View Full Version : World of Warcraft boosts profits for Vivendi Universal

March 2nd, 2006, 17:01
Vivendi Universal has posted its full year financial results, revealing a marginal decline in overall profits but increased revenue in several divisions - with VU Games in particular showing a dramatic return to profitability for the media giant.

Overall revenue for the company was posted at EURO 19.48 billion, compared to EURO 17.88 billion in 2004. Profits dipped slightly from EURO 3.77 billion in 2004 to EURO 3.15 billion, primarily as a result of significant one-time gains in previous results.

Whilst a number of sectors have jointly contributed to the firm's success, including its music and mobile phone divisions, VU Games has shown the most significant turnaround, more than weathering its financial storms and returning to profitability.

Profits for the games division were posted at EURO 41 million, a massive EURO 244 million increase on the same period a year prior, which revealed a EURO 203 million loss. The company has attributed the success to its 'global turnaround plan' implemented in 2004, designed to lower operational costs and offer a "better balanced portfolio of products".

Strong performances from titles including 50 Cent: Bullet Proof, F.E.A.R., Crash Tag Team Racing, Robots and the North American distribution of Delta Force: Black Hawk Down and FlatOut have bolstered the profits, but it's the "exceptional success" of Blizzard's World of Warcraft - a massively multiplayer online game which has now reached 6 million subscribers worldwide - that has contributed most to the dramatic turnaround for the company.

VU Games also notes that profits include costs associated with the recent acquisition of Radical, Swingin' Ape, Swordfish and High Moon development studios, in addition to the increased development costs as the firm prepares to bolster its WoW success with a slew of additional titles.