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Justin Bieber Can't Top World Of Warcraft In Vivendi Financials

Activision Blizzard parent Vivendi reported Q1 video game sales of €945 million ($1.3 billion), which edged out revenues from its music segment that included sales of tween heartthrob Justin Bieber's latest album.
Vivendi's Universal Music Group is more established than its Activision Blizzard games business, but video games were able to outperform music for the French media conglomerate in the most recent fiscal quarter. In Vivendi's results for the first quarter ended March 31, Activision Blizzard generated revenues of €945 million ($1.3 billion), a 29.3 percent year-on-year increase. That's better than Universal Music Group, which saw sales decline 13.4 percent to €889 million ($1.2 billion) for the quarter. Video games sales were able to outperform music sales despite big name music releases from Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and tween heartthrob sensation Justin Bieber. Vivendi attributed the music decline to a fall in recorded music sales in Europe and Asia, and a decline in the demand of physical music products. Activision Blizzard separately reported its annual results on May 6, calling its $1.3 billion in sales for the quarter "better than expected." The driving factors for Vivendi's games business were Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Modern Warfare 2 was the top-selling title in the U.S. and Europe during the quarter, while monthly subscriptions kept World of Warcraft a continuing strong source of revenue. The $15 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 downloadable map pack Stimulus Package was also a factor, selling over one million units in its first 24 hours of release. Major upcoming Activision titles include the World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Total Vivendi revenues for the quarter reached €6.9 billion ($8.8 billion), up 6 percent year-on-year. Earnings were €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion), up 14 percent year-on-year. Vivendi's businesses also include the mobile phone company SFR (sales of €3.1 billion ($4 billion)), Maroc Telecom Group (€660 million ($838 million)), Telecom operator GVT (€214 million ($271.7 million)) and Canal+ Group (€1.1 billion ($1.5 billion)).

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