Activision's holiday quarter hosted two of the biggest game releases of the year, and ahead of the publisher's earnings call next month, one analyst predicted just how big.
Analyst Mike Hickey with Janco Partners said in a Wednesday research note that he expects Activision to report that it shipped 20.6 million units of the Treyarch-developed hit Call of Duty: Black Ops during the quarter ended December 31.
He said that equates to over $1 billion in sales, a figure already confirmed by Activision in December. The game released on November 9, 2010 in most territories.
Hickey also expects the December 7 expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to have shipped over 6 million units during the quarter, generating $189 million.
Publisher Blizzard already confirmed that the MMORPG expansion sold 4.7 million copies in its first month, ahead of 4 million in one-month sales for the previous expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.
The analyst expects Activision Blizzard to report full-year 2010 non-GAAP revenues of $4.7 billion, roughly flat compared to last year.
In a separate Activision Blizzard research note, Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz said there are "multiple growth catalysts" for the company in the years ahead, including expected launches of Diablo III and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in 2011, and in 2012 and 2013, the new game from Bungie, Blizzard's new MMO and a new Call of Duty from internal studio Sledgehammer Games.