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Activision share price up, Destiny wraps up $500m in sales on day one

Activision Blizzard Inc, the biggest western video-game maker, announced sales of its highly-anticipated shooter Destiny have totaled more than $500 million on release day.

Activision, the original wing of Activision Blizzard, and maker of blockbuster first-person shooter (FPS) franchise Call of Duty, joined forces with another FPS game developer Bungie, maker of the hugely popular Halo series, to create the next “industry milestone”, Destiny.

“This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “The success of Destiny is further validation of our unique capabilities to create great entertainment franchises from the ground up.”

This new intellectual property (IP), i.e. not a sequel/prequel, had won over 180 awards and nominations even before it had launched, the company claims, setting it on a path that would clock sales of over $500 million on day one.

Activision is said to have invested an equal sum in developing and marketing the game, and had earlier passed another milestone – for the most pre-ordered original IP.

“Since the beginning, weve been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed wed be able to say it did so on day one,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation, and Activisions next billion dollar brand.”

The surprisingly positive performance of Destiny is unusual for an original IP, with bigger numbers usually generated by sequels (or prequels), though it sets the stage for a massive year in the history of Activision Blizzard.

In less than two months, Activision will release the next game of its dominant FPS series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, while also in November Blizzard is launching the Warlords of Draenor expansion to its World of Warcraft MMORPG, arguably the most successful video game of all time.

Activision Blizzard Inc was up 0.34% to close at $23.81 per share yesterday, logging an annual increase of 38.55% and valuing the company at $17.08bn. According to a Financial Times survey, 22 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Activision Blizzard, Inc. have a median target of $26.00, with a high estimate of $30.00 and a low estimate of $23.00. The median estimate represents a 9.20% increase from the last price of $23.81.

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