation of consoles hurt sales, and extra competition with the likes of Electronic Arts and Disney hurt as well. Still, a record slate of games for 2014, including these two brand-new properties, position Activision well for some record growth in the years ahead.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 7:55 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Hearthstone gonna bomb.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:29 PM, JaredM80 wrote:

    well I don't know if Hearthstone will become a blockbuster but i think it's fun and i love it. i would vote for it to enter blockbuster status.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:32 PM, JaredM80 wrote:

    wait does it gonna bomb mean fail? slang is so confusing these days. kill it is good, dope is cool, bad is good, sick is badass/awesome, tight is cool.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 11:36 AM, sliphide wrote:

    The problem with WOW is when they do upgrades they take away powers that you have earned. You have to learn to fly several times at high gold costs.

    You get used to using a combat power and the its gone or reduced in strength. Once you have gained a power it is yours and your choice to replace it.

    once you by a glyph you should no have to loose that one to place another one. Yes at that point you should be pretty bad a@@

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:01 PM, Alkabides wrote:

    If anyone here thinks hearthstone is going to bomb you might as well put your money in CD's because you have no business investing - you just have no clue what you are doing. Just on PC this game is going to be huge but the market for iPads ect is UNBELIEVABLE. This definitely has the chance to be one of the biggest games of all time when you factor in iPad usage.

    Btw Motley, activision sold blizzard back to blizzard. This is pretty old news at this point. Not sure how that got missed.....

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos

Demitrios covers consumer goods and media companies for, as well as broader moves in the economy.

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