For a while now, Activision Blizzard has held the title of #1 publisher in North America. It's a title it wrestled from EA. And EA will stop at nothing, fancy nomenclature included, to reclaim the title.
During the company's financial results report from earlier today, EA claim that from April 2009 to December 2009, it was the biggest-selling publisher of packaged goods in North America and Europe (Europe, we already knew). Not all goods, mind you. Just packaged ones.
Still, you may ask yourself how the hell that happens considering Activision is home to World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, but take a closer look at those titles. World of Warcraft is built on taking money from existing customers, not fresh unit sales. And that's online money, not "packaged goods" money. Guitar Hero, and it's new spin-off DJ Hero, both had highly disappointing years.
And while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest-selling game in the world last year, it was only one game, it's 11.86 million units sold hardly enough to count for much against EA as a whole, for whom FIFA 10 - at 9.7 million sold - came close to beating it on its own.
EA, meanwhile, had FIFA 10, Madden 10, Dragon Age, Left 4 Dead 2 and The Sims 3 on its plate for 2009, all great games, all big sellers.
Now if only the publisher could find a way to translate that into profits....