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Analyst: Blizzard To Sell 12 Million Units Next Year

Analysts say Blizzard could sell 12 million units of its PC games next year -- and possibly as many as 16 million, driving Activision's revenue $400-$600 million higher than this year.
Blizzard could sell 12 million units of its PC games next year, predicts Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, who says the delay of StarCraft II will ultimately spell a stronger 2010 for the company. In fact, Pachter says ultimately this number could be as high as 16 million units -- spelling revenues $400-$600 million higher than this year. He also expects the profitability of WoW in China to grow. Blizzard is the MMO market's 800-pound gorilla, and at the one-year anniversary of its merger with Activision, it's become a major cornerstone of the publisher's strategy. At the core of Activision's decision to push StarCraft II into 2010 is the company's grand plan for the re-launch of the Battle.net service, with which the game's release will now coincide. With its second quarter results announcement yesterday, CEO Bobby Kotick and Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime described plans for a "social gaming network... similar to Xbox Live," explaining that it would be "integrated with StarCraft II more tightly than any previous Blizzard game." The integration encompasses WoW and all other future Blizzard titles as well; Activision has previously made note of its intention to release a new Blizzard game every year, although the company has declined to confirm whether or not the shift of StarCraft II will mean two new releases in 2010.

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