Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Form: 10-K/A, Received: 02/27/2013 16:51:24)

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K/A
Amendment No. 1

(Mark one)    

ý

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2012

OR

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                                to                               

Commission File Number 1-15839

LOGO

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
  95-4803544
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3100 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
(Address of principal executive offices)

 

90405
(Zip Code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (310) 255-2000

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each Class   Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $.000001 per share   The NASDAQ Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None

         Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  ý  No  o

         Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15 (d) of the Act. Yes  o  No  ý

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  ý  No  o

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  ý  No  o

         Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ý

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer ý   Accelerated Filer o   Non-accelerated Filer o
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
  Smaller Reporting Company o

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes  o  No  ý

         The aggregate market value of the registrant's Common Stock held by non-affiliates on June 29, 2012 (based on the closing sale price of $11.99 per share as reported on the NASDAQ) was $4,910,586,488.

         The number of shares of the registrant's Common Stock outstanding at February 15, 2013 was 1,113,696,788.

          Documents Incorporated by Reference

         Portions of the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders which is expected to be held on June 6, 2013, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report.

   


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EXPLANATORY NOTE

        This Amendment No. 1 is being filed solely for the purpose of removing the inadvertent inclusion of the parenthetical label, (Unaudited), which was inserted below the header on page F-4 of the financial statements in the original annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. In addition, we are re-filing Exhibit 21 in its entirety to clarify the jurisdiction of incorporation for one of our entities. Except for these changes, there have been no other changes in any of the financial or other information contained in the original report. For convenience, we are re-filing the report, in its entirety, including the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) interactive data files as Exhibit 101 to reflect the information presented in the annual report on Form 10-K/A, except that certain exhibits which were filed with the original report have been incorporated by reference from that original report. This amendment continues to speak as of the date of the original filing and the Company has not updated the disclosure in this amendment to speak to any later date. Any references to the Form 10-K in this periodic report shall be deemed to be references to this Form 10-K/A.


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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

Table of Contents

 
   
  Page No.
PART I.    3
    Cautionary Statement   3

Item 1.

  Business   3

Item 1A.

  Risk Factors   13

Item 1B.

  Unresolved Staff Comments   34

Item 2.

  Properties   34

Item 3.

  Legal Proceedings   34

Item 4.

  Mine Safety Disclosures   35
PART II.    36

Item 5.

  Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   36

Item 6.

  Selected Financial Data   40

Item 7.

  Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   41

Item 7A.

  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk   73

Item 8.

  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   74

Item 9.

  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   74

Item 9A.

  Controls and Procedures   74

Item 9B.

  Other Information   75
PART III.    76

Item 10.

  Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance   76

Item 11.

  Executive Compensation   76

Item 12.

  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   76

Item 13.

  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   76

Item 14.

  Principal Accounting Fees and Services   76
PART IV.    77

Item 15.

  Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedule   77
SIGNATURES   78
Exhibit Index   E-1

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PART I

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

         This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains, or incorporates by reference, certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements consist of any statement other than a recitation of historical fact and include, but are not limited to: (1) projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, cash flow or other financial items; (2) statements of our plans and objectives, including those relating to product releases; (3) statements of future financial or operating performance; and (4) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Activision Blizzard, Inc. ("Activision Blizzard") generally uses words such as "outlook," "forecast," "will," "could," "should," "would," "to be," "plans," "believes," "may," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," "future," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled," "set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and other similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk, reflect management's current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Our actual results could differ materially from expectations stated in forward-looking statements. Some of the risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those stated in forward-looking statements can be found in "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A of this Report. The forward-looking statements contained herein are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements are believed to be true when made, they may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

         Activision Blizzard, Inc.'s names, abbreviations thereof, logos, and product and service designators are all either the registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names of Activision Blizzard. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

Item 1.    BUSINESS

Overview

        Activision Blizzard is a worldwide publisher of online, personal computer ("PC"), video game console, tablet, handheld and mobile games. Through Activision Publishing, Inc. ("Activision"), we are a leading international developer and publisher of interactive software products and content, with a focus on developing and publishing video games on various consoles, handheld platforms and the PC platform using both internally developed franchises and licensed properties. Activision currently offers games that operate on the Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. ("Sony") PlayStation 3 ("PS3"), Nintendo Co. Ltd. ("Nintendo") Wii ("Wii") and Nintendo Wii U ("Wii U"), and Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") Xbox 360 ("Xbox 360") console systems; the Nintendo Dual Screen ("DS") and Nintendo 3DS ("3DS") handheld game systems; the PC; and other handheld and mobile devices. Through Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ("Blizzard"), we are the leading publisher of online subscription-based games in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game ("MMORPG") category. Blizzard also internally develops and publishes PC-based computer games and maintains a proprietary online-game related service, Battle.net®.

        Our Activision business involves the development, marketing, and sale of products through retail channels or digital downloads, by license or from our affiliate label program with certain third-party publishers. Activision continues to focus its efforts in the areas we believe have the most opportunity for growth and higher profitability, while reducing investments in areas we believe have less profit potential and limited growth opportunities. To that end, investments are being focused on proven intellectual properties to develop deep, high-quality content that offers engaging online multiplayer gaming experiences. For example, during 2012, Activision released Call of Duty ® : Black Ops II , which

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set new video game launch retail sales records with over $1 billion of retail sales within 15 days of launch, according to GfK Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and the Company's internal estimates. Activision is currently developing sequels and additional content to build on the continued success of the Call of Duty franchise.

        While focusing on our proven intellectual properties is one of Activision's priorities, we also continue to make strategic investments in developing new intellectual properties we believe have the potential to be successful in the long term. For example, in 2011, we debuted a new internally developed franchise with the release of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure ® , and launched its sequel, Skylanders Giants , in October 2012. Games in the Skylanders franchise combine the use of toys with video games to deliver innovative game play experience to our audiences. According to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-Track, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than the $1 billion in worldwide sales life-to-date as of December 31, 2012. Additionally, we have established a long-term alliance with Bungie, the developer of game franchises including Halo, Myth and Marathon, to bring Bungie's next big action game universe, Destiny ™, to market in future years.

        Blizzard is a development studio and publisher best known as the creator of World of Warcraft ® , as well as the multiple award winning Diablo ® and StarCraft ® franchises. Blizzard distributes its products and generates revenues worldwide through various means, including: subscriptions (which consist of fees from individuals playing World of Warcraft ® , sales of prepaid subscription cards and revenue from value-added services such as realm transfers, faction changes, and other character customizations within the World of Warcraft gameplay); retail sales of physical "boxed" products; online download sales of PC products; and licensing of software to third-party or related party companies that distribute World of Warcraft, Diablo III , and StarCraft ® II products. Blizzard has released four expansion packs to World of Warcraft— World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade ® , World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King ® , World of Warcraft: Cataclysm ® , and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria ® (which launched in September 2012). In July 2010, the Company launched the sequel to StarCraft , StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty ® . In conjunction with the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty , Blizzard launched a new version of its 24/7 online gaming service, Battle.net, facilitating the creation of user generated content, digital distribution and online social connectivity among World of Warcraft and StarCraft players. In May 2012, the Company released Diablo III , which became the #1 best-selling PC game at retail, breaking PC-game sales records with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide through December 31, 2012. Blizzard also plans to release its first StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm TM on March 12, 2013. On February 20, 2013, Blizzard announced that it is developing Diablo III for the Sony PS3, and confirmed plans to adapt the game for Sony's PlayStation 4 ("PS4"), its next-generation computer entertainment system.

        The Activision Blizzard Distribution ("Distribution") business consists of operations in Europe that provide warehousing, logistical, and sales distribution services to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations, and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.

The Company's Formation and Business Combination

        Activision, Inc. was originally incorporated in California in 1979 and was reincorporated in Delaware in December 1992. On July 9, 2008, a business combination (the "Business Combination") by and among Activision, Inc., Sego Merger Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc., Vivendi S.A. ("Vivendi"), VGAC LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi , and Vivendi Games, Inc. ("Vivendi Games"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of VGAC LLC, was consummated. As a result of the consummation of the Business Combination, Activision, Inc. was renamed Activision Blizzard, Inc. Activision Blizzard is a public company traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ATVI."

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Our Strategy

        Our objective is to continue to be a worldwide leader in the development, publishing, and distribution of quality interactive entertainment software, online content and services that deliver a highly satisfying entertainment experience.

        Continue to Improve Profitability.     We continually strive to manage risk and increase our operating efficiency with the goal of increased profitability. We believe the key factors affecting our future profitability will be the success of our core properties, proven franchises and genres, cost discipline, and our ability to benefit from the continued growth of online and digital revenue opportunities.

        Create Shareholder Value.     We continue to focus on enhancing shareholder return through profitable operations, and strong cash flows. As a result, we expect to continue to achieve long-term growth and to deliver returns to our shareholders.

        Grow Through Continued Strategic Acquisitions and Alliances.     We intend to continue to evaluate the expansion of our resources and intellectual properties library through acquisitions, strategic relationships, and key license transactions. We will also continue to invest in and build on existing alliances and relationships. In addition, we will continue to evaluate opportunities to increase our proven development expertise through the acquisition of, or investment in, selected experienced software development firms.

        Focus on Delivery of Digital Content and Online Services.     We continue to shift towards digital delivery of content and to establish and develop direct and long-term relationships with our gamers. We will also continue to support, maintain and enhance the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty online communities. We believe that focusing our efforts on online product innovations, such as additional online content, services and social connectivity, provides lasting value enhancement to our global communities of players. In addition, we are exploring new business models for delivering content digitally, including offering free-to-play games with monetization through in-game microtransactions.

Competition

        We compete for the leisure time and discretionary spending of consumers with other interactive entertainment companies, as well as with providers of different forms of entertainment, such as motion pictures, television, social networking, online casual entertainment and music.

        The interactive entertainment industry is intensely competitive and new interactive entertainment software products and platforms are regularly introduced. Our competitors vary in size from small companies with limited resources to large corporations who may have greater financial, marketing, and product development resources than we have. Due to their different focuses and allocation of resources, certain of our competitors may spend more money and time on developing and testing products, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns, adopt more aggressive pricing policies, pay higher fees for licenses, and pay more to third-party software developers. In addition, competitors with large product lines and popular titles typically have greater leverage with retailers, distributors, and other customers who may be willing to promote titles with less consumer appeal in return for access to such competitor's most popular titles. We believe that the main competitive factors in the interactive entertainment industry include: product features, game quality, and playability; brand name recognition; compatibility of products with popular platforms; access to distribution channels; online capability and functionality; ease of use; price; marketing support; and quality of customer service.

        We compete primarily with other publishers of PC, online and video game console interactive entertainment software. In addition to third-party software competitors, integrated video game console hardware and software companies, such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, compete directly with us in the development of software titles for their respective platforms. Further, a number of software

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publishers have developed and commercialized, or are currently developing, online games for use by consumers over the Internet, and we expect new competitors to continue to emerge in the subscription-based MMORPG and microtransaction-based game categories, as well as in the growing "toys to life" category. Lastly, we compete with publishers of mobile games, who may be narrowly focused on publishing games for handheld and mobile devices.

Employees

        We had approximately 6,700 total full-time and part-time employees at December 31, 2012. At December 31, 2012, approximately 110 of our full-time employees were subject to term employment agreements with us. These agreements generally commit the employees to employment terms of between one and five years from the commencement of their respective agreements. Most of the employees subject to these agreements are executive officers or key members of the product development, sales, or marketing divisions. These individuals perform services for us as executives, directors, producers, associate producers, computer programmers, game designers, sales directors, or marketing product managers. In our experience, entering into employment agreements with these employees reduces our turnover during the development, production and distribution phases of our entertainment software products and allows us to plan more effectively for future development and marketing activities. Some employees outside of the United States are also party to employment agreements that do not specify a fixed term.

        The majority of our employees in France, Spain and Italy, and in our distribution companies in Germany, are subject to collective bargaining agreements. To date, we have not experienced any labor-related work stoppages.

Intellectual Property

        Like other entertainment companies, our business is significantly dependent on the creation, acquisition, use and protection of intellectual property. Some of this intellectual property is in the form of copyrighted software code, patented technology, and other technology and trade secrets that we use to develop our games and to make them run properly. Other intellectual property is in the form of copyrighted audio-visual elements that consumers can see, hear and interact with when they are playing our games.

        We develop some of our products from wholly-owned intellectual properties that we create within our own studios. We also acquire the rights to include proprietary intellectual property in our products through acquisitions. In addition, we obtain intellectual property through licenses and service agreements. These agreements typically limit our use of the licensed rights in products for specific time periods. In addition, our products that play on game consoles and handheld platforms include technology that is owned by the console or wireless device manufacturer, and licensed non-exclusively to us for use. We also license technology from providers other than console manufacturers. While we may have renewal rights for some licenses, our business and the justification for the development of many of our products is dependent on our ability to continue to obtain the intellectual property rights from the owners of these rights on reasonable terms and at reasonable rates.

        We actively engage in enforcement and other activities to protect our intellectual property. We typically own the copyright to the software code in our products. Moreover, we own or license the brand or title name trademark under which our products are marketed. We register copyrights, trademarks and patents in the United States and other countries as appropriate.

        We often distribute our PC products using copy protection technology or other technological protection measures to prevent piracy and the use of unauthorized copies of our product. In addition, console manufacturers typically incorporate technological protections and other security measures in their consoles in an effort to prevent the use of unlicensed products. We are actively engaged in

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enforcement and other activities to protect against unauthorized copying and piracy, including monitoring online channels for distribution of pirated copies, and participating in various enforcement initiatives, education programs and legislative activity around the world.

Significant Customers

        We had one customer, GameStop, which accounted for approximately 10% and 12% of our consolidated net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2010, respectively. We did not have any single customer that accounted for 10% or more of our consolidated net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Operating Segments

        We have three operating segments: (i) Activision Publishing, Inc. and its subsidiaries—publishing interactive entertainment software products and downloadable content, (ii) Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries—publishing real-time strategy, role-playing PC games and online subscription-based games in the MMORPG category, and (iii) Activision Blizzard Distribution—distributing interactive entertainment software and hardware products ("Distribution"). See Note 13 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for certain additional information regarding operating segments.

Activision—Business Overview

Strategy

        Create, Acquire and Maintain Strong Franchises.     Activision focuses on development and publishing activities, principally for products and content that are, or have the potential to become, franchises with sustainable mass consumer appeal and recognition. It is our experience that these products and content can then serve as the basis for sequels, prequels and related new products and content that can be released over an extended period of time. We believe that the publishing and distribution of products and content based on proven franchises enhances predictability of revenues and the probability of high unit volume sales and operating profits. We own several successful intellectual properties including the Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, and we intend to continue development of owned franchises in the future. We also have an exclusive 10-year alliance with Bungie, a developer of successful game franchises, to bring Bungie's next big action game universe, Destiny , to market.

        Execute Disciplined Product Selection and Development Processes.     The success of our publishing business depends, in significant part, on our ability to develop high-quality games that will generate high unit volume sales. Our publishing units have implemented a formal control process for the selection, development, production and quality assurance of our products. We apply this process, which we refer to as the "Greenlight Process," to all of our products, whether externally or internally developed. The Greenlight Process includes in-depth reviews of each project at several important stages of development by a team that includes many of our highest-ranking operating managers and coordination among our sales, marketing and development staff at each step in the process.

        We develop our products using a combination of our internal development resources and external development resources acting under contract with us. We typically select our external developers based on their track records and expertise in producing products in the same category. One developer will often produce the same game for multiple platforms and will produce sequels to the original game. We believe that selecting and using development resources in this manner allows us to leverage the particular expertise of our internal and external development resources, which we believe enhances the quality of our products and accelerates the timing of releases.

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        Focused Product Offerings, Diversity in Platforms and Geographies.     We believe Activision has aligned its product offerings and cost structure to position the business for long-term growth. Through our online-enabled products and content, we believe we are best positioned to take advantage of retail and digital distribution channels that allow us to deliver content to a diversity of gamers ranging from children to adults and from core gamers to mass-market consumers and to "value" buyers seeking budget-priced software, in a variety of geographies. Presently, the majority of products that we develop, publish and distribute operate on the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Wii U console systems, and the PC. We will consider the development of "next-generation" consoles as we invest in our product delivery on each current and future platform.

        In addition, emerging and rapidly growing online-enabled platforms, in which we will support in-game integration and bring together online experience and gameplay, will continue to be a focus. We typically offer our products for use on multiple platforms to reduce the risks associated with any single platform, spread our costs over a larger installed hardware base, and increase unit sales. We intend to continue to offer both online and packaged software and games with localized content in different geographies.

Products

        In recent years, Activision has been best known for its success in the first-person action category from its internally-developed intellectual property, Call of Duty. The Call of Duty franchise has achieved over $8 billion life-to-date sales and has an active global community of millions of players. Its latest release, Call of Duty: Black Ops II , was released on November 13, 2012, and became the first video game ever to cross $1 billion of retail sales during the first 15 days of its launch, according to GfK Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information, and the Company's internal estimates.

        During 2012, Activision released four collections of downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ® 3. On January 29, 2013, we released Revolution, the first downloadable map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II , (" Revolution ") on the Xbox 360. Revolution is expected to be available on other platforms during the first quarter of 2013.

        On October 21, 2012, we launched Skylanders Giants , the second title in our Skylanders franchise, an internally-developed intellectual property that combines the use of toys with video games to deliver an innovative game play experience to our audiences. Specifically, the game involves "smart toys" consisting of action figures and an electronic "portal" which, when used together, allow a player to store and access information about his or her character's performance in the game. We sell the toys both bundled with the game software for the titles and on a stand-alone basis. According to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-Track, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than the $1 billion in worldwide sales life-to-date as of December 31, 2012.

        Activision also develops products spanning other genres, including first-person action, action/adventure, role-playing, simulation and strategy.

Product Development and Support

        Activision develops and produces titles using a model in which a core group of creative, production and technical professionals, in coordination with our marketing, finance and other departments, have responsibility for the entire development and production process, including the supervision and coordination of internal and external resources. This team assembles the necessary creative elements to complete a title using, where appropriate, outside programmers, artists, animators, scriptwriters, musicians and songwriters, sound effects and special effects experts, and sound and video studios. Activision believes that this model allows us to supplement internal expertise with top-quality external resources on an as-needed basis.

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        In addition, Activision often engages independent third-party developers to create products on Activision's behalf. We may either own, or have rights to commercially exploit, these products. In other circumstances, a third-party developer may retain ownership of the intellectual property and/or technology included in the product, or reserve certain exploitation rights with respect thereto. Activision typically selects these independent third-party developers based on their expertise in developing products in a specific category for specific platforms. Each of our third-party developers is under contract with us, either for a single or multiple titles. From time to time, Activision also acquires the license rights to publish and/or distribute software products that are or will be independently created by third-party developers. In such cases, the agreements with these developers typically provide us with exclusive publishing and/or distribution rights for a specific period of time, often for specified platforms and territories. In either case, Activision often has the ability to publish and/or distribute sequels, conversions, enhancements, and add-ons to the product initially being produced by the independent developer and Activision frequently has the right to engage the services of the original developer with regard to further product development.

        In consideration for the services that independent third-party developers provide, the developers receive a royalty, which is generally based on net sales or operating income of the developed products. Typically, developers also receive an advance, which Activision recoups from the royalties otherwise payable to the developers. The advance generally is paid in "milestone" stages. The payment at each stage is tied to the completion and delivery of a detailed performance milestone. Working with independent developers allows us to reduce our fixed development costs, share development risks with the third-party developers, take advantage of the third-party developers' expertise in connection with certain categories of products or certain platforms, and gain access to proprietary development technologies.

        In April 2010, Activision entered into an exclusive 10-year relationship with Bungie, the developer of game franchises including Halo, Myth and Marathon, to bring Bungie's next big action game universe, Destiny , to market. Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute all future Bungie games based on Destiny , the new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices.

        Activision provides various forms of product support to both our internally and externally developed titles. Activision quality assurance personnel are involved throughout the development and production of each title published. Activision subjects all such products to extensive testing before release to ensure compatibility with all appropriate hardware systems and configurations and to minimize the number of bugs and other defects found in the products. To support our products after release, Activision generally provides 24-hour online access to customer service representatives, as well as live telephone operators who answer the help lines during regular business hours.

Marketing, Sales, and Distribution

        Activision's marketing efforts include activities on the Internet (including on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online social networks and websites), public relations, print and broadcast advertising, coordinated in-store and industry promotions (including merchandising and point of purchase displays), participation in cooperative advertising programs, direct response vehicles, and product sampling through demonstration software distributed through the Internet or the digital online services provided by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. From time to time, we also receive marketing support from hardware manufacturers, mass appeal consumer products related to a game, and retailers in connection with their own promotional efforts. In addition, certain of our products contain software that enables customers to "electronically register" their purchases with us online.

        We believe that our strong proven franchises and genres generate a loyal and devoted customer base that continues to purchase our sequels as a result of their dedication to the franchise and

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satisfaction from previous product purchases. We therefore market these sequels, expansion packs and downloadable content toward the established customer base as well as to broader audiences. In addition, we believe that we derive benefits for our licensed properties from the marketing and promotional activities undertaken by the underlying intellectual property owners, in addition to our own marketing efforts.

        North American Sales and Distribution.     Our products are available for sale or rental in thousands of retail outlets in North America. Our North American retail customers include, among others, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart.

        In the United States ("U.S.") and Canada, our products are primarily sold on a direct basis to mass-market retailers, consumer electronics stores, discount warehouses and game specialty stores. We believe that a direct relationship with retailers results in more effective inventory management, merchandising and communications than would be possible through indirect relationships. We have implemented electronic data interchange linkages with many of our retailers to facilitate the placing and shipping of orders. We also sell our products to a limited number of distributors.

        International Sales and Distribution.     Our products are sold internationally on a direct-to-retail basis, through third-party distribution and licensing arrangements, and through our wholly-owned European distribution subsidiaries. We conduct our international publishing activities through offices in the United Kingdom ("U.K."), Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and Ireland. We often seek to maximize our worldwide revenues and profits by releasing high-quality foreign language releases concurrently with English language releases and by continuing to expand the number of direct selling relationships we maintain with key retailers in major territories.

        Digital Distribution.     Online and digital distribution channels are continuing to grow. Some of our products and content are sold in a digital format, which allows consumers to purchase and download the content at their convenience directly to their PC, console system or wireless device. We partner with digital distributors to utilize this growing method of distribution. We also make available to our customers value-added downloadable content to enhance their gaming experience through the digital online services provided by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

        Affiliate Labels.     In addition to our own products, we distribute a select number of interactive entertainment products that are developed and marketed by other third-party publishers through our "affiliate label" programs in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. The distribution of other publishers' products allows us to increase the efficiencies of our sales force and provides us with the ability to better ensure adequate shelf presence at retail stores for all of the products that we distribute. Services we provide under our affiliate label programs include order solicitation, in-store marketing, logistics and order fulfillment, and sales channel management, as well as other accounting and general administrative functions. Our current affiliate label partners include LucasArts, as well as several developers partnering with our "value" business, which offers budget-priced software to the public. Each affiliate label relationship is unique and may pertain only to distribution in certain geographic territories and may be further limited only to a specific title or titles for specific platforms.

Manufacturing

        Activision prepares a set of master program copies, documentation and packaging materials for our products for each hardware platform on which the product will be released. With respect to products for use on the Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft systems, our disk duplication, packaging, printing, manufacturing, warehousing, assembly and shipping are performed by third-party subcontractors and Company-owned distribution facilities.

        To maintain protection over their hardware technologies, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft generally specify or control the manufacturing and assembly of finished products and license their hardware

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technologies to us. We deliver the master materials to the licensor or its approved replicator, which then manufactures finished goods and delivers them to us for distribution under our label. At the time our product unit orders are filled by the manufacturer, we become responsible for the costs of manufacturing and the applicable per unit royalty on such units, even if the units do not ultimately sell.

Blizzard—Business Overview

Strategy

         Maintain and Build upon Our Leadership Position in the Subscription-Based MMORPG Category and PC Online Categories. Blizzard plans to maintain and build upon our leadership position in the subscription-based MMORPG category by regularly providing new content, game features and online services to further solidify the loyalty of our subscriber base, as well as to expand our global game footprint to new geographies.

        We believe that the PC will remain a vibrant online platform throughout the world. The large global PC installed base and the continuing development of broadband connectivity facilitates online games and community experiences while creating access to new potential customers. Further, World of Warcraft is a server-based game, only playable online, thus allowing Blizzard to be one of the few companies that can target markets that have been dominated by piracy and monetize former illegitimate players, as well as expand in markets that have not been penetrated by consoles, but offer a large PC installed base.

Products

        Blizzard is the leading company in the subscription-based MMORPG category. World of Warcraft was initially launched in November 2004 and today is available in many countries and regions including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Europe (including Russia), Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the U.S., and the regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. As of December 31, 2012, approximately 9.6 million gamers worldwide were subscribed* to play Blizzard's World of Warcraft . World of Warcraft is available in various languages based on the regions in which it is played and has earned awards and praise from publications around the world. Since the first release of World of Warcraft , Blizzard has launched four expansion packs in all regions in which the game is supported. The four expansion packs are World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which was first available in January 2007, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, which was first available in November 2008 , World of Warcraft: Cataclysm which was first available in December 2010, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, which was first available in September 2012. Revenues associated with the World of Warcraft franchise accounted for 61%, 90%, and 89% of Blizzard's net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.

        On May 15, 2012, Blizzard released Diablo III at retail and through digital distribution channels in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Europe (including Russia), Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the U.S., and the regions of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Blizzard also launched a real-money auction house at the same time as the Diablo III release dates to further engage Diablo III players. The real-money auction house allows players to sell items won in the game, such as weapons, armor, and runes, for real money to other players.

   


*
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft , as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

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        Additionally, in July 2010, Blizzard launched the sequel to StarCraft, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty simultaneously around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Europe (including Russia), Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, North America, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In conjunction with the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty , Blizzard launched a new version of its 24/7 online gaming service, Battle.net, providing user generated content, digital distribution and online social connectivity among World of Warcraft and StarCraft players.

Product Development and Support

        As a development studio and the creator and publisher of the World of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft franchises, Blizzard focuses on creating well-designed, high-quality games. Product development is handled internally by a strong core group of talented designers, producers, programmers, artists, and sound engineers. To maintain its current subscribers and attract new subscribers, Blizzard continues to develop new patches to upgrade World of Warcraft . In addition to its headquarters in Irvine, California, Blizzard maintains offices in or around Austin, Texas; Paris, France; Cork, Ireland; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; Shanghai, China; and Taipei, Taiwan to provide 24/7 game support to World of Warcraft players in their native language, enhance online community management, and tailor marketing initiatives to specific regions.

Marketing, Sales, and Distribution

        Blizzard distributes its products and generates revenues worldwide through various means, including: subscriptions (which consist of fees from individuals playing World of Warcraft, sales of prepaid subscription cards, and revenue from value-added services such as realm transfers, faction changes, and other character customizations within the World of Warcraft gameplay); retail sales of physical "boxed" products; online download sales of PC products; and licensing of software to third-party or related party companies that distribute World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft II products. Many of our services and products are digitally enabled, which allows us to take advantage of these rapidly growing channels and to reinforce Blizzard's long-term relationships with its gamers. In addition, Blizzard operates the online game service, Battle.net, which attracts millions of active players, making it one of the largest online-game related services in the world. Battle.net powers Diablo III , StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft , and is expected to power future releases. The service offers players advanced communications features, social networking, player matching and digital content delivery and is designed to allow people to connect regardless of what Blizzard game they are playing.

Distribution—Business Overview

        We distribute interactive entertainment hardware and software products in Europe through our European distribution subsidiaries: Centresoft, in the U.K., and NBG, in Germany. These subsidiaries act as wholesalers in the distribution of products and also provide packaging, logistical and sales services. They provide services to our publishing operations and to various third-party publishers, including Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Centresoft is Sony's preferred distributor of PlayStation products to the independent retail sector of the U.K.

        We entered into the distribution business to obtain distribution capacity in Europe for our own products, while supporting the distribution infrastructure with third-party sales, and to diversify our operations in the European market. Centresoft and our other distribution subsidiaries operate in accordance with strict confidentiality procedures to provide independent services to various third-party publishers.

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Additional Financial Information

        See Item 7 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and Note 13 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for certain additional information regarding operating segments and geographic areas. See the Critical Accounting Policies section under Item 7 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for a discussion of our practices with regard to several working capital items, such as rights of returns, and inventory practices. See the Management's Overview of Business Trends under Item 7 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for a discussion of the impact of seasonality on our business.

Available Information

        Our website located at http://www.activisionblizzard.com allows access free-of-charge to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). The information found on our website is not a part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this or any other report that we file with or furnish to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").

        The public may also read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549 (information on the operation of the Public Reference Room is available by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330). The SEC also maintains a web site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov .

Item 1A.    RISK FACTORS

         We wish to caution the reader that the following important risk factors, and those risk factors described elsewhere in this report or in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause our actual results to differ materially from those stated in forward-looking statements contained in this document and elsewhere. These risks are not presented in order of importance or probability of occurrence.

Our business is "hit" driven. If we do not deliver "hit" titles, or if consumers prefer competing products, our sales could suffer.

        While many new products are regularly introduced in our industry, increasingly only a relatively small number of high-quality "hit" titles account for a significant portion of net revenue, and an even greater portion of net profit. It is difficult to produce high-quality products and to predict prior to production and distribution what products will be well received, even if they are well-reviewed, high-quality titles. Competitors often develop titles that imitate or compete with our "hit" titles, and take sales away from them or reduce our ability to charge the same prices we have historically charged for those titles. "Hit" products published by our competitors may take a larger share of consumer spending than anticipated, which could cause our product sales to fall below expectations. Consumers may lose interest in a genre of games we produce. If we do not continue to develop consistently high-quality and well received products, or if our competitors develop more successful products or offer competitive products at lower prices, our revenues, margins and profitability could decline. In addition, our own "hit" products could compete with our other titles, reducing sales for those other titles. Further, a failure by us to develop a high-quality product, or our development of a product that is otherwise not well received, could harm our reputation and increase the likelihood that our future products will be similarly poorly received.

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We depend on a relatively small number of franchises for a significant portion of our revenues and profits.

        A significant portion of our revenues has historically been derived from products based on a relatively small number of popular franchises and these products are responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of our profits. For example, our four largest franchises in 2012—Call of Duty, Diablo, Skylanders and World of Warcraft—accounted for approximately 83% of our net revenues, and a significantly higher percentage of our operating income, for the year. We expect that a limited number of popular franchises will continue to produce a disproportionately high percentage of our revenues and profits. Due to this dependence on a limited number of franchises, the failure to achieve anticipated results by one or more products based on these franchises may significantly harm our business and financial results.

If general economic conditions decline, demand for our products could decline.

        Our products involve discretionary spending on the part of consumers. Consumers are generally more willing to make discretionary purchases, including purchases of products like ours, during periods in which favorable economic conditions prevail. As a result, our products are sensitive to general economic conditions and economic cycles. In recent years, adverse worldwide economic conditions, including declining consumer confidence, uncertainty as to continued economic growth and high unemployment, have led consumers to delay or reduce discretionary spending, including purchases of some types of our products. Reduced consumer spending could also result in an increase in our selling and promotional expenses, in an effort to offset that reduction. A reduction or shift in domestic or international consumer spending could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The uncertainty of current worldwide economic conditions makes budgeting and forecasting very difficult.

        We are unable to predict the likely duration of the current worldwide economic conditions, and all of the effects those conditions may have on our business. In particular, the uncertainty of current worldwide economic conditions subjects our forecasts to heightened risks and uncertainties.

A substantial portion of our revenue and profitability depends on the success of our Call of Duty franchise in the first-person action game category. If we do not maintain our leadership position in this category, our financial results could suffer.

        Activision Blizzard is a leading global developer, publisher and distributor in terms of revenues in the first-person action game category, primarily due to the popularity of Activision's Call of Duty franchise. Revenues from this game comprise a significant portion of our consolidated revenues. To remain a leader in the first-person action game category, it is important that we continue to develop new games in the Call of Duty franchise that are favorably received by both our existing customer base and new customers. A number of software publishers have developed and commercialized, or are currently developing, first-person action games which pose a threat to the popularity of Call of Duty, and we expect new competitors to continue to emerge in the first-person action category. If consumer demand for Call of Duty games declines and we have not introduced new first-person action games or added other sources of revenue, our financial condition could suffer. Additionally, if consumer preferences trend away from first-person action games, our revenue and profitability may decline.

A substantial portion of our revenue and profitability depends on the success of our Skylanders franchise in the "toys to life" game category. If we do not maintain our leadership position in this category, our financial results could suffer.

        Activision Blizzard is the leading global developer, publisher and distributor in terms of revenues in the "toys to life" game category, due to the popularity of Activision's Skylanders franchise. To

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remain a leader in the "toys to life" game category, it is important that we continue to develop new games in the Skylanders franchise that are favorably received by both our existing customer base and new customers. Other software publishers have developed, or are currently developing, "toys to life" games which pose a threat to the popularity of Skylanders, and we expect new competitors to continue to emerge in the "toys to life" category. If consumer demand for Skylanders games declines and we have not introduced new "toys to life" games or added other sources of revenue, our financial condition could suffer. Additionally, if consumer preferences trend away from "toys to life" games, our revenue and profitability may decline.

Sales of titles in our Skylanders franchise may be affected by the availability of toys, increasing our exposure to imbalances between projected and actual demand.

        Titles in our Skylanders franchise involve "smart toys", consisting of action figures and an electronic "portal", which, when used together, allow a player to store and access information about his or her character's performance in the game. We sell the toys both bundled with the software for the title and on a stand-alone basis. Consumers may not want to buy the related software if they cannot also buy the "smart toys". If we underestimate demand or otherwise are unable to produce sufficient quantities of toys of an acceptable quality or allocate too few toys to geographic markets where demand exceeds supply, we will forego revenue. This may also create greater opportunities for competitors to develop competitive product offerings. In addition, if we overestimate demand and make too many toys, or allocate too many toys to geographic markets where there is insufficient demand, we may incur unrecoverable manufacturing costs for unsold units as well as for unsold game software. In either case, toy manufacturing or allocation decisions may negatively affect our financial performance.

The importance to our business of the "smart toys" related to titles in our Skylanders franchise exposes us to hardware manufacturing and shipping risks, including availability of sufficient third-party manufacturing capacity and increases in manufacturing and shipping costs.

        Titles in our Skylanders franchise involve "smart toys" consisting of action figures and an electronic "portal" which, when used together, allow a player to store and access information about his or her character's performance in the game. Many of the manufacturers of those "smart toys" are located in China. Anything that impacts our ability to import these products or the ability of those manufacturers to produce or otherwise supply the toys for us or increases their costs of production, including the utilization of any such manufacturer's capacity by another company, changes in safety, environmental or other regulations applicable to the toys and the manufacturing thereof, natural or manmade disasters that disrupt manufacturing, transportation or communications, labor shortages, civil unrest or issues generally negatively impacting international companies operating in China, increases in the price of petroleum or other raw materials, increases in fuel prices and other shipping costs, and increases in local labor costs in China, may adversely impact our ability to supply those toys to the market and the prices we must pay for those toys, and therefore our financial performance. Moreover, the failure of those manufacturers to consistently deliver action figures and portals meeting the quality and safety standards we require could adversely impact our financial performance.

A substantial portion of our revenue and profitability depends on the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game category. If we do not maintain our leadership position in this category, our financial results could suffer.

        Blizzard is the leading global developer, publisher and distributor in terms of subscriber base and revenues in the subscription-based MMORPG category, due to the popularity of Blizzard's World of Warcraft franchise. To remain the leader in the subscription-based MMORPG category, it is important that we continue to refresh World of Warcraft or develop new MMORPG products that are favorably received by both our existing customer base and new customers. A number of software publishers have

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developed and commercialized, or are currently developing, online games for use by consumers over the Internet which pose a threat to the popularity of World of Warcraft , and we expect new competitors to continue to emerge in the MMORPG category.

        A substantial portion of our revenues is generated by subscription fees paid by consumers who play World of Warcraft . Typically, World of Warcraft subscribers purchase one to six month memberships that are cancelable, without penalty, at the end of the membership period. In recent years, we have seen a decline in World of Warcraft subscribership; at December 31, 2012, the worldwide subscriber base for World of Warcraft was approximately 9.6 million, slightly down from a base of more than 10 million subscribers at September 30, 2012, and approximately 10.2 million subscribers at December 31, 2011. A further decrease in the overall subscription base of World of Warcraft could substantially harm our operating results. If consumer demand for World of Warcraft games continue to decline and we do not introduce new MMORPG products or add other sources of revenue, our financial condition could suffer. Additionally, if new technologies are developed that replace MMORPGs, consumer preferences trend away from MMORPGs or new business models emerge that offer online subscriptions for free or at a substantial discount to current MMORPG subscription fees, our revenue and profitability may decline. Additionally, if general economic conditions decline, consumers may decrease their discretionary spending on entertainment items such as MMORPGs and users may choose not to renew their World of Warcraft subscriptions.

Vivendi owns a majority of our outstanding shares of common stock and the interests of Vivendi and its subsidiaries may conflict with the interests of our other shareholders.

        Vivendi and its subsidiaries owned approximately 62% of our issued and outstanding shares of common stock at December 31, 2012.

        As a result of the Business Combination, Vivendi has the ability to nominate a majority of our board of directors and determine the outcome of certain matters submitted to our stockholders, such as the approval of significant transactions and the declaration of dividends on our common stock. As a result, actions that may be supported by a majority of stockholders other than Vivendi may be blocked by Vivendi and Vivendi may take actions that may not be supported by those stockholders. Further, the requirement that certain actions be approved by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of our independent directors in addition to the majority of the full board expires on July 9, 2013.

        In addition, Vivendi's ownership may affect the liquidity in the market for our common stock. Furthermore, the ownership position and governance rights of Vivendi may discourage a third party from proposing a change of control or other strategic transaction concerning Activision Blizzard. As a result, our common stock may trade at prices that do not reflect a "control premium" to the same extent as do the stocks of similarly situated companies that do not have a stockholder with an ownership interest as large as Vivendi's ownership interest.

We are a "controlled company" within the meaning of NASDAQ rules and, as a result, are exempt from certain corporate governance requirements.

        For so long as Vivendi or any other entity or group owns more than 50% of the total voting power of our common shares, we will be a "controlled company" within the meaning of NASDAQ rules and, as a result, qualify for exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements. As a controlled company, we are exempt from several NASDAQ standards, including the requirements:

    that a majority of our Board consists of independent directors;

    that our prospective directors be nominated solely by independent directors; and

    that the compensation of our executive officers be determined solely by independent directors.

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        We currently rely on these exemptions and as a result, a majority of our Board is not independent (as defined by the NASDAQ rules). In addition, while we have a nominating and corporate governance committee and a compensation committee, these committees do not consist entirely of independent directors. Accordingly, our stockholders do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements.

Subject to certain limitations, Vivendi may sell common stock at any time, which could cause our stock price to decrease.

        Vivendi may sell the shares of our stock that it owns, including pursuant to a registered underwritten public offering under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or in accordance with Rule 144 under the Securities Act. We have entered into an investor agreement with Vivendi, which includes registration rights and which gives Vivendi the right to require us to register all or a portion of its shares at any time, subject to certain limitations. The sale of a substantial number of shares of common stock by Vivendi within a short period of time could cause our stock price to decrease, and make it more difficult for us to raise funds through future offerings of common stock.

Transitions in console platforms could adversely affect the market for interactive entertainment software.

        In 2005, Microsoft released the Xbox 360, in 2006, Sony introduced the PS3 and in 2012, Nintendo introduced the Wii U. Sony has announced that it intends to launch its next-generation console, PS4, by the 2013 year-end holiday buying season. When new console platforms are announced or introduced into the market, consumers typically reduce their purchases of game console entertainment software products for current console platforms in anticipation of new platforms becoming available. During these periods, sales of game console entertainment software products we publish may slow or even decline until new platforms are introduced and achieve wide consumer acceptance. This decline may not be offset by increased sales of products for the new console platforms. As console hardware moves through its life cycle, hardware manufacturers typically enact price reductions and decreasing prices may put downward pressure on software prices. During platform transitions, we may simultaneously incur costs both in continuing to develop and market new titles for prior-generation video game platforms, which may not sell at premium prices, and also in developing products for current-generation platforms, which will not generate immediate or near-term revenue. As a result, our operating results during platform transitions may be more volatile and more difficult to predict than during other times, and such volatility may cause greater fluctuations in our stock price.

Our business is highly dependent on the success, timely release and availability of new video game platforms and on the continued availability of, and support for, existing video game platforms, as well as our ability to develop commercially successful products for these platforms.

        We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from the sale of products for play on video game platforms manufactured by third parties, such as Sony's PS3 and PlayStation Portable, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii U, Wii and DS. For example, sales of products for consoles accounted for 45% of our consolidated net revenue in 2012. The success of our business is driven in large part by the availability of an adequate supply of these video game platforms and the continued support for these platforms by their manufacturers, our ability to accurately predict which platforms will be successful in the marketplace, and our ability to develop commercially successful products for these platforms.

        We must make product development decisions and commit significant resources well in advance of the anticipated introduction of a new platform. A new platform for which we are developing products may be delayed, may not have functionality upgrades that are sufficient to be well received by consumers or otherwise not succeed or may have a shorter life cycle than anticipated. Alternatively, a platform for which we have not devoted significant resources could be more successful than initially

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anticipated, causing us to miss a meaningful revenue opportunity. Additionally, if the platforms for which we are developing products are not released when anticipated, are not available in adequate quantities to meet consumer demand, do not attain wide market acceptance or are not adequately supported by their manufacturers, our revenues may suffer, we may be unable to fully recover our investment in developing those products, and our financial performance may be harmed.

We must make significant expenditures to develop products for new platforms that may not be successful.

        We must make substantial product development and other investments in a particular platform well in advance of introduction of the platform and may be required to realign our product portfolio and development efforts in response to market changes. Furthermore, development costs for new console platforms are greater than those costs for current console platforms. If increased costs are not offset by higher revenues and other cost efficiencies, operating results will suffer and our financial position will be harmed. If the platforms for which we develop new software products or modify existing products do not attain significant market penetration, we may not be able to recover our development costs, which could be significant, and our business and financial results could be significantly harmed.

Platform licensors are our competitors and frequently control the manufacturing of, and have broad approval rights over, our console and handheld interactive entertainment products.

        Generally, when we develop interactive entertainment software products for hardware platforms offered by Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft, the products are manufactured exclusively by that hardware manufacturer or their approved replicator.

        The agreements with these manufacturers include certain provisions, such as approval rights over all software products and related promotional materials and the ability to change the fee they charge for the manufacturing of products, which allow them substantial influence over the cost and the release schedule of such interactive entertainment software products. In addition, because each of the manufacturers is also a publisher of games for its own hardware platforms and manufactures products for all of its other licensees, a manufacturer may give priority to its own products or those of our competitors in the event of insufficient manufacturing capacity. Accordingly, Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft could cause unanticipated delays in the release of our products as well as increases to projected development, manufacturing, marketing or distribution costs, any of which could harm our business and financial results.

        In addition, platform licensors control our ability to provide online game capabilities for console platform products and, in large part, establish the financial terms and/or pricing on which these products and services are offered to consumers. Currently, Microsoft provides online capabilities for the Xbox 360, Sony provides online capabilities for PS3 products and Nintendo provides online capabilities for the Wii and Wii U. In each case, compatibility code and/or the consent of the licensor are required for us to include online capabilities in its console products. The failure or refusal of licensors to approve our products may harm our business and financial results.

Our platform licensors set the royalty rates and other fees that must be paid to publish games for their platforms, and therefore have significant influence on our costs.

        We pay a licensing fee to the hardware manufacturer for each copy of a product manufactured for that manufacturer's game platform. In order to publish products for new hardware platforms, we must take a license from the platform licensor which gives the platform licensor the opportunity to set the fee and/or price that we must pay in order to publish games for that platform. Similarly, the platform licensors have retained the flexibility to change their fee structures and/or pricing for online gameplay and features for their consoles and the manufacturing of products. The control that platform licensors

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have over the fee structures and/or pricing for their platforms and online access makes it difficult for us to predict our costs and profitability in the medium-to-long term. It is also possible that platform licensors will not renew our existing licenses. Any increase in fee structures and/or pricing, or nonrenewal of licenses, could have a significant negative impact on our business models and profitability, particularly for Activision, as the publishing of products for console systems is the largest portion of Activision's business.

If we do not continue to attract and retain skilled personnel, we will be unable to effectively conduct our business.

        Our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to identify, hire, retain and utilize the abilities of qualified personnel, particularly personnel with the specialized skills needed to create the high-quality "hit" titles upon which our business is substantially dependent. The software industry is characterized by a high level of employee mobility and aggressive recruiting among competitors for employees with technical, marketing, sales, engineering, product development, creative and/or management skills. We may have difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled personnel or may incur significant costs in order to do so. If we are unable to attract additional qualified employees or retain and utilize the services of key personnel, our business and financial results could be negatively impacted.

If our games and services do not function as consumers expect, our business may suffer.

        If our games and services do not function as consumers expect, whether because they fail to work as advertised or otherwise, our sales may suffer. The risk that this may occur is particularly pronounced with respect to our games with online features, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty , because they involve ongoing obligations to the consumers, which we may not be able to do successfully. If our games and services do not function as expected, our revenue may decline.

The future success of our business depends on our ability to release popular products in a timely manner.

        The life of any given console or handheld game product is relatively short and generally involves a relatively high level of sales during the first few months after the product's introduction, followed by a rapid decline in sales. Because revenues associated with an initial product launch generally constitute a high percentage of the total revenues associated with the life of a product, delays in product releases or disruptions following the commercial release of one or more new products could have an adverse effect on our revenue and reputation and could cause our operating results to be materially different from expectations. It is therefore important for us to be able to continue to develop many high-quality new products that are popularly received and to release those products in a timely manner. If we are unable to continue to do so, our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

If we are unable to sustain premium pricing on current-generation titles, our operating results will suffer.

        If we are unable to continue to charge the same prices we have historically charged for current-generation titles for Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii, as well as for "next-generation" consoles, whether due to competitive pressure, because retailers elect to price these products at a lower price or otherwise, we may experience a negative effect on our margins and operating results. Further, we make provisions for price migration and channel protection based upon certain assumed lowest prices and if competitive pressures force us to lower our prices below those levels, we may experience a negative effect on our margins and operating results.

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If we fail to successfully manage our new product development, or if we fail to anticipate the issues associated with that development, our business may suffer.

        Our business model is evolving and we believe that our growth will depend upon our ability to successfully develop and sell new types of products, including free-to-play games which are monetized through in-game microtransactions rather than an up-front fee, and to otherwise expand the methods by which we reach our consumers, including via digital distribution. Developing new products and distribution channels will require substantial up-front expenditures. If such products or distribution channels do not achieve expected market acceptance or generate sufficient revenues upon introduction, whether because of competition or otherwise, we may not be able to recover the substantial development and marketing costs associated with those products and distribution channels. In addition, expanding our business model will add complexity to our business and require us to effectively adapt our business and management processes to address the unique challenges and different requirements of any new areas in which we operate, which we may not be able to do, for lack of institutional expertise or otherwise. If any of these occur, our revenues, margins and profitability could decline.

Our market is subject to rapid technological change, and if we do not adapt to, and appropriately allocate our new resources among, emerging technologies, our revenues would be negatively affected.

        Technology changes rapidly in the interactive entertainment industry. We must continually anticipate and adapt our products to emerging technologies in order to keep those products competitive. When we choose to incorporate a new technology into a product or to develop a product for a new platform, operating system or media format, we often are required to make a substantial investment prior to the introduction of the product. If we invest in the development of interactive entertainment incorporating a new technology or for a new platform that does not achieve significant commercial success, our revenues from those products likely will be lower than we anticipated and may not cover our development costs. Further, our competitors may adapt to an emerging technology more quickly or effectively than we do, creating products that are technologically superior to ours, more appealing to consumers, or both. If, on the other hand, we elect not to pursue the development of products incorporating a new technology or for new platforms that achieve significant commercial success, our revenues would also be adversely affected. It may take significant time and resources to shift product development resources to that technology or platform and may be more difficult to compete against existing products incorporating that technology or for that platform. For example, digital content delivery is increasingly important in our industry, requiring us to develop or acquire the expertise in such delivery method needed to remain competitive. Any failure to successfully adapt to, and appropriately allocate resources among, emerging technologies would harm our competitive position, reduce our share and significantly increase the time we take to bring popular products to market.

The increasing importance of digital sales to our business exposes us to the risks of that business model, including greater competition.

        The proportion of our revenue derived from digital content delivery as compared to traditional retail sales is increasing. The increased importance of digital content delivery in the industry overall increases our potential competition, as the minimum capital needed to produce and publish a game delivered digitally may be significantly less than that needed to produce and publish one that is purchased through retail distribution and is played on a game console. This will also require us to dedicate capital to developing and implementing alternative marketing strategies, which we may not do successfully. It may also reduce overall demand for our distribution services. If either occurs, our revenues, margins and profitability could decline. In addition, a continuing shift to digital delivery could result in a deprioritization of our products by traditional retailers.

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If we are unable to successfully develop or market owned intellectual property, we may publish fewer successful titles and our revenues may decline.

        Some of our products are based on intellectual property that we have developed internally or acquired from third parties. Consumers have historically preferred titles which are part of established franchises to titles based on new intellectual property, and if new intellectual property does not gain market acceptance, whether because we are unable to successfully create consumer appeal and brand recognition or otherwise, our revenues, margins and profitability could decline. Further, if the popularity of our owned intellectual property declines, our revenues, margins and profitability could decline, and we may have to write off the unrecovered portion of the underlying intellectual property assets, any of which could harm our business and financial results.

Competition within, and to, the interactive entertainment industry is intense, and competitors may succeed in reducing our sales.

        We compete with other publishers of PC and video game console interactive entertainment software. Those competitors vary in size from small companies with limited resources to very large corporations with significantly greater financial, marketing and product development resources than we have. Those competitors are located both within the United States and, increasingly, in international jurisdictions. For example, integrated video game console hardware and software companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft compete directly with us in the development of software titles for their respective platforms. Our competitors may spend more money and time on developing and testing products, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns, adopt more aggressive pricing policies, pay higher fees to licensors for motion picture, television, sports, music and character properties, pay more to third-party software developers, or develop more commercially successful products for the PC or video game platforms than we do. In addition, competitors with large product lines and popular titles typically have greater leverage with retailers, distributors and other customers, who may be willing to promote titles with less consumer appeal in return for access to those competitors' more popular titles.

        We also compete with other forms of interactive entertainment, such as games developed for use by consumers on handheld and mobile devices or social networking sites, most of which are currently free to play. Increased consumer acceptance and availability of such games or other online games, consumer acceptance and availability of technology which allows users to play games on televisions without consoles, or technological advances in online game software or the Internet could result in a decline in platform-based software and negatively impact sales of our console and handheld products.

        Additionally, we compete with other forms of entertainment and leisure activities. For example, the overall growth in the use of the Internet and online services such as social networking sites by consumers may pose a competitive threat if customers and potential customers spend less of their available time using interactive entertainment software and more using the Internet, including those online services.

If we are unable to maintain or acquire licenses to intellectual property, we may publish fewer "hit" titles and revenues may decline.

        Some of our products are based on intellectual property and other character or story rights licensed from third parties. These license and distribution agreements are limited in scope and time, and we may not be able to renew key licenses when they expire or include new products in existing licenses. The failure of intellectual property we license to be, or remain, popularly received could impact the market acceptance of those products in which the intellectual property is included. Such lack of market acceptance could result in the write-off of the unrecovered portion of acquired intellectual property assets, which could harm our business and financial results.

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The development of quality products requires substantial up-front expenditures, and we may not be able to recover those costs for our future products.

        Consumer preferences for games are usually cyclical and difficult to predict, and even the most successful titles remain popular for only limited periods of time, unless refreshed with new content or otherwise enhanced. In order to remain competitive, we must continuously develop new products or enhancements to existing products. The amount of lead time and cost involved in the development of quality products is increasing, and the longer the lead time involved in developing a product and the greater the allocation of financial resources to such product, the more critical it is that we accurately predict consumer demand for such product. If our future products do not achieve expected market acceptance or generate sufficient revenues upon introduction, we may not be able to recover the substantial development and marketing costs associated with those products, and our financial results could suffer.

We may overestimate demand for a product, incurring unrecoverable manufacturing costs.

        We pay a licensing fee to the hardware manufacturer for each copy of a product manufactured for that manufacturer's game platform, regardless of whether that product is sold. If we overestimate demand and make too many physical "boxed" copies of any title, we will incur unrecoverable manufacturing costs for unsold units, which may negatively affect our profitability.

We are exposed to seasonality in the sale of our products.

        The interactive entertainment industry is highly seasonal, with the highest levels of consumer demand occurring during the year-end holiday buying season in the fourth quarter of the year. As a result, our sales have historically been highest during the second half of the year, particularly for our Activision segment. Receivables and credit risk are likewise higher during the second half of the year, as customers stock up on our products for the holiday season. Further, delays in development, licensor approvals or manufacturing can also affect the timing of the release of products, causing us to miss key selling periods such as the year-end holiday buying season.

We depend on servers to operate our games with online features, such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, and our digital service with online features. If we were to lose server capacity, for any reason, our business could suffer.

        Our business relies on the continuous operation of our data servers. Any broad-based catastrophic server malfunction, a significant intrusion by hackers that circumvents our security measures, or a failure of our disaster recovery service would likely interrupt the operation of World of Warcraft and other games of ours with online features, such as Call of Duty , and could result in the loss of sales for such games (including subscription-based sales for World of Warcraft ). An extended interruption of service could also harm our reputation and operating results.

        We must project our future server needs and make advance purchases of servers to accommodate expected business demands. If we underestimate the amount of server capacity our business requires or if our business were to grow more quickly than expected, our customers may experience service problems, such as slow or interrupted gaming access. Insufficient server capacity may result in decreased sales, a loss of our customer base and adverse consequences to our reputation. Conversely, if we overestimate the amount of server capacity required by our business, we may incur additional operating costs that would adversely affect our operating margins.

We may be involved in legal proceedings that may result in adverse outcomes.

        From time to time, we may be involved in claims, suits, government investigations, audits and proceedings arising from the ordinary course of our business, including actions with respect to

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intellectual property, competition and antitrust matters, privacy matters, tax matters, labor and employment matters, unclaimed property matters, compliance and commercial claims. Such claims, suits, government investigations, audits and proceedings are inherently uncertain and their results cannot be predicted with certainty. Regardless of the outcome, such legal proceedings can have an adverse impact on us because of legal costs, diversion of management resources and other factors. In addition, it is possible that a resolution of one or more such proceedings could result in substantial fines and penalties, criminal sanctions, consent decrees or orders preventing us from offering certain features, functionalities, products or services, requiring us to change our development process or other business practices, which could adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations or liquidity.

We may be subject to intellectual property claims.

        As the number of interactive entertainment software products increases and the features and content of these products continue to overlap, software developers have increasingly become subject to infringement claims. Further, many of our products are highly realistic and feature materials that are based on real world examples, which may also be the subject of intellectual property infringement claims of others. In addition, our products often utilize complex, cutting-edge technology that may become subject to emerging intellectual property rights of others. Although we take steps to avoid knowingly violating the intellectual property rights of others, it is possible that third parties still may claim infringement, particularly since there are an increasing number of companies which focus their efforts exclusively on enforcing their patent rights.

        From time to time, we receive communications from third parties regarding such claims. Existing or future infringement claims against us, whether valid or not, may be time consuming, distracting to management and expensive to defend. Further, intellectual property litigation or claims could force us to do one or more of the following:

    cease selling, incorporating, supporting or using products or services that incorporate the challenged intellectual property;

    obtain a license from the holder of the infringed intellectual property, which if available at all, may not be available on commercially favorable terms;

    redesign the affected interactive entertainment software products, which could result in additional costs, delay introduction and possibly reduce commercial appeal of the affected products; or

    pay damages to the holder of the infringed intellectual property for past infringements.

        Any of these actions may harm our business and financial results.

Issues with the Skylanders toys and accessories may lead to product liability, personal injury or property damage claims, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities.

        We may experience issues with Skylanders toys and accessories that may lead to product liability, personal injury or property damage claims, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities. Any of these activities could result in increased governmental scrutiny, harm to our reputation, reduced demand by consumers for our products, decreased willingness by our customers to purchase or provide marketing support for those products, denial or increased cost for insurance coverage, or additional safety and testing requirements. Such results could divert development and management resources, adversely affect our business operations, decrease sales, or increase legal fees and other costs, any of which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition.

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Our products may be subject to legal claims.

        In prior years, at least two lawsuits have been filed against numerous video game companies, including against Activision, by the families of victims who were shot and killed by teenage gunmen in attacks perpetrated at schools. These lawsuits alleged that the video game companies manufactured and/or supplied these teenagers with violent video games, teaching them how to use a gun and causing them to act out in a violent manner. These lawsuits have been dismissed. Similar additional lawsuits may be filed in the future. Although our general liability insurance carrier has agreed to defend lawsuits of this nature with respect to the prior lawsuits, it is uncertain whether insurance carriers would do so in the future, or if such insurance carriers would cover all or any amounts for which we might be liable if such future lawsuits are not decided in our favor. If such future lawsuits are filed and ultimately decided against us and the relevant insurance carrier does not cover the amounts for which we may be liable, it could have an adverse effect on our business and financial results. Payment of significant claims by insurance carriers may make insurance coverage materially more expensive or unavailable in the future, thereby exposing us to additional risk.

Our products are subject to the threat of piracy and unauthorized copying, and inadequate intellectual property laws and other protections could prevent us from enforcing or defending our proprietary technologies. We may also face legal risks arising out of user-generated content.

        We regard our software as proprietary and rely on a variety of methods, including a combination of copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret laws and employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements, to protect our proprietary rights. We own or license various copyrights, patents and trademarks. We are aware that some unauthorized copying occurs, and if a significantly greater amount of unauthorized copying of our software products were to occur, it could cause harm to our business and financial results.

        Policing unauthorized sale, distribution and use of our products is difficult, and software piracy (including online piracy) is a persistent problem. Further, the laws of some countries where our products are or may be distributed either do not protect their products and intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S., or are poorly enforced. Legal protection of our rights may be ineffective in such countries. In addition, though we take steps to make the unauthorized sale, distribution and use of our products more difficult and to otherwise enforce and police our rights, as do the manufacturers of consoles on which a majority of those games we publish are played, our efforts and the efforts of the console manufacturers may not be successful in controlling the piracy of our products in all instances. The proliferation of technology designed to circumvent the protection measures used in our products, the availability of broadband access to the Internet, the ability to download pirated copies of games from various Internet sites and peer-to-peer networks, and the widespread proliferation of Internet cafes using pirated copies of our products all have contributed to an expansion in piracy. This could have a negative effect on our growth and profitability in the future.

        Moreover, as user-generated content increases, our ability to protect our intellectual property rights and to avoid infringing intellectual property rights of others may diminish. We cannot be certain that existing intellectual property laws will provide adequate protection for our products in connection with emerging technologies.

We rely on independent third parties to develop some of our software products.

        We rely on independent third-party software developers to develop some of our software products. Because we depend on these developers, we are subject to the following risks:

    continuing strong demand for top-tier developers' resources, combined with the recognition they receive in connection with their work, may cause developers who worked for us in the past

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      either to work for a competitor in the future or to renegotiate agreements with us on terms less favorable to us;

    limited financial resources and business expertise and inability to retain skilled personnel may force developers out of business prior to completing products or require us to fund additional costs; and

    a competitor may acquire the businesses of key developers or sign them to exclusive development arrangements and, in either case, we would not be able to continue to engage such developers' services for our products, except for any period of time for which those developers are contractually obligated to complete development for us.

        Increased competition for skilled third-party software developers also has compelled us to agree to make significant advance payments on royalties to game developers. If the products subject to these arrangements do not generate sufficient revenues to recover these royalty advances, we would have to write-off unrecovered portions of these payments, which could harm our business and financial results. Typically, we pay developers a royalty based on a percentage of net revenues from product sales, less agreed upon deductions, but from time to time, we have agreed to pay developers fixed per unit product royalties after royalty advances are fully recouped. To the extent that sales prices of products on which we have agreed to pay a fixed per unit royalty are marked down, our profitability could be adversely affected.

Our sales may decline substantially without warning and in a brief period of time because a substantial portion of our sales are made to a relatively small number of key customers and because we do not have long-term contracts for the sale of our products.

        In the U.S. and Canada, we have primarily sold our boxed products on a direct basis to mass-market retailers, consumer electronics stores, discount warehouses and game specialty stores. Our boxed products are sold internationally on a direct-to-retail basis, through third-party distribution and licensing arrangements and through our wholly-owned European distribution subsidiaries. Our sales are made primarily on a purchase order basis without long-term agreements or other forms of commitments. We had one customer, GameStop, which accounted for approximately 10% of our consolidated net revenues in 2012 and one customer, Wal-Mart, which accounted for 20% of consolidated gross receivables at December 31, 2012. The loss of, or significant reduction in sales to, any of Activision's principal retail customers or distributors could significantly harm our business and financial results. The concentration of sales in a small number of large customers also could make us more vulnerable to collection risk if one or more of these large customers becomes unable to pay for our products or seeks protection under the bankruptcy laws. In addition, having such a large portion of our total net revenue concentrated in a few customers reduces our negotiating leverage with these customers.

Our business may be harmed if our distributors, retailers or other parties with which we do business cannot honor their existing credit arrangements, default on their obligations to us or seek protection under the bankruptcy laws.

        We rely on various business partners for several important aspects of our business, including distribution of our products, product development and intellectual property licensing. Some of these business partners are highly-leveraged or small businesses that may be particularly vulnerable to difficult economic conditions. As a result of current economic conditions, we are subject to heightened counterparty risks, including the risks that our business partners may default on their obligations to us or seek protection under the bankruptcy laws.

        For example, retailers and distributors in the interactive entertainment industry have from time to time experienced significant fluctuations in their businesses and a number of them have failed. We

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typically make sales to most retailers and some distributors on unsecured credit, with terms that vary depending upon the customer's credit history, solvency, credit limits and sales history, as well as whether sufficient credit insurance can be obtained. Challenging economic conditions may impair the ability of our customers to pay for products they have purchased, and as a result, our reserves for doubtful accounts and write-off of accounts receivable could increase and, even if increased, may turn out to be insufficient. Moreover, even in cases where we have insolvency risk insurance to protect against a customer's bankruptcy, insolvency or liquidation, this insurance typically contains a significant deductible and co-payment obligation, and does not cover all instances of non-payment. As a result, a payment default by, or the insolvency or business failure of, a significant customer could significantly harm our business and financial results.

        The insolvency or business failure of other types of business partners could result in disruptions to the manufacturing or distribution of our products or the cancellation of contractual arrangements that we consider to be favorable.

We may not be able to maintain our distribution relationships with key vendors and customers.

        Our NBG and Centresoft subsidiaries distribute interactive entertainment software and hardware products and provide related services in Germany and the U.K., respectively, and via export in other European countries for a variety of entertainment software publishers, many of which are our competitors, and hardware manufacturers. From time to time, these subsidiaries also maintain exclusive relationships to serve certain retail customers. These services are generally performed subject to limited-term arrangements. Although we expect to use reasonable efforts to retain these vendors and retail customer relationships, we may not be successful in this regard. The cancellation or non-renewal of one or more of these arrangements could adversely affect our business and financial results.

Our business is subject to the risks and uncertainties of international trade.

        We conduct business throughout the world, and we derive a substantial amount of revenue from international trade, particularly from Europe, Asia and Australia. We expect that international revenues will continue to account for a significant portion of our total revenues in the future and, moreover, that our growth will depend on increased sales in emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere.

        As such, we are, and may be increasingly, subject to risks inherent in foreign trade generally, as well as risks inherent in doing business in emerging markets, including increased tariffs and duties, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, shipping delays, increases in transportation costs, international political, regulatory and economic developments and differing local business practices, all of which may impact operating margins or make it more difficult, if not impossible, for us to conduct business in foreign markets.

        A deterioration in relations between either us or the U.S. and any country in which we have significant operations or sales, or the implementation of government regulations in such a country, including China in particular, could result in the adoption or expansion of trade restrictions that harm our business and operating results. For instance, to operate in China, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Call of Duty Online and any other game must have regulatory approval. A decision by the Chinese government to revoke its approval for World of Warcraft or StarCraft II or to decline to approve Call of Duty Online any other products we desire to sell in China in the future would adversely impact our operating results. Additionally, in the past, legislation has been implemented in China that has required modifications to the World of Warcraft software. The future implementation of similar laws or regulations in China or any other country in which we have operations or sales may require engineering modifications to our products that are not cost-effective, if even feasible at all, or could degrade the customer experience to the point where customers cease to purchase such products.

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        We are also subject to risks that our operations outside the U.S. could be conducted by our employees, contractors, representatives or agents in ways that violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act or other similar anti-bribery laws. While we have policies and procedures intended to ensure compliance with these laws, our employees, contractors, representatives or agents may take actions that violate our policies. Moreover, it may be more difficult to oversee the conduct of any such persons who are not our employees, potentially exposing us to greater risk from their actions. Any violations of those laws by any of those persons could have a negative impact on our business.

        In addition, cultural differences may affect consumer preferences and limit the popularity of titles that are "hits" in the U.S or require us to modify the content of the games or the method by which we charge our customers for the games in order to be successful. If we do not correctly assess consumer preferences in the countries in our market, our sales and revenue may be lower than expected.

If we incur debt, it may adversely affect our financial condition.

        We are considering, or may consider during 2013, substantial stock repurchases, dividends, acquisitions, licensing or other non-ordinary course transactions, and significant debt financings relating thereto. If we were to take on significant indebtedness, it could have negative consequences. For example, it could:

    increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

    limit our ability to obtain additional financing;

    require the dedication of a substantial portion of any cash flow from operations to the payment of principal of, and interest on, our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow to fund our growth strategy, working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes;

    limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and our industry; and

    place us at a competitive disadvantage relative to our competitors with less debt.

Changes in tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities could adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

        We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and in various other jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes, and in the ordinary course of business there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are required to estimate future taxes. Although we currently believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the estimate process is inherently uncertain, and such estimates are not binding on tax authorities. Further, our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including changes in the business, including the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in tax elections, and changes in applicable tax laws. Additionally, tax determinations are regularly subject to audit by tax authorities and developments in those audits could adversely affect our income tax provision. Should the ultimate tax liability exceed estimates, our income tax provision and net income could be adversely affected.

        We earn a significant amount of our operating income, and hold a significant portion of our cash and investments, outside the U.S. Any repatriation of funds currently held in foreign jurisdictions may result in higher effective tax rates for the Company. In addition, there have been proposals to change U.S. tax laws that would significantly impact how U.S. multinational corporations are taxed on foreign earnings. Although we cannot predict whether or in what form this proposed legislation will pass, if enacted it could have a material adverse impact on our tax expense and cash flow.

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        We are also required to pay taxes other than income taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property, and goods and services taxes, in both the U.S. and various other jurisdictions. Tax authorities regularly examine these non-income taxes. There can be no assurance that the outcomes from these examinations, changes in the business or changes in applicable tax rules will not have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Fluctuations in currency exchange rates may have a negative impact on our results of operations.

        We transact business in various currencies other than the U.S. dollar and have significant international sales and expenses denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, subjecting us to currency exchange rate risks. A substantial portion of our international sales and expenses are denominated in local currencies, including certain major currencies, such as the euro and U.K. pound, and emerging market currencies, such as the South Korean won and Chinese renminbi, which could fluctuate against the U.S. dollar. We have, in the past, utilized currency derivative contracts to hedge certain foreign exchange exposures, with hedge maturities of generally less than 12 months, as well as managing these exposures with natural offsets. We may also hedge non-U.S. dollar earnings from time to time. Our principal counterparty in respect of currency derivative contracts is Vivendi, though we periodically evaluate and may use similar arrangements with other counterparties. There can be no assurance that we will continue these programs, or that we will be successful in managing exposure to currency exchange rate risks.

Our reported financial results could be adversely affected by changes in financial accounting standards or by the application of existing or future accounting standards to our business as it evolves.

        Our reported financial results are impacted by the accounting policies promulgated by the SEC and national accounting standards bodies and the methods, estimates and judgments that we use in applying our accounting policies. Policies affecting software revenue recognition have and could further significantly affect the way we report revenue related to our products and services. We recognize all of the revenue from bundled sales ( i.e. , packaged goods video games that include an online service component) on a deferred basis over an estimated online service period for such games. In addition, we defer the costs of sales of those titles. We expect that an increasing number of our games will be online-enabled in the future and that we could be required to recognize the related revenue over an extended period of time rather than at the time of sale. Further, as we increase our downloadable content and add new features to our online service, our estimate of the online service period may change and we could be required to recognize revenue, and defer related costs, over a longer period of time. As we enhance, expand and diversify our business and product offerings, the application of existing or future financial accounting standards, particularly those relating to the way we account for revenue and taxes, could have an adverse effect on our reported net revenue, net income and earnings per share under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America in any given period.

We may permit our customers to return products and to receive pricing concessions which could reduce net revenues and results of operations.

        We are exposed to the risk of product returns and price protection with respect to our distributors and retailers. Return policies allow distributors and retailers to return defective, shelf-worn, damaged and certain other products in accordance with terms granted. Price protection, when granted and applicable, allows these distributors and retailers a credit against amounts owed with respect to merchandise unsold by them. We may permit product returns from, or grant price protection to, our customers under certain conditions. These conditions may include compliance with applicable payment terms, delivery of weekly inventory and sales information and consistent participation in the launches of premium title releases. We may also consider other factors, including the facilitation of slow-moving

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inventory and other market factors. When we offer price protection, it may be offered with respect to a particular product to all of our retail customers who meet the applicable conditions. Activision also offers a 90-day limited warranty to its consumer end users that Activision products will be free from manufacturing defects. Although we maintain a reserve for returns and price protection, and although we may place limits on product returns and price protection, we could be forced to accept substantial product returns and provide substantial price protection to maintain our relationships with retailers and our access to distribution channels. Product returns and price protection that exceed our reserves could significantly harm our business and financial results. We face similar issues, including exposure to risk of chargebacks, with respect to consumer end users to whom we sell products directly, whether through Battle.net or otherwise.

We may face difficulty obtaining access to retail shelf space necessary to market and sell our products effectively.

        Retailers typically have a limited amount of shelf space and promotional resources, and there is intense competition among consumer interactive entertainment software products for high-quality retail shelf space and promotional support from retailers. To the extent that the number of products and platforms increases, competition for shelf space may intensify and may require us to increase our marketing expenditures. Those issues are exacerbated to the extent one of our products involves something in addition to software and, as such, requires additional shelf space, like the titles in our Skylanders franchise, which include both action figures and an electronic "portal". Retailers with limited shelf space typically devote the most and highest quality shelf space to those products expected to be best sellers. We cannot be certain that our new products will consistently achieve such "best seller" status. Due to increased competition for limited shelf space, retailers and distributors are in an increasingly better position to negotiate favorable terms of sale, including price discounts, price protection, marketing and display fees and product return policies. Our products constitute a relatively small percentage of most retailers' sales volume. We cannot be certain that retailers will continue to purchase our products or to provide those products with adequate levels of shelf space and promotional support on acceptable terms. A failure in this regard may significantly harm our business and financial results.

If our marketing and advertising efforts fail to resonate with our customers, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

        Our products are marketed worldwide through a diverse spectrum of advertising and promotional programs. Our ability to sell our products and services is dependent in part upon the success of these programs. If the marketing for our products and services fail to resonate with our customers, particularly during the critical holiday season or during other key selling periods, or if advertising rates or other media placement costs increase, these factors could have a material adverse impact on our business and operating results.

Increased sales of used video games could lower our sales.

        Certain of our larger customers sell used video games, which are generally priced lower than new video games and do not result in any revenue to the publisher of the games. The market for these games may be growing. Sales of used video games could negatively affect our sales of new video games and have an adverse impact on our operating results.

We may not accurately predict the amount of Internet bandwidth necessary to sustain our online gaming businesses.

        Our online gaming businesses are dependent on the availability of sufficient Internet bandwidth. An increase in the price of bandwidth could have an adverse effect on operating margins, since we may

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not be able to increase our prices or subscriber levels to compensate for such costs. Because of the importance of our online business to our revenues and results of operations, our ability to access adequate bandwidth to support our business is critical. To secure bandwidth access, we have entered into arrangements with several bandwidth providers and entered into long-term contracts with some of them to secure future bandwidth capacity. If the price of bandwidth were to decrease, our contractual commitments to pay higher prices could affect our ability to compete with other publishers of interactive software products.

        Conversely, because we purchase additional bandwidth based on anticipated growth, our bandwidth capacity is sometimes larger than necessary to sustain our existing needs. If our projected online business growth is delayed or does not occur, we will incur larger bandwidth expenses than necessary. If we underestimate the amount of bandwidth that our online business requires, and our purchased bandwidth capacity is insufficient to meet demand, our business and reputation may suffer.

Our products are subject to ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board and similar agencies. Our failure to obtain our target ratings for our products could negatively impact our sales.

        The Entertainment Software Rating Board (the "ESRB") is a self-regulatory body in the U.S. that provides consumers of interactive entertainment software with ratings information, including information relating to violence, nudity or sexual content contained in software titles. Certain countries other than the U.S. have also established similar rating systems as prerequisites for product sales in those countries. In some countries, a company may be required to modify its products to comply with the requirements of the rating systems, which could delay or disrupt the release of any given product, or may prevent its sale altogether in certain territories. The ESRB rating categories are "Early Childhood" (age three and older), "Everyone" (age six and older), "Everyone 10+" (age 10 and older), "Teen" (age 13 and over), "Mature" (age 17 and over) and "Adults Only" (age 18 and over). Certain of our most significant titles have received a "Mature" rating. If we are unable to obtain the ratings we have targeted for our products as a result of changes in the ESRB's ratings standards or for other reasons, including the adoption of legislation in this area, our business and prospects could be negatively affected.

Our business, products, and distribution are subject to increasing regulation of content in key territories. If we do not successfully respond to these regulations, our business may suffer.

        Legislation is continually being introduced that may affect the content, distribution and advertisement of our products. Those laws and regulations vary by territory and may be inconsistent with one another or with our current practices. For example, privacy laws in the U.S. and Europe impose various restrictions on online advertising, as well as the collection, storage and use of personal information. We may be required to modify certain of our product development processes or alter our marketing strategies to comply with such regulations, which could be costly or delay the release of our products. In addition, many foreign countries, such as China and Germany, have laws that permit governmental entities to restrict the content and/or advertising of interactive entertainment software or prohibit certain types of content. Further, legislation which attempts to restrict marketing or distribution of such products because of the content therein has been introduced at one time or another at the federal and state levels in the U.S. In the aftermath of recent events, there is an increased risk of enhanced regulation of video game marketing, content or sales. The adoption and enforcement of legislation which restricts the marketing, content or sales of our products in countries in which we do business may harm the sales of our products, as the products we are able to offer to our customers and the size of the potential market for our products may be limited. Failure to comply with any applicable legislation may also result in governmental imposed fines. Moreover, the increased public dialog concerning video games may have an adverse impact on our reputation and consumers' willingness to purchase our products.

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If our products contain defects, our business and reputation could be harmed significantly.

        Software products as complex as the ones we publish may contain undetected errors and defects. This risk is often higher when such products are first introduced or when new versions are first released. Failure to avoid, or to timely detect and correct, such errors or defects could result in loss of, or delay in, market acceptance, and could significantly harm our business, financial results, and reputation.

A substantial portion of World of Warcraft's subscribers pays their subscription fees using credit cards. Credit card or other fraud could have a negative impact on our business and operating results.

        A substantial portion of the subscription revenue generated by World of Warcraft is paid by subscribers using credit cards. At times, there may be attempts to use fraudulently obtained credit card numbers to pay for World of Warcraft upgrades or subscriptions. Additionally, the credit card numbers and other sensitive or personally identifiable information of World of Warcraft 's subscribers and Battle.net account holders are maintained in a proprietary database that may be subject to malicious intrusion by hackers or otherwise compromised internally or externally. As fraudulent schemes become more sophisticated, it may become more difficult and more costly for us to detect credit card or other fraud and we may be required to incur costs to implement additional security measures to protect subscriber information. An increase in credit card or other fraud could have an adverse effect on our business, reputation and operating results. In addition, we may be subject to legal claims or legal proceedings, including regulatory investigations and actions, if there is loss, disclosure or misappropriation of or access to our customers' credit card or other sensitive or personally identifiable information.

Data breaches involving the source code for our products or customer or employee data stored by us could adversely affect our reputation and revenues.

        In the course of our day-to-day business, we create, store and/or use commercially sensitive information, such as the source code and game assets for our interactive entertainment software products and confidential information with respect to our customers and employees. A malicious intrusion by hackers or other breach of the systems on which such source code and assets, account information (including personally identifiable information) and other sensitive data is stored could lead to piracy of our software, fraudulent activity or less, disclosure or misappropriation of or access to our customers' and employees' personally identifiable information or our own sensitive business data. A data intrusion into a server for a game with online features, such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty , or for Battle.net could also disrupt the operation of such game or platform. If we are subject to data security breaches, we may have a loss in sales or subscriptions or be forced to pay damages or incur other costs, including from the implementation of additional security measures, any of which could adversely affect profitability. Any damage to our reputation resulting from a data breach could have an adverse impact on our revenues and future growth prospects. In addition, we may be subject to legal claims or proceedings in connection with data security breaches, including regulatory investigations and actions, which may adversely impact our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our results of operations or reputation may be harmed as a result of offensive consumer-posted content.

        We are subject to risks associated with the collaborative online features in our games which allow consumers to post narrative comment, in real time, which is visible to other players. From time to time objectionable and offensive consumer content may be posted to a gaming or other site with online chat features or game forums which allow consumers to post comments. We may be subject to lawsuits, governmental regulation or restrictions, and consumer backlash (including decreased sales and harmed reputation), as a result of consumers posting offensive content, any of which could harm our operating results. We may also be subject to consumer backlash from comments made in response to postings we

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make on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, which could similarly harm our reputation or operating results.

If one or more of our titles were found to contain objectionable undisclosed content, our business could suffer.

        Throughout the history of the interactive entertainment industry, many interactive software products have been designed to include certain hidden content and gameplay features that are accessible through the use of in-game cheat codes or other technological means that are intended to enhance the gameplay experience. In some cases, such undisclosed content or features have been considered to be objectionable. In a few cases, the ESRB has reacted to discoveries of such undisclosed content and features by requiring the recall of the game, changing the rating or associated content descriptors originally assigned to the product, requiring the publisher to change the game or game packaging and/or imposing fines on the publisher. Retailers have on occasion reacted to the discovery of such undisclosed content by removing these games from their shelves, refusing to sell them and demanding that their publishers accept them as product returns. Likewise, some interactive entertainment software consumers have reacted to the revelation of undisclosed content by refusing to purchase such games, demanding refunds for games they have already purchased, refraining from buying other games published by the Company whose game contained the objectionable material, and, on at least one occasion, filing a lawsuit against the publisher of the product containing such content.

        We have implemented preventive measures designed to reduce the possibility of objectionable undisclosed content from appearing in the interactive software products we publish. Nonetheless, these preventive measures are subject to human error, circumvention, overriding and reasonable resource constraints. If an interactive software product we publish is found to contain undisclosed content, we could be subject to any of these consequences and our reputation could be harmed, which could have a negative impact on our operating results and financial condition, and our business and financial performance could be significantly harmed.

We may not be able to adequately adjust our cost structure in a timely fashion in response to a sudden decrease in demand.

        In the event of a significant decline in demand for one or more of our products, we may not be able to reduce personnel or make other changes to our cost structure without disrupting our operations or incurring costs. Further, we may not be able to implement such actions in a timely manner, if at all, to offset an immediate shortfall in revenue and profit. Moreover, cost-reduction actions may decrease our employee morale and result in the failure to execute upon our business plan due to the loss of employees or impact our ability to retain or recruit key employees, any of which could harm our operating results. In addition, any such action may involve the risk that our senior management's attention will be excessively diverted from our other operations, thereby further harming our operating results.

We engage in strategic transactions and may encounter difficulties in integrating acquired businesses or otherwise realizing the anticipated benefits of the transactions.

        As part of our business strategy, we acquire, make investments in, or enter into strategic alliances and joint ventures with complementary businesses from time to time. These transactions may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including: (A) in the case of an acquisition, (i) the difficulty in integrating the acquired business and operations in an efficient and effective manner, (ii) any liabilities assumed as part of the acquisition, and (iii) the potential loss of key employees of the acquired businesses, and, (B) in the case of an investment, alliance or joint venture, our ability to cooperate with our partner. If any such transaction involves an entity outside of the United States, it may also subject us to the risks and uncertainties of international trade, including the risk that our operations outside the U.S. could be conducted by our employees, contractors, representatives or agents in ways that

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violate anti-bribery laws. Further, any such transaction may involve the risk that our senior management's attention will be excessively diverted from our other operations, the risk that our industry does not evolve as anticipated and that any intellectual property or personnel skills acquired do not prove to be those needed for our future success, and the risk that our strategic objectives, cost savings or other anticipated benefits are otherwise not achieved. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our involvement in joint ventures decreases our ability to manage risk.

        We conduct some of our operations through joint ventures in which we share control with our joint venture partners. Although we enter into joint venture arrangements in order to share risks with our joint venture partners, these arrangements may also decrease our ability to manage risk. As with any joint venture arrangement, differences in views among the joint venture participants may result in delayed decisions or in failures to agree on major issues. There is the risk that our joint venture partners may at any time have economic, business or legal interests or goals that are inconsistent with ours. There is also risk that our joint venture partners may be unable to meet their economic or other obligations and we may be required to fulfill those obligations alone. Failure by us, or an entity in which we have a joint venture interest, to adequately manage the risks associated with any joint ventures could have an adverse effect on the financial condition or results of operations of our joint ventures and, in turn, our business and operations.

        We anticipate entering into additional joint ventures with other entities. We cannot assure that we will undertake such joint ventures or, if undertaken, that such joint ventures will be successful or produce the anticipated benefits.

Catastrophic events may disrupt our business.

        Our corporate headquarters are located in the Los Angeles, California area, which is near a major earthquake fault. A major earthquake or other catastrophic event that results in the destruction or disruption of any of our critical business or information technology systems, or otherwise prevents us from conducting our normal business operations, could harm our operating results.

Historically, our stock price has been highly volatile.

        The trading price of our common stock has been, and could continue to be, subject to wide fluctuations in response to many factors, including for example, but without limitation:

    quarter to quarter variations in results of operations;

    the announcement of new products;

    the announcement of lower prices on competing products;

    product development or release schedules;

    general conditions in the computer, software, entertainment, media or electronics industries, and in the worldwide economy;

    timing of the introduction of new platforms and delays in the actual release of new platforms;

    hardware manufacturers' announcements of price changes for hardware platforms;

    consumer acceptance of hardware platforms;

    consumer spending trends;

    the outcome of lawsuits or regulatory investigations in which we may become involved;

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    changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by analysts;

    sales or acquisitions of common stock by our directors or executive management, or by Vivendi and its affiliates; and

    investor perceptions and expectations regarding our products, plans and strategic position, and those of our competitors and customers.

Item 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

        None.

Item 2.    PROPERTIES

        Our principal corporate and administrative offices are located at 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, California. Other significant leased facilities include: our Blizzard offices located in Irvine, California and our North America distribution warehouse located in Fresno, California.

        The following is a summary of the principal leased offices we maintained as of December 31, 2012:

Type of Leased Facility
  North America   Europe   Asia   Total  
 
  Square footage of leased properties
 

Corporate Offices

    139,085     10,596         149,681  

Activision Product Development & Publishing Facilities (Activision Segment)

    909,988     93,127     31,654     1,034,769  

Blizzard Product Development & Publishing Facilities (Blizzard Segment)

    444,781     110,658     74,860     630,299  

Distribution Facilities (Distribution Segment)

        129,296         129,296  

Sales offices

    13,865     13,850     300     28,015  
                   

Total

    1,507,719     357,527     106,814     1,972,060  
                   

        In total, we lease 53 facilities in 18 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. We anticipate no difficulty in extending the leases of our facilities or obtaining comparable facilities in suitable locations, as needed, and we consider our facilities to be adequate for our current needs. The only facilities currently owned by the Company are two European warehouses utilized by the Distribution segment, located in Burglengenfeld, Germany and Venlo, The Netherlands.

Item 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

        The Company is subject to various legal proceedings and claims. FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 450 governs the disclosure of loss contingencies and accrual of loss contingencies in respect of litigation and other claims. The Company records an accrual for a potential loss when it is probable that a loss will occur and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. When the reasonable estimate of the potential loss is within a range of amounts, the minimum of the range of potential loss is accrued, unless a higher amount within the range is a better estimate than any other amount within the range. Moreover, even if an accrual is not required, the Company provides additional disclosure related to litigation and other claims when it is reasonably possible ( i.e. , more than remote) that the outcomes of such litigation and other claims include potential material adverse impacts on the Company.

        The outcomes of legal proceedings and other claims are subject to significant uncertainties, many of which are outside the Company's control. There is significant judgment required in the analysis of

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these matters, including the probability determination and whether a potential exposure can be reasonably estimated. In making these determinations, the Company, in consultation with outside counsel, examines the relevant facts and circumstances on a quarterly basis assuming, as applicable, a combination of settlement and litigated outcomes and strategies. Moreover, legal matters are inherently unpredictable and the timing of development of factors on which reasonable judgments and estimates can be based can be slow. As such, there can be no assurance that the final outcome of any legal matter will not materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity.

        We are party to routine claims, suits, investigations, audits and other proceedings arising from the ordinary course of business, including with respect to intellectual property rights, contractual claims, labor and employment matters, regulatory matters, tax matters, unclaimed property matters, compliance matters, and collection matters. In the opinion of management, after consultation with legal counsel, such routine claims and lawsuits are not significant and we do not expect them to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity.

Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures

        Not applicable

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PART II

Item 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information and Holders

        Our common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "ATVI."

        The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low reported sale prices for our common stock. At February 15, 2013, there were 1,801 holders of record of our common stock.

 
  High   Low  

2011

             

First Quarter Ended March 31, 2011

  $ 12.64   $ 10.40  

Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2011

    12.06     10.85  

Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2011

    12.30     10.40  

Fourth Quarter Ended December 31, 2011

    14.40     11.60  

2012

             

First Quarter Ended March 31, 2012

  $ 12.95   $ 11.54  

Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2012

    13.00     11.32  

Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2012

    12.57     11.00  

Fourth Quarter Ended December 31, 2012

    11.74     10.45  

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Stock Performance Graph

        This performance graph shall not be deemed "filed" for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Activision Blizzard Inc. under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

        The graph below matches the cumulative 69-month total return of holders of our common stock with the cumulative total returns of the NASDAQ Composite index and the RDG Technology Composite index. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock and in each of the indexes (including reinvestment of dividends) was $100 on March 31, 2007 (the end of the Company's 2007 fiscal year) and tracks each such investment through December 31, 2012.

        For periods prior to July 9, 2008, before the Business Combination, the share price information for the Company is for Activision, Inc. In connection with the Business Combination, Activision, Inc. changed its name to Activision Blizzard, Inc. and changed its fiscal year end from March 31 to December 31.


COMPARISON OF 69 MONTH CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Activision Blizzard, Inc., the NASDAQ Composite Index,
and the RDG Technology Composite Index

GRAPHIC


*
$100 invested on 3/31/07 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.
Fiscal year ending December 31.

 
  3/07   3/08   12/08   12/09   12/10   12/11   12/12  

Activision Blizzard, Inc.

    100.00     144.19     91.24     117.32     133.18     133.89     117.08  

NASDAQ Composite

    100.00     94.95     66.85     93.14     110.20     111.69     125.45  

RDG Technology Composite

    100.00     97.34     65.49     105.37     118.70     118.74     135.56  

The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

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Cash Dividends

        On February 7, 2013, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.19 per common share payable on May 15, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 20, 2013.

        On February 9, 2012, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.18 per common share payable on May 16, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 21, 2012. On May 16, 2012, we made an aggregate cash dividend payment of $201 million to such shareholders. On June 1, 2012, the Company made dividend equivalent payments of $3 million related to that cash dividend to the holders of restricted stock units.

        On February 9, 2011, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.165 per common share payable on May 11, 2011 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2011. On May 11, 2011, we made an aggregate cash dividend payment of $192 million to such shareholders. On August 12, 2011, the Company made dividend equivalent payments of $2 million related to that cash dividend to the holders of restricted stock units.

        On February 10, 2010, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.15 per common share payable on April 2, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 22, 2010. On April 2, 2010, we made an aggregate cash dividend payment of $187 million to such shareholders. Additionally, on October 22, 2010, the Company made dividend equivalent payments of $2 million related to that cash dividend to the holders of restricted stock units.

        Future dividends will depend upon our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects, and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. There can be no assurances that dividends will be declared in the future.

Return of capital to Vivendi related to settlement of pre-Business Combination Taxes

        Prior to the Business Combination in 2008, Vivendi Games' income taxes were presented in the financial statements as if Vivendi Games were a stand-alone taxpayer even though Vivendi Games' operating results were included in the consolidated federal, certain foreign, and state and local income tax returns of Vivendi or Vivendi's subsidiaries. Based on the subsequent filing of these tax returns by Vivendi or Vivendi's subsidiaries, we determined that the amount paid by Vivendi Games was greater than the actual amount due (and settled) based upon filing of these returns. This difference between the amount paid and the actual amount due (and settled) represents a return of capital to Vivendi which, in accordance with the terms of the Business Combination agreement, occurred immediately prior to the close of the Business Combination.

10b5-1 Stock Trading Plans

        The Company's directors and employees may, at a time they are not in possession of material non-public information, enter into plans ("Rule 10b5-1 Plans") to purchase or sell shares of our common stock that satisfy the requirements of Exchange Act Rule 10b5-1. Rule 10b5-1 permits trading on a pre-arranged, "automatic-pilot" basis, subject to certain conditions, including that the person for whom the plan is created (or anyone else aware of material non-public information acting on such person's behalf) not exercise any subsequent influence regarding the amount, price and dates of transactions under the plan. In addition, any such plan of the Company's directors and employees is required to be established and maintained in accordance with the Company's "Policy on Establishing and Maintaining 10b5-1 Trading Plans."

        Rule 10b-5-1 Plans permit persons whose ability to purchase or sell our common stock may otherwise be substantially restricted (by quarterly and special stock-trading blackouts and by their possession from time to time of material nonpublic information) to engage in pre-arranged trading. Trades under a Rule 10b5-1 Plan by our directors and employees are not necessarily indicative of their

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respective opinions of our current or potential future performance at the time of the trade. Trades by our directors and executive officers pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 Plan will be disclosed publicly through Form 144 and Form 4 filings with the SEC, in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities

        On February 3, 2011, our Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program (the "2011 Stock Repurchase Program") pursuant to which we were authorized to repurchase up to $1.5 billion of the Company's common stock from time to time on the open market or in private transactions, including structured or accelerated transactions, on terms and conditions to be determined by the Company. The 2011 Stock Repurchase Program expired on March 31, 2012.

        On February 2, 2012, our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program (the "2012 Stock Repurchase Program") pursuant to which we may repurchase up to $1 billion of the Company's common stock from time to time on the open market or in private transactions, including structured or accelerated transactions, on terms and conditions to be determined by the Company, during the period between April 1, 2012 and the earlier of March 31, 2013 and a determination by the Board of Directors to discontinue the repurchase program.

        The following table provides the number of shares purchased and the average price paid per share during each quarter of 2012, the total number of shares purchased as part of our publicly announced share repurchase programs, and the approximate dollar value of shares that could still be purchased under our stock repurchase program as of the end of each relevant period.

Period
  Total number
of shares
purchased(1)
  Average
price paid
per share
  Total number of
shares purchased as part
of publicly announced
plans or programs
  Approximate dollar
value of shares that may
yet be purchased
under the plans or
programs
 

January 1, 2012—March 31, 2012

    21,606,635   $ 12.08     21,566,373 (2) $  

April 1, 2012—June 30, 2012

    4,400,070     12.32     4,400,070 (3)   945,772,518  

July 1, 2012—September 30, 2012

                945,772,518  

October 1, 2012—October 31, 2012

                945,772,518  

November 1, 2012—November 30, 2012

                945,772,518  

December 1, 2012—December 31, 2012

                945,772,518  

Subtotal for the fourth quarter of 2012

   
   
   
       
                     

Total

    26,006,705   $ 12.12     25,966,443        
                     

(1)
In addition to purchases under the 2011 Stock Repurchase Program and the 2012 Stock Repurchase Program, included in this column are transactions under the Company's equity compensation plans involving the delivery to the Company of an aggregate of 40,262 shares of our common stock, with an average value of $12.40 per share as of the date of delivery, to satisfy tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock awards to our employees.

(2)
These repurchases were made under the 2011 Stock Repurchase Program, which expired on March 31, 2012.

(3)
These repurchases were made under the 2012 Stock Repurchase Program.

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Item 6.   SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

        For accounting purposes, the Business Combination was treated as a "reverse acquisition," with Vivendi Games deemed to be the acquirer. The historical financial statements of Activision Blizzard, Inc. prior to July 9, 2008 are those of Vivendi Games (see Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K). Therefore, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 financial data is not comparable with prior periods.

        The following table summarizes certain selected consolidated financial data, which should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto and with Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. The selected consolidated financial data presented below at and for each of the years in the five-year period ended December 31, 2012 is derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements. All amounts set forth in the following tables are in millions, except per share data.

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   2009   2008  

Statement of Operations Data:

                               

Net Revenues

  $ 4,856   $ 4,755   $ 4,447   $ 4,279   $ 3,026  

Net income (loss)

    1,149     1,085     418 (1)   113 (2)   (107 )

Basic net income (loss) per share(3)

    1.01     0.93     0.34     0.09     (0.11 )

Diluted net income (loss) per share(3)

    1.01     0.92     0.33     0.09     (0.11 )

Cash dividends declared per share(4)

    0.18     0.165     0.15          

Balance Sheet Data:

                               

Total assets

  $ 14,200   $ 13,277   $ 13,447   $ 13,742   $ 14,465  

(1)
In the fourth quarter of 2010, we recorded $326 million of impairment charges within our Activision segment. These charges consisted of impairments of $67 million, $9 million and $250 million to license agreements, game engines and internally developed franchises intangible assets, respectively.

(2)
In the fourth quarter of 2009, we recorded $409 million of impairment charges within our Activision segment. These charges consisted of impairments of $24 million, $12 million and $373 million to license agreements, game engines and internally developed franchise intangible assets, respectively.

(3)
Stock Split —In July 2008, the Board of Directors declared a two-for-one split of our outstanding shares of common stock effected in the form of a stock dividend. The stock dividend was issued on September 5, 2008 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 25, 2008.

(4)
Cash Dividends —On February 9, 2012, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.18 per share payable on May 16, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 21, 2012. On February 9, 2011, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.165 per share to be paid on May 11, 2011 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2011. On February 10, 2010, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.15 per common share payable on April 2, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 22, 2010. Future dividends will depend upon our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. There can be no assurances that dividends will be declared in the future. Prior to the cash dividend declared in February 2010, the Company had never paid a cash dividend.

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Item 7.    MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Business Overview

The Company's Formation and Business Combination

        Activision, Inc. was originally incorporated in California in 1979 and was reincorporated in Delaware in December 1992. On July 9, 2008, a business combination (the "Business Combination") by and among Activision, Inc., Sego Merger Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc., Vivendi S.A. ("Vivendi"), VGAC LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi , and Vivendi Games, Inc. ("Vivendi Games"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of VGAC LLC, was consummated. As a result of the consummation of the Business Combination, Activision, Inc. was renamed Activision Blizzard, Inc. Activision Blizzard is a public company traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ATVI."

        Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide online, personal computer ("PC"), video game console, tablet, handheld, and mobile game publisher. The terms "Activision Blizzard," the "Company," "we," "us," and "our" are used to refer collectively to Activision Blizzard, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Based upon our organizational structure, we conduct our business through three operating segments as follows:

Activision Publishing, Inc.

        Activision Publishing, Inc. ("Activision") is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive software products and content. Activision develops games based on both internally-developed and licensed intellectual property. Activision markets and sells games we develop and, through our affiliate label program, games developed by certain third-party publishers. We sell games both through retail channels and by digital download. Activision currently offers games that operate on the Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. ("Sony") PlayStation 3 ("PS3"), Nintendo Co. Ltd. ("Nintendo") Wii ("Wii") and Nintendo Wii U ("Wii U"), and Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") Xbox 360 ("Xbox 360") console systems; the Nintendo Dual Screen ("DS") and Nintendo 3DS ("3DS") handheld game systems; the PC; and other handheld and mobile devices.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

        Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ("Blizzard") is a leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game ("MMORPG") category in terms of both subscriber base and revenues generated through its World of Warcraft ® franchise, which it develops, hosts and supports. Blizzard also develops, markets, and sells role-playing action and strategy PC-based computer games, including games in the multiple-award winning Diablo ® and StarCraft ® franchises. In addition, Blizzard maintains a proprietary online-game related service, Battle.net ® . Blizzard distributes its products and generates revenues worldwide through various means, including: subscriptions (which consist of fees from individuals playing World of Warcraft ® , sales of prepaid subscription cards, and revenue from value-added services such as realm transfers, faction changes and other character customizations within the World of Warcraft gameplay); retail sales of physical "boxed" products; online download sales of PC products; and licensing of software to third-party or related party companies that distribute World of Warcraft , Diablo ® III and StarCraft ® II products.

Activision Blizzard Distribution

        Activision Blizzard Distribution ("Distribution") consists of operations in Europe that provide warehousing, logistical and sales distribution services to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations, and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.

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Business Results and Highlights

        In 2012, Activision Blizzard's consolidated net revenues were $4.9 billion and consolidated net income was $1.1 billion, resulting in diluted earnings per common share of $1.01. The Company grew net revenues, operating income, and earnings per share as compared to 2011. We also generated $1.3 billion in cash from operating activities in 2012.

        Also, according to The NPD Group with respect to North America, GfK Chart-Track with respect to Europe, and Activision Blizzard internal estimates, during 2012:

    In North America and Europe combined, including toys and accessories, Activision Publishing was the #1 console and handheld publisher for the calendar year with the #1 and #3 best-selling franchises—Call of Duty® and Skylanders.

    Activision Blizzard reported record digital revenues for the calendar year and was the #1 third-party interactive entertainment Western digital publisher.

    For the calendar year, in aggregate across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe, Activision Publishing's Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the #1 best-selling title in dollars and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® 3 was the #9 best-selling title in dollars.

    In both North America and Europe, including toys and accessories, Skylanders Giants™ was the #1 best-selling kids' title in dollars for the fourth quarter. Additionally, for the calendar year, in North America and Europe combined, including toys and accessories, Skylanders Giants was the #5 best-selling game in dollars, and Skylanders Spyro's Adventure® was the #4 best-selling game in dollars.

    For the calendar year, Blizzard Entertainment had two top-10 PC games in North America and Europe. Diablo III was the #1 best-selling PC game at retail, breaking PC-game sales records with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide through December 31, 2012, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria® was the #3 best-selling PC game at retail.

Product Release Highlights

        The following games and content packs, among other titles, were released during the year ended December 31, 2012:

007™ Legends

 

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Angry Birds™ Trilogy

 

Ice Age™ Continental Drift Arctic Games

Battleship®

 

Men In Black: Alien Crisis™

Cabela's® Dangerous Hunts 2013

 

Prototype® 2

Cabela's Hunting Expeditions

 

Skylanders Giants

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

 

The Amazing Spider-Man™

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #1

 

Transformers™: Fall of Cybertron™

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #2

 

Transformers Prime™

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #3

 

Wipeout 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #4

 

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Diablo III

   

        On January 29, 2013, Activision released Revolution , the first downloadable map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II , ("Revolution") on the Xbox 360. Revolution is expected to be available on other platforms during the first quarter of 2013.

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         StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm™ , the first expansion to Blizzard's real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty® , is expected to be available in stores and online beginning March 12, 2013.

International Operations

        International sales are a fundamental part of our business. Net revenues from international sales accounted for approximately 50%, 50%, and 46% of our total consolidated net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. We maintain significant operations in the United States ("U.S."), Canada, the United Kingdom ("U.K."), France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea and China. An important element of our international strategy is to develop content that is specifically directed toward local cultures and customs. Our international business is subject to risks typical of an international business, including, but not limited to, foreign currency exchange rate volatility and changes in local economies. Accordingly, our future results could be materially and adversely affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and changes in local economies.

Management's Overview of Business Trends

Online Content and Digital Downloads

        We provide our products through both retail channels and digital online delivery methods. Many of our video games that are available through retailers as physical "boxed" software products, such as DVDs, are also available by direct digital download over the Internet (both from websites that we own and from others owned by third parties). In addition, we offer players downloadable content as add-ons to our products ( e.g. , new multi-player content packs), generally for a one-time fee. We also offer subscription-based services for World of Warcraft , which are digitally delivered and hosted by Blizzard's proprietary online-game related service, Battle.net. In 2011, Activision launched Call of Duty Elite , a digital service that provides both free and paid subscription-based content and features for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 . In conjunction with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II , all of the Call of Duty Elite service features for that game were made available for free. This free service does not include downloadable map packs, which are sold separately, either a la carte as individual map packs or as part of a discounted season pass bundle. Existing Call of Duty Elite premium members will continue to enjoy the Call of Duty Elite premium membership features for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 through the end of their subscription period. Digital revenues remain an important part of our business, and we continue to focus on and develop products that can be delivered via digital online channels. The amount of our digital revenues in any period may fluctuate depending, in part, on the timing and nature of our specific product releases.

        We currently define digital online channel-related sales as revenues from subscriptions and memberships, licensing royalties, value-added services, downloadable content, and digitally distributed products. This definition may differ from that used by our competitors or other companies.

        For the year ended December 31, 2012, our sales through the digital online channels decreased by approximately $100 million, as compared to 2011, and our net revenues from digital online channels represented 32% of our total consolidated net revenues in 2012 as compared to 34% in 2011. These decreases were mainly attributable to the deferral of revenues due to the timing of the releases of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria . On a non-GAAP basis, our sales through the digital online channels increased by $40 million, as compared to 2011, and our net revenues from digital online channels represented 32% of our total consolidated net revenues in 2012 as compared to 35% in 2011. This increase in sales from the digital online channels was primarily due to the releases of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

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        Please refer to the reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures later in this document for further discussions of retail and digital online channels.

Current Generation of Game Consoles

        The current generation of game consoles began with Microsoft's launch of the Xbox 360 in November 2005, and continued in 2006 when Sony and Nintendo launched the PS3 and the Wii, respectively. The installed base of current generation hardware ( i.e.  Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) in the U.S. and Europe was approximately 183 million units as of December 31, 2012, as compared to 166 million units at December 31, 2011, according to The NPD Group, with respect to North America, and GfK Chart-Track, with respect to Europe, representing an increase of 11% in units year-over-year. The installed base of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware units increased 15% year-over-year, while the installed base of Wii hardware units increased 5% year-over-year. During the 2012 year-end holiday season, Nintendo released a new "next-generation" high-definition version console, the Wii U. On February 20, 2013, Sony announced that it intends to launch PlayStation 4, its next-generation computer entertainment system, by the 2013 year-end holiday buying season.

        We continually monitor console hardware sales, as well as the development of "next-generation" consoles. We manage our product delivery on each current and future platform in a manner we believe to be most effective to maximize our revenue opportunities and achieve the desired return on our investments in product development.

Conditions in the Retail Distribution Channels

        Conditions in the retail channels of the interactive entertainment industry remained challenging through 2012. In North America and Europe, retail sales within the industry experienced a combined overall decrease of approximately 21% in 2012, as compared to 2011, according to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-Track. The declines in the North America and European retail channels were impacted by fewer releases and catalog sales in 2012 as compared to 2011, as well as price declines over the prior year. In addition, the decline in sales to the retail channels continue to be more pronounced for casual titles on the Nintendo Wii and handheld platforms (down over 35% year-over-year), than titles on high-definition platforms (i.e., Xbox 360 and PS3).

        Despite the 21% decrease in retail sales for the overall industry, according to The NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track and the Company's internal estimates, the sales of the industry's top five titles (including accessory packs and figures) grew 1% in 2012, as compared to 2011. This has resulted in the further concentration of revenues in the top titles, particularly for high-definition platforms, which experienced year-over-year growth, while non-premier titles experienced declines. The Company's results have been less impacted by the general declining trends in retail compared to our competitors because of our greater focus on premier top titles and a more focused overall slate of titles.

Concentration of Top Titles

        The concentration of retail revenues among key core titles has continued as a trend in the overall interactive software industry. According to The NPD Group, the top 10 titles accounted for 30% of the sales in the U.S. video game industry in 2012 as compared to 26% in 2011. Similarly, a significant portion of our revenues has historically been derived from video games based on a few popular franchises and these video games are responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of our profits. For example, our four largest franchises in 2012—Call of Duty, Diablo, Skylanders and World of Warcraft—accounted for approximately 83% of our net revenues, and a significantly higher percentage of our operating income, for the year.

        We expect that a limited number of popular franchises will continue to produce a disproportionately high percentage of the industry and our revenues and profits.

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Seasonality

        The interactive entertainment industry is highly seasonal. We have historically experienced our highest sales volume in the year-end holiday buying season, which occurs in the fourth quarter. We defer the recognition of a significant amount of net revenue related to our software titles containing online functionality that constitutes a more-than-inconsequential separate service deliverable over an extended period of time ( i.e.,  typically five months to less than a year). As a result, the quarter in which we generate the highest sales volume may be different than the quarter in which we recognize the highest amount of net revenue. Our results can also vary based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, title release date, consumer demand, market conditions and shipment schedule.

Outlook

        Looking forward, the above discussed factors, such as the ongoing console transition, increasing concentration of top titles in the interactive entertainment industry, and a continuingly challenged global economy, might negatively impact our short-term results. In addition, 2013 compared to 2012 will be a difficult year-over-year comparison due to the highly successful launch of Diablo III in May 2012. We will continue to invest in our established franchises, as well as new titles we think have the potential to drive our growth over the long-term.

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data

        The following table sets forth consolidated statements of operations data for the periods indicated in dollars and as a percentage of total net revenues (amounts in millions):

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010  

Net revenues:

                                     

Product sales

  $ 3,620     75 % $ 3,257     68 % $ 3,087     69 %

Subscription, licensing, and other revenues

    1,236     25     1,498     32     1,360     31  
                           

Total net revenues

    4,856     100     4,755     100     4,447     100  
                           

Costs and expenses:

                                     

Cost of sales—product costs

    1,116     23     1,134     24     1,350     31  

Cost of sales—online subscriptions

    263     5     255     5     250     5  

Cost of sales—software royalties and amortization

    194     4     218     5     338     8  

Cost of sales—intellectual property licenses

    89     2     165     3     197     4  

Product development

    604     12     629     14     626     14  

Sales and marketing

    578     12     545     11     516     12  

General and administrative

    561     12     456     10     375     8  

Impairment of intangible assets

                    326     7  

Restructuring

            25              
                           

Total costs and expenses

    3,405     70     3,427     72     3,978     89  
                           

Operating income

    1,451     30     1,328     28     469     11  

Investment and other income (expense), net

    7         3         23     1  
                           

Income before income tax expense

    1,458     30     1,331     28     492     12  

Income tax expense

    309     6     246     5     74     2  
                           

Net income

  $ 1,149     24 % $ 1,085     23 % $ 418     10 %
                           

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Operating Segment Results

        Our operating segments are consistent with our internal organizational structure, the manner in which our operations are reviewed and managed by our Chief Executive Officer, who is our Chief Operating Decision Maker ("CODM"), the manner in which we assess operating performance and allocate resources, and the availability of separate financial information. We do not aggregate operating segments.

        The CODM reviews segment performance exclusive of the impact of the change in deferred net revenues and related cost of sales with respect to certain of our online-enabled games, stock-based compensation expense, restructuring expense, amortization of intangible assets, and impairment of intangible assets and goodwill. The CODM does not review any information regarding total assets on an operating segment basis, and accordingly, no disclosure is made with respect thereto. Information on the operating segments and reconciliations of total segment net revenues and total segment operating income to consolidated net revenues and income before income tax expense from external customers and consolidated income before income tax expense for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 are presented in the table below (amounts in millions):

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase/
(decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase/
(decrease)
2011 v 2010
 

Segment net revenues:

                               

Activision

  $ 3,072   $ 2,828   $ 2,769   $ 244   $ 59  

Blizzard

    1,609     1,243     1,656     366     (413 )

Distribution

    306     418     378     (112 )   40  
                       

Operating segment net revenue total

    4,987     4,489     4,803     498     (314 )
                       

Reconciliation to consolidated net revenues:

                               

Net effect from changes in the deferral of net revenues

    (131 )   266     (356 )   (397 )   622  
                       

Consolidated net revenues

  $ 4,856   $ 4,755   $ 4,447   $ 101   $ 308  
                       

Segment income from operations:

                               

Activision

  $ 970   $ 851   $ 511   $ 119   $ 340  

Blizzard

    717     496     850     221     (354 )

Distribution

    11     11     10         1  
                       

Operating segment income from operations total

    1,698     1,358     1,371     340     (13 )
                       

Reconciliation to consolidated operating income and consolidated income before income tax expense:

                               

Net effect from changes in the deferral of net revenues and related cost of sales

    (91 )   183     (319 )   (274 )   502  

Stock-based compensation expense

    (126 )   (103 )   (131 )   (23 )   28  

Restructuring

        (26 )   (3 )   26     (23 )

Amortization of intangible assets

    (30 )   (72 )   (123 )   42     51  

Impairment of goodwill/intangible assets

        (12 )   (326 )   12     314  
                       

Consolidated operating income

    1,451     1,328     469     123     859  

Investment and other income (expense), net

    7     3     23     4     (20 )
                       

Consolidated income before income tax expense

  $ 1,458   $ 1,331   $ 492   $ 127   $ 839  
                       

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        For better understanding of the differences in presentation between our segment results and the consolidated results, the following explains the nature of each reconciling item.

Net Effect from Deferral of Net Revenues and Related Cost of Sales

        We have determined that some of our game's online functionality represents an essential component of gameplay and as a result a more-than-inconsequential separate deliverable. As such, we are required to recognize the revenues of these game titles over the estimated service periods, which may range from a minimum of five months to a maximum of less than a year. The related cost of sales is deferred and recognized as the related revenues are recognized. In the table on the previous page, we present the amount of net revenues and related cost of sales separately for each period as a result of this accounting treatment.

Stock-Based Compensation Expense

        We expense our stock-based awards using the grant date fair value over the vesting periods of the stock awards. In the case of liability awards, the liability is subject to revaluation based on the stock price at the end of the relevant period. Included within stock-based compensation are the net effects of capitalization, deferral, and amortization.

Restructuring

        On February 3, 2011, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a restructuring plan (the "2011 Restructuring") involving a focus on the development and publication of a reduced slate of titles on a going-forward basis. The 2011 Restructuring included the discontinuation of the development of music-based games, the closure of the related business unit and the cancellation of other titles then in production, along with a related reduction in studio headcount and corporate overhead. The costs related to the 2011 Restructuring activities included severance costs, facility exit costs, and exit costs from the cancellation of projects. The 2011 Restructuring charges for the year ended December 31, 2011 were $25 million, which is reflected in a separate caption "Restructuring expenses" on our consolidated statement of operations. The 2011 Restructuring was completed as of December 31, 2011 and we do not expect to incur significant additional restructuring expenses relating thereto.

        In 2008, we implemented an organizational restructuring plan as a result of the Business Combination. This organizational restructuring was to integrate different operations and to streamline the combined Activision Blizzard organization. The costs related to the restructuring activities included severance costs, facility exit costs, write-offs of assets and liabilities and exit costs from the cancellation of projects. For the year ended December 31, 2011, expense related to the organizational restructuring was $1 million and has been reflected in the "General and administrative expense" in the consolidated statement of operations. The organizational restructuring activities as a result of the Business Combination were completed as of December 31, 2011 and we do not expect to incur additional restructuring expenses relating thereto.

Amortization of Intangible Assets

        All of our intangible assets are the result of the Business Combination and other acquisitions. We amortize the intangible assets over their estimated useful lives based on the pattern of consumption of the underlying economic benefits. The amount presented in the table represents the effect of the amortization of intangible assets as well as other purchase price accounting adjustments, where applicable, in our consolidated statements of operations.

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Impairment of Goodwill/Intangible Assets

        We recorded a non-cash charge of $12 million related to the impairment of goodwill of our Distribution reporting unit for the year ended December 31, 2011, reflecting a continuing shift in the distribution of interactive entertainment software from retail distribution channels to digital distribution channels. Furthermore, we recorded a non-cash impairment charge on definite-lived intangible assets of $326 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, reflecting a continuing weaker environment for the casual game and music genres.

Segment Net Revenues

Activision

        Activision's net revenues increased for 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to revenues from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full-year revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011). The increase was partially offset by lower revenues from the Call of Duty franchise primarily from lower catalog sales and lower revenues from downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , though these decreases were partially mitigated by the strong performance from Call of Duty: Black Ops II which launched in the fourth quarter of 2012.

        For 2011, net revenues from the Activision segment increased as compared to 2010 primarily due to: the strong performance of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the strong digital revenue performance from the franchise; revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure which successfully launched as a new intellectual property in the fourth quarter of 2011; the release of Lego Star Wars III , which we published on behalf of Lucas Arts in Europe and certain countries in Asia Pacific; and benefits from foreign exchange as compared to the prior year. The increase was partially offset by a more focused release schedule in 2011 than in 2010, and lower catalog sales of games in the music and casual games genre.

Blizzard

        Blizzard's net revenues increased for 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to the release of Diablo III in May 2012 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria in September 2012. The increase in net revenues was partially offset by lower subscription revenues from World of Warcraft due to a lower subscriber base.

        At December 31, 2012, the worldwide subscriber* base for World of Warcraft was approximately 9.6 million, down from a base of more than 10 million subscribers at September 30, 2012, and approximately 10.2 million subscribers at December 31, 2011, with the majority of the decline from the East (where the "East" includes China, Taiwan, and Korea, and the "West" includes North America, Europe and Latin America). With the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm® , in the fourth quarter of 2010, the subscriber base reached a new peak at more than 12 million subscribers at December 31, 2010. Since that time, the subscriber base has trended downward. Looking forward, Blizzard Entertainment expects to continue to deliver new game content in all regions that is intended to further appeal to the gaming community.

   


*
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft , as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

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        Blizzard's net revenues decreased for 2011 as compared to 2010 primarily as a result of no new titles released in 2011 as compared to 2010, when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released in the third quarter and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was released in the fourth quarter; and as a result of a decline in World of Warcraft's subscriber base during 2011. These decreases were partially offset by benefits from foreign exchange as compared to the prior year.

Distribution

        Distribution's net revenues decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to a weaker U.K. market.

        Distribution's net revenues increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to additional customer sales opportunities in the U.K. and benefits from foreign exchange as compared to prior year.

Segment Income from Operations

Activision

        Activision's operating income increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to higher net revenues as described above, and lower sales and marketing costs. The increase was partially offset by higher cost of sales as a result of higher net revenues, higher product development costs, and higher general and administrative costs, primarily resulting from legal-related expenses (including legal-related accruals, settlements and fees) and additional accrued bonuses reflecting our strong 2012 financial performance.

        Activision's operating income increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to a more focused release of products that delivered higher operating margins; increased digital sales of Call of Duty's digital content, resulting in high operating margins; and reduction of operating expenses resulting from the 2011 Restructuring. These positive impacts on operating income were partially offset by an increase in sales and marketing expenses to support the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite and additional litigation activities and settlement of lawsuits.

Blizzard

        Blizzard's operating income increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to higher revenues as described above. The increase was partially offset by higher cost of sales as a result of higher net revenues, higher sales and marketing costs to support the launch of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria , and higher general and administrative costs from additional accrued bonuses reflecting our strong 2012 financial performance.

        Blizzard's operating income decreased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to lower revenues as discussed above. These negative impacts on operating income were partially offset by a decrease in sales and marketing expenses, as higher sales and marketing expenses were incurred in 2010 to support the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in the third quarter and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in the fourth quarter; and lower customer support costs incurred.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

        The analysis of revenues by distribution channel is presented both on a GAAP (including the impact from change in deferred revenues) and non-GAAP (excluding the impact from change in deferred revenues) basis. We use this non-GAAP measure internally when evaluating our operating performance, when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods, and when assessing the performance of our management team. We believe this is appropriate because this non-GAAP measure enables an analysis of performance based on the timing of actual transactions with our customers,

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which is consistent with the way the Company is measured by investment analysts and industry data sources, and facilitates comparison of operating performance between periods. In addition, excluding the impact from change in deferred net revenue provides a much more timely indication of trends in our sales and other operating results. While we believe that this non-GAAP measure is useful in evaluating our business, this information should be considered as supplemental in nature and is not meant to be considered in isolation from, as a substitute for, or as more important than, the related financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. In addition, this non-GAAP financial measure may not be the same as any non-GAAP measure presented by another company. This non-GAAP financial measure has limitations in that it does not reflect all of the items associated with our GAAP revenues. We compensate for the limitations resulting from the exclusion of the change in deferred revenues by considering the impact of that item separately and by considering our GAAP, as well as non-GAAP, revenues.

Results of Operations—Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

        The following table provides reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP net revenues by distribution channel for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 (amounts in millions):

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase/
(decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase/
(decrease)
2011 v 2010
  % Change
2012 v 2011
  % Change
2011 v 2010
 

GAAP net revenues by distribution channel

                                           

Retail channels

  $ 3,013   $ 2,697   $ 2,629   $ 316   $ 68     12 %   3 %

Digital online channels(1)

    1,537     1,640     1,440     (103 )   200     (6 )   14  
                               

Total Activision and Blizzard

    4,550     4,337     4,069     213     268     5     7  

Distribution

    306     418     378     (112 )   40     (27 )   11  
                               

Total consolidated GAAP net revenues

    4,856     4,755     4,447     101     308     2     7  
                               

Change in deferred net revenues(2)

                                           

Retail channels

    69     (185 )   251     254     (436 )   (137 )   (174 )

Digital online channels(1)

    62     (81 )   105     143     (186 )   (177 )   (177 )
                               

Total changes in deferred net revenues

    131     (266 )   356     397     (622 )   (149 )   (175 )
                               

Non-GAAP net revenues by distribution channel

                                           

Retail channels

    3,082     2,512     2,880     570     (368 )   23     (13 )

Digital online channels(1)

    1,599     1,559     1,545     40     14     3     1  
                               

Total Activision and Blizzard

    4,681     4,071     4,425     610     (354 )   15     (8 )

Distribution

    306     418     378     (112 )   40     (27 )   11  
                               

Total non-GAAP net revenues(3)

  $ 4,987   $ 4,489   $ 4,803   $ 498   $ (314 )   11 %   (7 )%
                               

(1)
We currently define revenues from digital online channels as revenues from subscriptions and memberships, licensing royalties, value-added services, downloadable content, and digitally distributed products.

(2)
We have determined that some of our game's online functionality represents an essential component of gameplay and as a result a more-than-inconsequential separate deliverable. As such, we are required to recognize the revenues of these game titles over the estimated service periods, which may range from a minimum of five months to a maximum of less than a year. In the table above, we present the amount of net revenues for each period as a result of this accounting treatment.

(3)
Total non-GAAP net revenues presented also represents our total operating segment net revenues.

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        The increase in GAAP net revenues from retail channels for 2012 as compared to 2011 was the result of sales from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full-year revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011) and revenues from Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria . The increase was partially offset by lower catalog sales of Call of Duty and other titles, and lower catalog revenues generated from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , which were released in 2010.

        The increase in GAAP net revenues from retail channels for 2011 as compared to 2010 was the result of the strong performance of the Call of Duty franchise, recognition of deferred revenues from the 2010 launches of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm , and revenues generated from the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , partially offset by the release of fewer key titles.

        The decrease in GAAP net revenues from digital online channels for 2012 as compared to 2011 was primarily due to lower revenues from World of Warcraft subscriptions and lower net revenues from Call of Duty downloadable content packs released in 2012 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , in comparison to downloadable content packs released in 2011 for Call of Duty®: Black Ops . The decrease was partially offset by the full game download sales of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and revenues from Call of Duty Elite memberships.

        The increase in GAAP net revenues from digital online channels for 2011 as compared to 2010 was primarily due to the stronger performance and greater number of downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops , which was released in 2011, as compared to the downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® 2 released in the prior year, and a higher number of full game downloads from the Call of Duty catalog titles. In addition, revenues generated from the World of Warcraft franchise, particularly from the digital release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in December 2010, as well as the digital release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in July 2010, resulted in more deferred revenues recognized in 2011 as compared to 2010.

        The increase in non-GAAP net revenues from retail channels for 2012 as compared to 2011 was the result of sales from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full-year revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011), Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria . The increase was partially offset by lower catalog sales of Call of Duty titles as well as other titles, and lower catalog revenues generated from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , which were released in 2010.

        The decrease in non-GAAP net revenues from retail channels for 2011 as compared to 2010 was the result of our more focused slate, with the release of fewer key titles, and lower revenues generated from the casual "value" titles. The decrease was partially offset by the strong performance of the Call of Duty franchise and revenues generated from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure .

        The increase in non-GAAP net revenues from digital online channels for 2012 as compared to 2011 was attributable to sales of full game digital downloads from the launches of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and Diablo III (which were launched in 2012) and memberships revenues from Call of Duty Elite (which was launched in late November 2011). The increase was partially offset by lower revenues from World of Warcraft subscriptions and lower net revenues from Call of Duty downloadable content packs.

        The increase in non-GAAP net revenues from digital online channels for 2011 as compared to 2010 was attributable to the stronger performance and greater number of downloadable content packs released in 2011 for Call of Duty: Black Ops , versus downloadable map packs released in the prior year for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , and a higher number of full game downloads from the Call of Duty

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catalog titles. This increase was partially offset by the unfavorable impact of the decrease in World of Warcraft 's subscriber base, the decrease of full game downloads of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, which was released in December 2010, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, which was released in July 2010.

Consolidated Results

Net Revenues by Geographic Region

        The following table details our consolidated net revenues by geographic region for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 (amounts in millions):

 
  For the Years ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase/
(decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase/
(decrease)
2011 v 2010
  % Change
2012 v 2011
  % Change
2011 v 2010
 

Geographic region net revenues:

                                           

North America

  $ 2,436   $ 2,405   $ 2,409   $ 31   $ (4 )   1 %   %

Europe

    1,968     1,990     1,743     (22 )   247     (1 )   14  

Asia Pacific

    452     360     295     92     65     26     22  
                               

Consolidated net revenues

  $ 4,856   $ 4,755   $ 4,447   $ 101   $ 308     2     7  
                               

        The increase/(decrease) in deferred revenues recognized by geographic region for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 was as follows (amounts in millions):

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase/
(Decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase/
(Decrease)
2011 v 2010
 

Deferred revenues recognized by geographic region:

                               

North America

  $ (78 ) $ 154   $ (166 ) $ (232 ) $ 320  

Europe

    (28 )   104     (159 )   (132 )   263  

Asia Pacific

    (25 )   8     (31 )   (33 )   39  
                       

Total impact on consolidated net revenues

    (131 )   266     (356 )   (397 )   622  
                       

        Consolidated net revenues from North America and Asia Pacific increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to sales from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012, and the full-year revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011), Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria . Sales of Diablo III accounted for the majority of the year-over-year increase in net revenues for the Asia Pacific region. The increase in consolidated net revenues from North America and Asia Pacific was partially offset by lower subscriptions revenues from World of Warcraft , lower catalog sales of Call of Duty titles as well as other titles, and lower catalog revenues generated from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , which were released in 2010.

        Consolidated net revenues from Europe decreased slightly in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to lower subscriptions revenues from World of Warcraft , lower catalog sales of Call of Duty titles as well as other titles, and lower catalog revenues generated from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and from Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , which were released in 2010, and lower revenues from our Distribution segment. The decrease was partially offset by sales from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full-year revenues from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011), Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria .

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        Further, in Europe and certain countries in Asia Pacific, net revenues were also negatively impacted due to the fact that we published titles for Lucas Arts in 2011, such as Lego Star Wars III , while no comparable title was published in 2012.

        The decrease in deferred revenues recognized in all regions for the year ended December 31, 2012 as compared to 2011 was primarily attributable to lower World of Warcraft subscription revenues, lower sales of Call of Duty digital downloadable content packs and catalogs titles, and lower catalog sales of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , as well as an increase in revenues deferred due to the launch of both Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria . The decrease was partially offset by the recognition of the deferred revenues from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 .

        Consolidated net revenues from Europe and Asia Pacific increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to the success of Call of Duty catalog titles, stronger performance of downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops and the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010, all of which resulted in increased revenues recognized in 2011 as compared to 2010. Further, the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure and the increase in Distribution segment revenues in Europe contributed to the increase in consolidated net revenues. These increases were partially offset by the additional deferral of revenues as a result of greater sales from the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in November 2011.

        Consolidated net revenues from North America decreased slightly in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to the decrease in net revenues from music and casual titles and the greater sales from the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which resulted in additional deferral of revenues. These decreases were almost entirely offset by the success of Call of Duty catalog titles, stronger performance of downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops , the releases of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010, and the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , all of which resulted in increased revenues recognized in 2011 as compared to 2010.

        The releases of Call of Duty: Black Ops, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010 were the primary reason why more deferred revenues were recognized during 2011 as compared to 2010 across all regions. This increase in the recognition of deferred revenues was partially offset by greater revenues deferred in 2011 as a result of the higher sales from the initial launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops .

Foreign Exchange Impact

        Changes in foreign exchange rates had a negative impact of approximately $114 million and a positive impact of approximately $100 million on Activision Blizzard's net revenues in 2012 and 2011, respectively. The change is primarily due to the year-over-year movements of the British pound, Euro and Australian dollar average rates relative to the U.S. dollar.

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Net Revenues by Platform

        The following table details our net revenues by platform and as a percentage of total consolidated net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 (amounts in millions):

 
  Year
Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
total
consolidated
net revs.
  Year
Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
total
consolidated
net revs.
  Year
Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
total
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase/
(decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase/
(decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Platform net revenues:

                                                 

Online subscriptions(1)

  $ 986     20 % $ 1,357     29 % $ 1,230     28 % $ (371 ) $ 127  

PC and other(2)

    1,214     25     374     8     325     7     840     49  

Console

                                                 

Sony PlayStation 3

    876     18     948     20     889     20     (72 )   59  

Microsoft Xbox 360

    1,019     21     1,140     24     1,033     23     (121 )   107  

Nintendo Wii and Wii U

    291     6     351     7     408     9     (60 )   (57 )
                                   

Total console

    2,186     45     2,439     51     2,330     52     (253 )   109  

Handheld

    164     4     167     3     184     4     (3 )   (17 )
                                   

Total platform net revenues

    4,550     94     4,337     91     4,069     91     213     268  

Distribution

    306     6     418     9     378     9     (112 )   40  
                                   

Total consolidated net revenues

  $ 4,856     100 % $ 4,755     100 % $ 4,447     100 % $ 101   $ 308  
                                   

        The increase/(decrease) in deferred revenues recognized by platform for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 was as follows (amounts in millions):

 
  Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase/
(Decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase/
(Decrease)
2011 v 2010
 

Increase/(decrease) in deferred revenues recognized by platform:

                               

Online subscriptions(1)

  $ (85 ) $ 202   $ (191 ) $ (287 ) $ 393  

PC and other(2)

    (36 )   75     (81 )   (111 )   156  

Console

                               

Sony PlayStation 3

    (30 )   (36 )   (77 )   6     41  

Microsoft Xbox 360

    3     (43 )   (15 )   46     (28 )

Nintendo Wii and Wii U

    12     66     16     (54 )   50  
                       

Total console

    (15 )   (13 )   (76 )   (2 )   63  
                       

Nintendo 3DS and DS

    5     2     (8 )   3     10  
                       

Total impact on consolidated net revenues

  $ (131 ) $ 266   $ (356 ) $ (397 ) $ 622  
                       

(1)
Revenues from online subscriptions consists of revenue from all World of Warcraft products, including subscriptions, boxed products, expansion packs, licensing royalties, value-added services, and revenues from Call of Duty Elite memberships.

(2)
Revenues from PC and other consists of net revenues from the sale of PC boxed products, Skylanders franchise standalone toys products, mobile sales and other physical merchandise and accessories.

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        Net revenues from online subscriptions decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily as a result of lower World of Warcraft subscription revenues, and lower Blizzard catalog sales from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, which was released in December 2010. The decrease was partially offset by revenues from Call of Duty Elite memberships and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Net revenues from online subscriptions increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily driven by the recognition of deferred revenues from the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in December 2010 and from the sales of World of Warcraft's value-added services, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of World of Warcraft' s declining subscriber base.

        Net revenues from PC and other significantly increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily as a result of the sale of standalone toys and accessories from the Skylanders franchise (both from the launch of Skylanders Giants in the fourth quarter of 2012 and Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011), and from sales of Diablo III . The increase was partially offset by the decrease in revenues from Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty , which was released in July 2010. Net revenues from PC and other increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to the sale of standalone toys and accessories for Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , and the success of the Call of Duty franchise titles. The increase was partially offset by lower revenues from music and causal titles and no major release for PC and other in 2011 as compared to 2010, when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released.

        Net revenues from PS3 and Xbox 360 decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to lower revenues from Call of Duty downloadable content packs and catalog sales, partially offset by sales from the Skylanders franchise. Net revenues from PS3 and Xbox 360 increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, the success of the Call of Duty franchise, and downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops as compared to the downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 . The increase was partially offset by the strong consumer demand at launch in November 2011 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , which resulted in additional deferral of revenues.

        Net revenues from Nintendo Wii and Wii U decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to overall weaker catalog sales and fewer comparable releases, partially offset by additional revenues from titles associated with the launch of the Wii U. Net revenues from the Nintendo Wii and handheld systems decreased in 2011 as compared to 2010 due to the release of fewer key titles than in 2010, and lower catalog sales of games in the music and casual games genres.

        The deferred revenues recognized for online subscriptions decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to revenues deferred from World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria , which launched on September 25, 2012, and lower revenues recognized from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm , which was released in December 2010, and was partially offset by additional revenues recognized from Call of Duty Elite memberships in 2012. The deferred revenues recognized for online subscriptions increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily driven by the recognition of deferred revenues from the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in December 2010 and from the sales of World of Warcraft's value-added services, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of World of Warcraft' s declining subscriber base.

        The decrease in deferred revenues recognized for PC and other in 2012 as compared to 2011 was primarily related to revenues deferred from the successful launch of Diablo III on May 15, 2012 and a decrease in revenues recognized from catalog sales of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty , which was released in July 2010. The deferred revenues recognized for PC and other increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily related to the recognition of revenues of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty , which was released in July 2010.

        The increase in deferred revenue recognized for Xbox 360 in 2012 as compared to 2011 was primarily due to less revenue deferred from Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The decrease in deferred revenue recognized for Xbox 360 in 2011 as compared to 2010, was primarily due to the revenues

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deferral from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 . The decreases in deferred revenues recognized for Nintendo Wii in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily relate to overall weaker catalog sales and fewer comparable releases, and were partially offset by additional Wii U deferred revenues recognized. The increases in deferred revenues recognized for Nintendo Wii in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily relate to recognition of revenues of our catalog sales of games in the music and casual games genres.

Costs and Expenses

Cost of Sales (amounts in millions)

        The following table details the components of cost of sales in dollars and as a percentage of total consolidated net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 (amounts in millions):

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Product costs

  $ 1,116     23 % $ 1,134     24 % $ 1,350     31 % $ (18 ) $ (216 )

Online subscriptions

    263     5     255     5     250     5     8     5  

Software royalties and amortization

    194     4     218     5     338     8     (24 )   (120 )

Intellectual property licenses

    89     2     165     3     197     4     (76 )   (32 )

        Total cost of sales decreased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to a decrease in amortization of capitalized software development and intellectual property license costs as we had fewer titles released during 2012; a decrease in amortization of intangible assets due to decreasing intangible assets balances year-over-year; and lower product costs from our Distribution segment due to lower revenues. These decreases in cost of sales were partially offset by higher product costs from our Publishing and Blizzard segments due to higher revenues.

        Total cost of sales decreased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to the continued change in mix for products with fewer hardware peripherals, and accordingly lower product costs; an increasing number of products distributed through digital online channels; a decrease in inventory obsolescence charges, as the prior year included higher inventory obsolescence charges relating to peripherals; a decrease in amortization of capitalized software development and intellectual property license costs as we had fewer titles released during 2011; and a decrease in amortization of intangible assets. These decreases in cost of sales were partially offset by more deferred costs recognized, consistent with more deferred revenues recognized, during 2011 as compared to 2010; and higher product costs from our Distribution segment revenues associated with higher revenues.

Product Development (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Product development

  $ 604     12 % $ 629     14 % $ 626     14 % $ (25 ) $ 3  

        For 2012, product development costs decreased as compared to 2011, principally due to higher capitalization in 2012 of our overall product development costs related to future titles and the timing at which these titles reached technical feasibility and lower stock option expenses. Additionally, product development costs in 2011 included larger amounts written off, due to the cancellation of games under development, than in 2012. The decrease was partially offset by higher studio-related bonuses reflecting our strong 2012 financial performance.

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        For 2011, product development costs increased slightly as compared to 2010, principally due to lower capitalization of our overall product development costs related to future titles and higher accrued studio-related bonuses. This increase in product development expense was partially offset by the benefits realized from our 2011 Restructuring, which involved a focus on reducing the number of titles in development and publication, including the discontinuation of the development of music-based games. Additionally, product development costs in 2011 included amounts written off due to the cancellation of a future game under development; however, the write-off of capitalized software development was slightly less than in 2010.

Sales and Marketing (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Sales and marketing

  $ 578     12 % $ 545     11 % $ 516     12 % $ 33   $ 29  

        Sales and marketing expenses increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to increased spending on sales and marketing activities to support the launches of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria , as well as continued investments in our Skylanders franchise.

        Sales and marketing expenses increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to increased spending on sales and marketing activities to support the launch of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure , Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite in the fourth quarter of 2011.

General and Administrative (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

General and administrative

  $ 561     12 % $ 456     10 % $ 375     8 % $ 105   $ 81  

        General and administrative expenses increased in 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to higher legal-related expenses (including legal-related accruals, settlements and fees), stock-based compensation expenses and additional accrued bonuses reflecting our strong 2012 financial performance.

        General and administrative expenses increased in 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to higher legal expenses incurred from additional litigation activities and settlement of lawsuits, the impairment of our Distribution segment's goodwill and higher depreciation expense and facilities costs.

Impairment of Intangible Assets (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Impairment of intangible assets

  $     % $     % $ 326     7 % $   $ (326 )

        There was no impairment of intangible assets for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011.

        In the fourth quarter of 2010, as a result of the franchise and industry results of the holiday season, we significantly revised our outlook for the retail sales of software. Further, with the impact of the continued economic downturn on our industry in 2010 and the change in the buying habits of casual consumers, we reassessed our overall expectations with respect to our future sales of certain

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games titles. We considered these economic changes during our planning process for 2011 that we conducted during the months of November and December, 2010, which resulted in a strategy change to, among other things, focus on fewer title releases in the casual and music genres. As a result, we updated our future projected revenue streams for our franchises in the casual and music genres. We performed recoverability and, where applicable, impairment tests on the related intangible assets in accordance with ASC Subtopic 360-10. Based on the analysis performed, we recorded impairment charges of $67 million, $9 million and $250 million to license agreements, game engines and internally developed franchises intangible assets, respectively, for 2010 within our Activision segment. See Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding the determination of the impairment charges recorded for the year ended December 31, 2010.

Restructuring (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Restructuring

  $     % $ 25     % $     % $ (25 ) $ 25  

        There were no material restructuring expenses for the year ended December 31, 2012.

        On February 3, 2011, the Company's Board of Directors authorized the 2011 Restructuring. The 2011 Restructuring focused on the development and publication of a reduced slate of titles on a going-forward basis, including the discontinuation of the development of music-based games, the closure of the related business unit and the cancellation of other titles then in production, along with a related reduction in studio headcount and corporate overhead. The costs related to the 2011 Restructuring activities included severance costs, facility exit costs, and exit costs from the cancellation of projects. The 2011 Restructuring was completed as of December 31, 2011 and we do not expect to incur additional restructuring expenses relating thereto. See Note 7 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more detail and a roll forward of the restructuring liability that includes the beginning and ending liability, costs incurred, cash payments and non-cash write downs.

        In 2008, we implemented an organizational restructuring plan as a result of the Business Combination. This organizational restructuring was to integrate different operations and to streamline the combined Activision Blizzard organization. The restructuring activities included severance costs, facility exit costs, write offs of assets and liabilities and exit costs from the cancellation of projects. At December 31, 2010, we had completed our organizational restructuring activities as a result of the Business Combination. Restructuring expenses during year ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 associated to this plan were immaterial and were recorded within the "General and administrative expense" in our consolidated statements of operations.

Investment and Other Income (Expense), Net (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
consolidated
net revs.
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Investment and other income (expense), net

  $ 7     % $ 3     % $ 23     1 % $ 4   $ (20 )

        Investment and other income (expense), net, increased in 2012 as compared to 2011. The increase is primarily due to the net realized gain on our foreign exchange contracts of $2 million in 2012 as

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compared to a $7 million loss in 2011. However, during 2012, we experienced lower yields on our investments, which partially offset the increase.

        Investment and other income (expense), net, decreased in 2011 as compared to 2010. During 2011, we recorded higher yields generated from our cash and investment balances, which was partially offset by a higher realized loss from foreign exchange contracts, as compared to 2010. Further, the majority of Investment and other income (expense), net, in 2010 related to the reduction in fair value of a financial liability relating to a contingent earn-out liability from a previous acquisition and there was no such item during 2011.

Income Tax Expense (Benefit) (amounts in millions)

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
2012
  % of
Pretax
income
  Year Ended
December 31,
2011
  % of
Pretax
income
  Year Ended
December 31,
2010
  % of
Pretax
income
  Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v
2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v
2010
 

Income tax expense

  $ 309     21.2 % $ 246     18.5 % $ 74     15.0 % $ 63   $ 172  

        For 2012, the Company's income before income tax expense was $1.46 billion. Our income tax expense of $309 million resulted in an effective tax rate of 21.2%. The difference between our effective tax rate and the U.S. statutory tax rate of 35% is due to earnings taxed at relatively lower rates in foreign jurisdictions, recognition of California research and development credits, the federal domestic production deduction, and a tax benefit resulting from a federal income tax audit settlement allocated to us by a subsidiary of Vivendi S.A. ("Vivendi"), as further discussed below.

        For 2011, the Company's income before income tax expense was $1.3 billion. Our income tax expense of $246 million resulted in an effective tax rate of 18.5%. The difference between our effective tax rate and the U.S. statutory tax rate of 35% is due to earnings taxed at relatively lower rates in foreign jurisdictions, recognition of federal and California research and development credits, the federal domestic production deduction and a favorable impact from discrete items recognized in connection with the filing of our 2010 tax returns.

        In 2012 and 2011, our U.S. income before income tax expense was $668 million and $623 million, respectively, and comprised 46% and 47%, respectively, of our consolidated income before income tax expense. In 2012 and 2011, the foreign income before income tax expense was $790 million and $708 million, respectively, and comprised 54% and 53%, respectively, of our consolidated income before income tax expense. In 2012 and 2011, the impact of earnings taxed at lower rates in foreign jurisdictions versus our U.S. federal statutory tax rate was 17% and 15%, respectively.

        As previously disclosed, on July 9, 2008, the Business Combination occurred among Vivendi, the Company and certain of their respective subsidiaries pursuant to which Vivendi Games, then a member of the consolidated U.S. tax group of Vivendi's subsidiary, Vivendi Holdings I Corp. ("VHI"), became a subsidiary of the Company. As a result of the business combination, the favorable tax attributes of Vivendi Games carried forward to the Company. In late August 2012, VHI settled a federal income tax audit with the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") for the tax years ended December 31, 2002, 2003, and 2004. In connection with the settlement agreement, VHI's consolidated federal net operating loss carryovers were adjusted and allocated to various companies that were part of its consolidated group during the relevant periods. This allocation resulted in a $132 million federal net operating loss allocation to Vivendi Games. In September 2012, the Company filed an amended tax return for its December 31, 2008 tax year to utilize these additional federal net operating losses allocated as a result of the aforementioned settlement, resulting in the recording of a one-time tax benefit of $46 million. Prior to the settlement, and given the uncertainty of the VHI audit, the Company had insufficient information to allow it to record or disclose any information related to the audit until the quarter ended September 30, 2012, as disclosed in the Company's Form 10-Q for that period.

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        Vivendi Games results for the period January 1, 2008 through July 2009 are included in the consolidated federal and certain foreign state and local income tax returns files by Vivendi or its affiliates while Vivendi Games results for the period July 10, 2008 through December 31, 2008 are included in the consolidated federal and certain foreign, state and local income tax returns filed by Activision Blizzard. Vivendi Games tax years 2005 through 2008 remain open to examination by the major taxing authorities. The IRS is currently examining Vivendi Games tax returns for the 2005 through 2008 tax years.

        Activision Blizzard's tax years 2008 through 2011 remain open to examination by the major taxing jurisdictions to which we are subject. The IRS is currently examining the Company's federal tax returns for the 2008 and 2009 tax years. The Company also has several state and non-U.S. audits pending.

        Although the final resolution of the Company's global tax disputes is uncertain, based on current information, in the opinion of our management, the ultimate resolution of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial position, liquidity or results of operations. However, an unfavorable resolution of the Company's global tax disputes could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations in the period in which the matters are ultimately resolved.

        On January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law by the President of the United States. Under the provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the research and development ("R&D") tax credit that had expired December 31, 2011, was reinstated retroactively to January 1, 2012, and is now scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013. The Company will record the impact of the extension of the R&D tax credit related to the tax year ended December 31, 2012, as a discrete item the first quarter of 2013. The impact of the extension of the R&D tax credit is expected to result in a tax benefit of approximately $11 million related to the tax year ended December 31, 2012.

        The overall effective income tax rate in future periods will depend on a variety of factors, such as changes in the mix of income by tax jurisdiction, applicable accounting rules, applicable tax laws and regulations, and rulings and interpretations thereof, developments in tax audits and other matters, and variations in the estimated and actual level of annual pretax income or loss. Further, the effective tax rate could fluctuate significantly on a quarterly basis and could be adversely affected by the extent that income (loss) before income tax expenses (benefit) is lower than anticipated in foreign regions where taxes are levied at relatively lower statutory rates and/or higher than anticipated in the United States where taxes are levied at relatively higher statutory rates.

        A more detailed analysis of the differences between the U.S. federal statutory rate and the consolidated effective tax rate, as well as other information about our income taxes, is provided in Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Foreign Exchange Impact

        Changes in foreign exchange rates had a negative impact of $67 million and a positive impact of $49 million on Activision Blizzard's consolidated operating income in 2012 and 2011, respectively. The change is primarily due to the strengthening of the British pound, Euro and Australian dollar average rates relative to the U.S. dollar.

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Sources of Liquidity (amounts in millions)

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v 2011
 

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 3,959   $ 3,165   $ 794  

Short-term investments

    416     360     56  
               

  $ 4,375   $ 3,525   $ 850  
               

Percentage of total assets

    31 %   27 %      

 

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010   Increase
(Decrease)
2012 v 2011
  Increase
(Decrease)
2011 v 2010
 

Cash flows provided by operating activities

  $ 1,345   $ 952   $ 1,376   $ 393   $ (424 )

Cash flows provided by (used in) investing activities

    (124 )   266     (312 )   (390 )   578  

Cash flows used in financing activities

    (497 )   (808 )   (1,053 )   311     245  

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes

    70     (57 )   33     127     (90 )
                       

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

  $ 794   $ 353   $ 44   $ 441   $ 309  
                       

Cash Flows Provided by Operating Activities

        The primary drivers of cash flows provided by operating activities included the collection of customer receivables generated by the sale of our products and digital and subscription revenues, partially offset by payments to vendors for the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of our products, payments to third-party developers and intellectual property holders, tax liabilities, and payments to our workforce. A significant operating use of our cash relates to our continued focus on customer service for our subscribers and investment in software development and intellectual property licenses.

        Cash flows provided by operating activities were higher for 2012 as compared to 2011, and were lower for 2011 as compared to 2010. Our source of cash inflow varies with our release schedule. For example, Blizzard's major releases of StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm during 2010, and Blizzard's major releases of Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria during 2012 contributed to the higher cash inflows for 2010 and 2012 as compared to 2011, when there were no major releases from Blizzard. Additionally, the strong performance of Activision's Skylanders franchise and Call of Duty: Black Ops II contributed to strong operating cash flows in 2012.

Cash Flows Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities

        The primary drivers of cash flows used in investing activities have typically included capital expenditures, acquisitions and the net effect of purchases and sales/maturities of short-term investments.

        Cash flows provided by investing activities were lower for 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to decreased proceeds from the maturity of investments, partially offset by higher purchases of short-term investments. In 2012, proceeds from the maturity of investments were $444 million, the majority of which consisted of U.S. treasury and other government agency securities, while the purchase of short-term investments totaled $503 million. Further, capital expenditures, primarily related to property and equipment, were $73 million.

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        Cash flows provided by investing activities were higher for 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to increased proceeds from the maturity of investments, decreased purchases of short-term investments and lower capital expenditures. Proceeds from the maturity of investments were $740 million, the majority of which consisted of U.S. treasury and other government agency securities, while the purchase of short-term investments totaled $417 million and capital expenditures, primarily related to property and equipment, were $72 million.

Cash Flows Used in Financing Activities

        The primary drivers of cash flows used in financing activities have historically related to transactions involving our common stock, including the issuance of shares of common stock to employees, payment of dividends and the repurchase of our common stock. We have not historically utilized debt financing as a source of cash flows although we may do so in the future.

        Cash flows used in financing activities were lower for 2012 as compared to 2011, primarily due to decreased share repurchase activities. Cash flows used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2012 primarily reflected an aggregate cash payment of $204 million to holders of our common stock and restricted stock units in connection with our annual dividend. In addition, cash flows used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2012 reflect the repurchase of $315 million of our common stock and the payment of $16 million in taxes relating to the vesting of employees' restricted stock rights. The repurchases and dividend payments were partially offset by $33 million of proceeds from the issuance of shares of our common stock to employees in connection with stock option exercises.

        Cash flows used in financing activities were lower for 2011 as compared to 2010, primarily due to decreased share repurchase activities. Cash flows used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2011 primarily reflected an aggregate cash payment of $194 million to holders of our common stock and restricted stock units in connection with our annual dividend. In addition, cash flows used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2011 reflect the repurchase of $692 million of our common stock, as compared to the repurchase of $959 million for the year ended December 31, 2010.

Other Liquidity and Capital Resources

        Our primary sources of liquidity are cash and cash equivalents and investments and cash flows provided by operating activities. With our cash and cash equivalents and investments of $4.4 billion and expected cash flows provided by operating activities, we believe that we have sufficient liquidity to meet daily operations for the foreseeable future. We also believe that we have sufficient working capital ($3.6 billion at December 31, 2012) to finance our operational requirements for at least the next twelve months, including purchases of inventory and equipment, the development, production, marketing and sale of new products, the provision of customer service for our subscribers, the acquisition of intellectual property rights for future products from third parties, and to fund our stock repurchase program and dividends.

        As of December 31, 2012, the amount of cash and cash equivalents held outside of the U.S. by our foreign subsidiaries was $2.6 billion, compared with $1.6 billion as of December 31, 2011. If these funds are needed in the future for our operations in the U.S., we would accrue and pay the required U.S. taxes to repatriate these funds. However, our intent is to permanently reinvest these funds outside of the U.S. and our current plans do not demonstrate a need to repatriate them to fund our U.S. operations.

        We are considering, or may consider during 2013, substantial stock repurchases, dividends, acquisitions, licensing or other non-ordinary course transactions, and significant debt financings relating thereto.

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Capital Expenditures

        We made capital expenditures of $73 million in 2012, as compared to $72 million in 2011. In 2013, we anticipate total capital expenditures of approximately $85 million. Capital expenditures are expected to be primarily for computer hardware and software purchases.

Commitments

        In the normal course of business, we enter into contractual arrangements with third-parties for non-cancelable operating lease agreements for our offices, for the development of products, and for the rights to intellectual property. Under these agreements, we commit to provide specified payments to a lessor, developer or intellectual property holder, as the case may be, based upon contractual arrangements. The payments to third-party developers are generally conditioned upon the achievement by the developers of contractually specified development milestones. Further, these payments to third-party developers and intellectual property holders typically are deemed to be advances and are recoupable against future royalties earned by the developer or intellectual property holder based on the sale of the related game. Additionally, in connection with certain intellectual property rights acquisitions and development agreements, we commit to spend specified amounts for marketing support for the related game(s) which is to be developed or in which the intellectual property will be utilized. Assuming all contractual provisions are met, the total future minimum commitments for these and other contractual arrangements in place at December 31, 2012 are scheduled to be paid as follows (amounts in millions):

 
  Contractual Obligations(1)  
 
  Facility and
equipment leases
  Developer
and IP
  Marketing   Total  

For the year ending December 31,

                         

2013

    33     119     58     210  

2014

    31     5     51     87  

2015

    22     1         23  

2016

    18         6     24  

2017

    17         6     23  

Thereafter

    52     3         55  
                   

Total

    173     128     121     422  
                   

(1)
We have omitted uncertain income tax liabilities from this table due to the inherent uncertainty regarding the timing of potential issue resolution. Specifically, either the underlying positions have not been fully developed enough under audit to quantify at this time or the years relating to the issues for certain jurisdictions are not currently under audit. At December 31, 2012, we had $207 million of unrecognized tax benefits, of which $197 million was included in "Other Liabilities" and $10 million was included in "Accrued Expenses and Other Liabilities" in the consolidated balance sheets.

Off-balance Sheet Arrangements

        At December 31, 2012 and 2011, Activision Blizzard had no significant relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial parties, often referred to as "structured finance" or "special purpose" entities, which would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes, that have or are reasonably likely to have a material future effect on our financial condition, changes in financial condition, revenues or expenses, results of operation, liquidity, capital expenditures, or capital resources.

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Financial Disclosure

        We maintain internal control over financial reporting, which generally includes those controls relating to the preparation of our financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("U.S. GAAP"). We also are focused on our "disclosure controls and procedures," which as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), are generally those controls and procedures designed to ensure that financial and non-financial information required to be disclosed in our reports filed with the SEC is reported within the time periods specified in the SEC's rules and forms, and that such information is communicated to management, including our principal executive and financial officers, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

        Our Disclosure Committee, which operates under the Board-approved Disclosure Committee Charter and Disclosure Controls & Procedures Policy, includes senior management representatives and assists executive management in its oversight of the accuracy and timeliness of our disclosures, as well as in implementing and evaluating our overall disclosure process. As part of our disclosure process, senior finance and operational representatives from all of our corporate divisions and business units prepare quarterly reports regarding their current quarter operational performance, future trends, subsequent events, internal controls, changes in internal controls and other accounting and disclosure relevant information. These quarterly reports are reviewed by certain key corporate finance executives. These corporate finance representatives also conduct quarterly interviews on a rotating basis with the preparers of selected quarterly reports. The results of the quarterly reports and related interviews are reviewed by the Disclosure Committee. Finance representatives also conduct reviews with our senior management team, our legal counsel and other appropriate personnel involved in the disclosure process, as appropriate. Additionally, senior finance and operational representatives provide internal certifications regarding the accuracy of information they provide that is utilized in the preparation of our periodic public reports filed with the SEC. Financial results and other financial information also are reviewed with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. As required by applicable regulatory requirements, the principal executive and financial officers review and make various certifications regarding the accuracy of our periodic public reports filed with the SEC, our disclosure controls and procedures, and our internal control over financial reporting. With the assistance of the Disclosure Committee, we will continue to assess and monitor, and make refinements to, our disclosure controls and procedures, and our internal control over financial reporting.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

        The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates and assumptions. The impact and any associated risks related to these policies on our business operations are discussed throughout Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations where such policies affect our reported and expected financial results. The estimates and assumptions discussed below are considered by management to be critical because they are both important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and because their application places the most significant demands on management's judgment, with financial reporting results relying on estimates and assumptions about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. Specific risks for these critical accounting estimates and assumptions are described in the following paragraphs.

Revenue Recognition including Revenue Arrangements with Multiple Deliverables

        On January 1, 2011, we adopted amendments to an accounting standard related to revenue recognition for arrangements with multiple deliverables (which standard, as amended, is referred to

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herein as the "new accounting principles"). The new accounting principles establish a selling price hierarchy for determining the selling price of a deliverable and require the application of the relative selling price method to allocate the consideration received for an arrangement to each deliverable in a multiple deliverables revenue arrangement. Certain of our revenue arrangements have multiple deliverables and, as such, are accounted for under the new accounting principles. These revenue arrangements include product sales consisting of both software and hardware deliverables (such as peripherals or other ancillary collectors' items sold together with physical "boxed" software) and our sales of World of Warcraft boxed products, expansion packs and value-added services, each of which is considered with the related subscription services for these purposes. Our assessment of deliverables and units of accounting does not change under the new accounting principles.

        Pursuant to the guidance of ASU 2009-13, when a revenue arrangement contains multiple elements, such as hardware and software products, licenses and/or services, we allocate revenue to each element based on a selling price hierarchy. The selling price for a deliverable is based on its vendor-specific-objective-evidence ("VSOE") if it is available, third-party evidence ("TPE") if VSOE is not available, or best estimated selling price ("BESP") if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. In multiple element arrangements where more-than-incidental software deliverables are included, revenue is allocated to each separate unit of accounting for each of the non-software deliverables and to the software deliverables as a group using the relative selling prices of each of the deliverables in the arrangement based on the aforementioned selling price hierarchy. If the arrangement contains more than one software deliverable, the arrangement consideration allocated to the software deliverables as a group is then allocated to each software deliverable using the guidance for recognizing software revenue.

        As noted above, when neither VSOE nor TPE is available for a deliverable, we use BESP. We do not have significant revenue arrangements that require BESP for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011. The inputs we use to determine the selling price of our significant deliverables include the actual price charged by the Company for a deliverable that the Company sells separately, which represents the VSOE, and the wholesale prices of the same or similar products, which represents TPE. The pattern and timing of revenue recognition for deliverables and allocation of the arrangement consideration did not change upon the adoption of the new accounting principles. Also, the adoption of the new accounting standard has not had a material impact on our financial statements.

        Overall, we recognize revenue from the sale of our products upon the transfer of title and risk of loss to our customers and once any performance obligations have been completed. Certain products are sold to customers with a "street date" ( i.e.,  the earliest date these products may be sold by retailers). For these products we recognize revenue on the later of the street date or the date the product is sold to our customer. Revenue from product sales is recognized after deducting the estimated allowance for returns and price protection.

        For our software products with online functionality, we evaluate whether those features or functionality are more than an inconsequential separate deliverable in addition to the software product. This evaluation is performed for each software product and any online transaction, such as a digital download of a title with product add-ons, when it is released.

        When we determine that a software title contains online functionality that constitutes a more-than-inconsequential separate service deliverable in addition to the product, which, when we do, is principally because of its importance to gameplay, we consider our performance obligations for this title to extend beyond the sale of the game. VSOE of fair value does not exist for the online functionality of some products, as we do not separately charge for this component of every title. As a result, we recognize all of the software-related revenue from the sale of any such title ratably over the estimated service period of such title. In addition, we initially defer the costs of sales for the title (excluding intangible asset amortization), and recognize the costs of sales as the related revenues are

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recognized. Cost of sales includes manufacturing costs, software royalties and amortization, and intellectual property licenses.

        Determining whether the online functionality for a particular game constitutes more than an inconsequential deliverable, as well as the estimated service periods and product life over which to recognize the revenue and related costs of sales, is subjective and require management's judgment.

        We recognize revenues from World of Warcraft boxed product, expansion packs and value-added services, in each case with the related subscription service revenue, ratably over the estimated service period beginning upon activation of the software and delivery of the related services. Revenues attributed to the sale of World of Warcraft boxed software and related expansion packs are classified as "Product sales," whereas revenues attributable to subscriptions and other value-added services are classified as "Subscription, licensing, and other revenues."

        Revenue for software products with more than inconsequential separate service deliverables and World of Warcraft products are recognized over the estimated service periods, which range from a minimum of five months to a maximum of less than a year.

        For our software products with features we consider to be incidental to the overall product offering and an inconsequential deliverable, such as products which provide limited online features at no additional cost to the consumer, we recognize the related revenue from them upon the transfer of title and risk of loss of the product to our customer.

Allowances for Returns, Price Protection, Doubtful Accounts and Inventory Obsolescence

        We closely monitor and analyze the historical performance of our various titles, the performance of products released by other publishers, market conditions, and the anticipated timing of other releases to assess future demand of current and upcoming titles. Initial volumes shipped upon title launch and subsequent reorders are evaluated with the goal of ensuring that quantities are sufficient to meet the demand from the retail markets, but at the same time are controlled to prevent excess inventory in the channel. We benchmark units to be shipped to our customers using historical and industry data.

        We may permit product returns from, or grant price protection to, our customers under certain conditions. In general, price protection refers to the circumstances in which we elect to decrease, on a short or longer term basis, the wholesale price of a product by a certain amount and, when granted and applicable, allow customers a credit against amounts owed by such customers to us with respect to open and/or future invoices. The conditions our customers must meet to be granted the right to return products or price protection include, among other things, compliance with applicable trading and payment terms, and consistent return of inventory and delivery of sell-through reports to us. We may also consider other factors, including the facilitation of slow-moving inventory and other market factors.

        Significant management judgments and estimates must be made and used in connection with establishing the allowance for returns and price protection in any accounting period based on estimates of potential future product returns and price protection related to current period product revenue. We estimate the amount of future returns and price protection for current period product revenue utilizing historical experience and information regarding inventory levels and the demand and acceptance of our products by the end consumer. The following factors are used to estimate the amount of future returns and price protection for a particular title: historical performance of titles in similar genres; historical performance of the hardware platform; historical performance of the franchise; console hardware life cycle; sales force and retail customer feedback; industry pricing; future pricing assumptions; weeks of on-hand retail channel inventory; absolute quantity of on-hand retail channel inventory; our warehouse on-hand inventory levels; the title's recent sell-through history (if available); marketing trade programs;

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and performance of competing titles. The relative importance of these factors varies among titles depending upon, among other items, genre, platform, seasonality, and sales strategy.

        Based upon historical experience, we believe that our estimates are reasonable. However, actual returns and price protection could vary materially from our allowance estimates due to a number of reasons including, among others, a lack of consumer acceptance of a title, the release in the same period of a similarly themed title by a competitor, or technological obsolescence due to the emergence of new hardware platforms. Material differences may result in the amount and timing of our revenue for any period if factors or market conditions change or if management makes different judgments or utilizes different estimates in determining the allowances for returns and price protection. For example, a 1% change in our December 31, 2012 allowance for sales returns, price protection and other allowances would have impacted net revenues by approximately $3 million.

        Similarly, management must make estimates as to the collectability of our accounts receivable. In estimating the allowance for doubtful accounts, we analyze the age of current outstanding account balances, historical bad debts, customer concentrations, customer creditworthiness, current economic trends, and changes in our customers' payment terms and their economic condition, as well as whether we can obtain sufficient credit insurance. Any significant changes in any of these criteria would affect management's estimates in establishing our allowance for doubtful accounts.

        We regularly review inventory quantities on-hand and in the retail channels. We write down inventory based on excess or obsolete inventories determined primarily by future anticipated demand for our products. Inventory write-downs are measured as the difference between the cost of the inventory and net realizable value, based upon assumptions about future demand, which are inherently difficult to assess and dependent on market conditions. At the point of loss recognition, a new, lower cost basis for that inventory is established, and subsequent changes in facts and circumstances do not result in the restoration or increase in that newly established basis.

Software Development Costs and Intellectual Property Licenses

        Software development costs include payments made to independent software developers under development agreements, as well as direct costs incurred for internally developed products.

        We account for software development costs in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") guidance for the costs of computer software to be sold, leased, or otherwise marketed ("Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Subtopic 985-20"). Software development costs are capitalized once technological feasibility of a product is established and such costs are determined to be recoverable. Technological feasibility of a product encompasses both technical design documentation and game design documentation, or the completed and tested product design and working model. Significant management judgments and estimates are utilized in the assessment of when technological feasibility is established. For products where proven technology exists, this may occur early in the development cycle. Technological feasibility is evaluated on a product-by-product basis. Prior to a product's release, we expense, as part of "Cost of sales—software royalties and amortization," capitalized costs if and when we believe such amounts are not recoverable. Capitalized costs for those products that are cancelled or expected to be abandoned are charged to "Product development expense" in the period of cancellation. Amounts related to software development which are not capitalized are charged immediately to "Product development expense."

        Commencing upon product release, capitalized software development costs are amortized to "Cost of sales—software royalties and amortization" based on the ratio of current revenues to total projected revenues for the specific product, generally resulting in an amortization period of six months or less.

        Intellectual property license costs represent license fees paid to intellectual property rights holders for use of their trademarks, copyrights, software, technology, music or other intellectual property or

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proprietary rights in the development of our products. Depending upon the agreement with the rights holder, we may obtain the right to use the intellectual property in multiple products over a number of years, or alternatively, for a single product. Prior to the related product's release, we expense, as part of "Cost of sales—intellectual property licenses," capitalized intellectual property costs when we believe such amounts are not recoverable. Capitalized intellectual property costs for those products that are cancelled or expected to be abandoned are charged to "Product development expense" in the period of cancellation.

        Commencing upon the related product's release, capitalized intellectual property license costs are amortized to "Cost of sales—intellectual property licenses" based on the ratio of current revenues for the specific product to total projected revenues for all products in which the licensed property will be utilized. As intellectual property license contracts may extend for multiple years, the amortization of capitalized intellectual property license costs relating to such contracts may extend beyond one year.

        We evaluate the future recoverability of capitalized software development costs and intellectual property licenses on a quarterly basis. For products that have been released in prior periods, the primary evaluation criterion is actual title performance. For products that are scheduled to be released in future periods, recoverability is evaluated based on the expected performance of the specific products to which the costs relate or in which the licensed trademark or copyright is to be used. Criteria used to evaluate expected product performance include: historical performance of comparable products developed with comparable technology; market performance of comparable titles; orders for the product prior to its release; general market conditions; and, for any sequel product, estimated performance based on the performance of the product on which the sequel is based. Further, as many of our capitalized intellectual property licenses extend for multiple products over multiple years, we also assess the recoverability of capitalized intellectual property license costs based on certain qualitative factors, such as the success of other products and/or entertainment vehicles utilizing the intellectual property, whether there are any future planned theatrical releases or television series based on the intellectual property, and the rights holder's continued promotion and exploitation of the intellectual property.

        Significant management judgments and estimates are utilized in assessing the recoverability of capitalized costs. In evaluating the recoverability of capitalized costs, the assessment of expected product performance utilizes forecasted sales amounts and estimates of additional costs to be incurred. If revised forecasted or actual product sales are less than the originally forecasted amounts utilized in the initial recoverability analysis, the net realizable value may be lower than originally estimated in any given quarter, which could result in an impairment charge. Material differences may result in the amount and timing of expense for any period if management makes different judgments or utilizes different estimates in evaluating these qualitative factors.

Income Taxes

        We record a tax provision for the anticipated tax consequences of the reported results of operations. In accordance with FASB income tax guidance ("ASC Topic 740"), the provision for income taxes is computed using the asset and liability method, under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and operating losses and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities due to a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. We evaluate deferred tax assets each period for recoverability. For those assets that do not meet the threshold of "more likely than not" that they will be realized in the future, a valuation allowance is recorded.

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        Management believes it is more likely than not that forecasted income, including income that may be generated as a result of certain tax planning strategies, together with the tax effects of the deferred tax liabilities, will be sufficient to fully recover the remaining deferred tax assets. In the event that all or part of the net deferred tax assets are determined not to be realizable in the future, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would be charged to tax expenses in the period such determination is made. The calculation of tax liabilities involves significant judgment in estimating the impact of uncertainties in the application of ASC Topic 740 and other complex tax laws. Resolution of these uncertainties in a manner inconsistent with management's expectations could have a material impact on our business and results of operations in an interim period in which the uncertainties are ultimately resolved.

        Significant judgment is required in evaluating our uncertain tax positions and determining our provision for income taxes. Although we believe our reserves are reasonable, no assurance can be given that the final tax outcome of these matters will not be different from that which is reflected in our historical income tax provisions and accruals. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the closing of a tax audit or the refinement of an estimate. To the extent that the final tax outcome of these matters is different than the amounts recorded, such differences will impact the provision for income taxes in the period in which such determination is made. The provision for income taxes includes the impact of reserve provisions and changes to reserves that are considered appropriate, as well as the related net interest and penalties.

        Our provision for income taxes is subject to volatility and could be adversely impacted by earnings being lower than anticipated in foreign regions where taxes are levied at relatively lower statutory rates and/or higher than anticipated in the United States where taxes are levied at relatively higher statutory rates; by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities; by expiration of or lapses in the R&D tax credit laws; by tax effects of nondeductible compensation; by tax costs related to intercompany realignments; by differences between amounts included in our tax filings and the estimate of such amounts included in our tax expenses; by changes in accounting principles; or by changes in tax laws and regulations including possible U.S. changes to the taxation of earnings of our foreign subsidiaries, the deductibility of expenses attributable to foreign income, or the foreign tax credit rules. Significant judgment is required to determine the recognition and measurement attributes prescribed in the accounting guidance for uncertainty in income taxes. The accounting guidance for uncertainty in income taxes applies to all income tax positions, including the potential recovery of previously paid taxes, which if settled unfavorably could adversely impact our provision for income taxes or additional paid-in capital. In addition, we are subject to the continuous examination of our income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and other tax authorities. We regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. There can be no assurance that the outcomes from these continuous examinations will not have an adverse impact on our operating results and financial condition.

Fair Value Estimates

        The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP often requires us to determine the fair value of a particular item to fairly present our Consolidated Financial Statements. Without an independent market or another representative transaction, determining the fair value of a particular item requires us to make several assumptions that are inherently difficult to predict and can have a material impact on the conclusion of the appropriate accounting.

        There are various valuation techniques used to estimate fair value. These include (1) the market approach where market transactions for identical or comparable assets or liabilities are used to determine the fair value, (2) the income approach, which uses valuation techniques to convert future amounts (for example, future cash flows or future earnings) to a single present amount, and (3) the cost approach, which is based on the amount that would be required to replace an asset. For many of our fair value estimates, including our estimates of the fair value of acquired intangible assets, we use

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the income approach. Using the income approach requires the use of financial models, which require us to make various estimates including, but not limited to (1) the potential future cash flows for the asset, liability or equity instrument being measured, (2) the timing of receipt or payment of those future cash flows, (3) the time value of money associated with the delayed receipt or payment of such cash flows, and (4) the inherent risk associated with the cash flows (that is, the risk premium). Determining these cash flow estimates is inherently difficult and subjective, and, if any of the estimates used to determine the fair value using the income approach turns out to be inaccurate, our financial results may be negatively impacted. Furthermore, relatively small changes in many of these estimates can have a significant impact on the estimated fair value resulting from the financial models or the related accounting conclusion reached. For example, a relatively small change in the estimated fair value of an asset may change a conclusion as to whether an asset is impaired. While we are required to make certain fair value assessments associated with the accounting for several types of transactions, the following areas are the most sensitive to the assessments:

        Business Combinations.     We must estimate the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. Our assessment of the estimated fair value of each of these can have a material effect on our reported results as intangible assets are amortized over various lives. Furthermore, a change in the estimated fair value of an asset or liability often has a direct impact on the amount to recognize as goodwill, which is an asset that is not amortized. Often determining the fair value of these assets and liabilities assumed requires an assessment of expected use of the asset, the expected cost to extinguish the liability or our expectations related to the timing and the successful completion of development of an acquired in-process technology. Such estimates are inherently difficult and subjective and can have a material impact on our financial statements.

        Assessment of Impairment of Assets.     Management evaluates the recoverability of our identifiable intangible assets and other long-lived assets in accordance with FASB literature related to accounting for the impairment or disposal of long-lived assets within ASC Subtopic 360-10, which generally requires the assessment of these assets for recoverability when events or circumstances indicate a potential impairment exists. We considered certain events and circumstances in determining whether the carrying value of identifiable intangible assets and other long-lived assets, other than indefinite-lived intangible assets, may not be recoverable including, but not limited to: significant changes in performance relative to expected operating results; significant changes in the use of the assets; significant negative industry or economic trends; a significant decline in our stock price for a sustained period of time; and changes in our business strategy. In determining whether an impairment exists, we estimate the undiscounted cash flows to be generated from the use and ultimate disposition of these assets. If an impairment is indicated based on a comparison of the assets' carrying values and the undiscounted cash flows, the impairment loss is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the fair value of the assets.

        During 2010, we recorded an impairment charge of $326 million to our definite-lived intangible assets. See Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding the determination of the impairment charges recorded for the year ended December 31, 2010. We did not record an impairment charge to our definite-lived intangible assets as of December 31, 2012 and 2011.

        FASB literature related to the accounting for goodwill and other intangibles within ASC Topic 350 provides companies an option to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value before performing a two-step approach to testing goodwill for impairment for each reporting unit. Our reporting units are determined by the components of our operating segments that constitute a business for which both (1) discrete financial information is available and (2) segment management regularly reviews the operating results of that component. ASC Topic 350 requires that the impairment test be performed at least annually by applying a fair-value-based test. The qualitative assessment is optional. The first step

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measures for impairment by applying fair-value-based tests at the reporting unit level. The second step (if necessary) measures the amount of impairment by applying fair-value-based tests to the individual assets and liabilities within each reporting unit.

        To determine the fair values of the reporting units used in the first step, we use a discounted cash flow approach. Each step requires us to make judgments and involves the use of significant estimates and assumptions. These estimates and assumptions include long-term growth rates and operating margins used to calculate projected future cash flows, risk-adjusted discount rates based on our weighted average cost of capital, and future economic and market conditions. These estimates and assumptions have to be made for each reporting unit evaluated for impairment. Our estimates for market growth, our market share and costs are based on historical data, various internal estimates and certain external sources, and are based on assumptions that are consistent with the plans and estimates we are using to manage the underlying business. If future forecasts are revised, they may indicate or require future impairment charges. We base our fair value estimates on assumptions we believe to be reasonable but that are unpredictable and inherently uncertain. Actual future results may differ from those estimates.

        Fair value of our reporting units is determined using an income approach based on discounted cash flow models. In determining the fair value of our reporting units, we assumed a discount rate of approximately 10.5%. The estimated fair value of the Activision Publishing reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by approximately $3 billion or at least 25% as of December 31, 2012. The estimated fair value of the Blizzard reporting unit substantially exceeded its carrying value as of December 31, 2012. However, changes in our assumptions underlying our estimates of fair value, which will be a function of our future financial performance, and changes in economic conditions could result in future impairment charges.

        We test acquired trade names for possible impairment by using a discounted cash flow model to estimate fair value. We have determined that no impairment has occurred at December 31, 2012 and 2011 based upon a set of assumptions regarding discounted future cash flows, which represent our best estimate of future performance at this time. In determining the fair value of our trade names, we assumed a discount rate of 10.5%, and royalty saving rates of approximately 1.5%. A one percentage point increase in the discount rate would not yield an impairment charge to our trade names. Changes in our assumptions underlying our estimates of fair value, which will be a function of our future financial performance and changes in economic conditions, could result in future impairment charges.

Stock-Based Compensation

        Stock-based compensation expense is recognized during the requisite service periods (that is, the period for which the employee is being compensated) and is based on the value of stock-based payment awards after a reduction for estimated forfeitures. Forfeitures are estimated at the time of grant and are revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates.

        We estimate the value of stock-based payment awards on the measurement date using a binomial-lattice model. Our determination of fair value of stock-based payment awards on the date of grant using an option-pricing model is affected by our stock price as well as assumptions regarding a number of highly complex and subjective variables. These variables include, but are not limited to, our expected stock price volatility over the term of the awards, and actual and projected employee stock option exercise behaviors.

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        We generally determine the fair value of restricted stock rights (including restricted stock units, restricted stock awards and performance shares) based on the closing market price of the Company's common stock on the date of grant. Certain restricted stock rights granted to our employees and senior management vest based on the achievement of pre-established performance or market goals. We estimate the fair value of performance-based restricted stock rights at the closing market price of the Company's common stock on the date of grant. Each quarter, we update our assessment of the probability that the specified performance criteria will be achieved. We amortize the fair values of performance-based restricted stock rights over the requisite service period adjusted for estimated forfeitures for each separately vesting tranche of the award. We estimate the fair value of market-based restricted stock rights at the date of grant using a Monte Carlo valuation methodology and amortize those fair values over the requisite service period adjusted for estimated forfeitures for each separately vesting tranche of the award. The Monte Carlo methodology that we use to estimate the fair value of market-based restricted stock rights at the date of grant incorporates into the valuation the possibility that the market condition may not be satisfied. Provided that the requisite service is rendered, the total fair value of the market-based restricted stock rights at the date of grant must be recognized as compensation expense even if the market condition is not achieved. However, the number of shares that ultimately vest can vary significantly with the performance of the specified market criteria.

        For a detailed discussion of the application of these and other accounting policies see Note 2 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

Indefinite-lived intangible assets impairment

        In July 2012, the FASB issued an update to the authoritative guidance related to testing indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. This update gives an entity the option to first consider certain qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events and circumstances indicates that it is more likely than not that the fair value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the quantitative impairment test. This update is effective for the indefinite-lived intangible asset impairment test performed for fiscal years beginning after September 15, 2012. Early adoption is permitted. The adoption of this guidance does not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Balance sheet offsetting disclosures

        In December 2011, the FASB issued authoritative guidance on the disclosure of financial instruments and derivative instruments that are either offset or subject to an enforceable master netting arrangement or similar agreement and should be applied retrospectively for all comparative periods presented for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013 and interim periods within those annual periods. The adoption of this guidance does not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Reclassification of accumulated other comprehensive loss

        In February 2013, the FASB issued an accounting standards update requiring new disclosures about reclassifications from accumulated other comprehensive loss to net income. These disclosures may be presented on the face of the statements or in the notes to the consolidated financial statements. The standards update is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2012. The adoption of this guidance does not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

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Item 7A.    QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

        Market risk is the potential loss arising from fluctuations in market rates and prices. Our market risk exposures primarily include fluctuations in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates and market prices.

Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk

        We transact business in many different foreign currencies and may be exposed to financial market risk resulting from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Revenues and related expenses generated from our international operations are generally denominated in their respective local currencies. Primary currencies include euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, South Korean won and Swedish krona. Currency volatility is monitored throughout the year. To mitigate our foreign currency exchange rate exposure resulting from our foreign currency denominated monetary assets, liabilities and earnings, we periodically enter into currency derivative contracts, principally swaps and forward contracts with maturities of twelve months or less. Vivendi is our principal counterparty and the risks of counterparty non-performance associated with these contracts are not considered to be material. We expect to continue to use economic hedge programs in the future to reduce foreign exchange-related volatility if it is determined that such hedging activities are appropriate to reduce risk. All foreign currency economic hedging transactions are backed, in amount and by maturity, by an identified economic underlying item. We do not hold or purchase any foreign currency contracts for trading or speculative purposes. Our foreign exchange forward contracts are not designated as hedging instruments and are accounted for as derivatives whereby the fair value of the contracts are reported as "Other current assets" or "Other current liabilities" in our consolidated balance sheets, and the associated gains and losses from changes in fair value are reported in "Investment and other income (expense), net" and "General and administrative expense" in the consolidated statements of operations.

        The gross notional amount of outstanding foreign exchange swaps was $355 million and $85 million at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Pretax net unrealized losses of less than $1 million and $1 million for the years ended 2012 and 2011, respectively, resulted from the foreign exchange contracts and swaps with Vivendi and were recognized in the consolidated statements of operations. Pretax realized gains of $5 million and less than $1 million were recognized in "General and administrative expenses" at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

        The consolidated statements of operations are translated into U.S. dollars at exchange rates indicative of market rates during each applicable period. To the extent the U.S. dollar strengthens against foreign currencies, the translation of these foreign currency-denominated transactions results in reduced revenues, operating expenses and net income from our international operations. Similarly, our revenues, operating expenses and net income will increase for our international operations if the U.S. dollar weakens against foreign currencies. We recognized a realized gain of $2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 from the settlement of the hedging foreign exchange contracts and there was no outstanding foreign exchange contract hedging translation risk as of December 31, 2012. In the absence of the hedging activities described above, as of December 31, 2012, a hypothetical adverse foreign currency exchange rate movement of 10% would have resulted in potential declines in our net income of approximately $100 million. This sensitivity analysis assumes a parallel adverse shift of all foreign currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar; however, all foreign currency exchange rates do not always move in such manner and actual results may differ materially.

Interest Rate Risk

        Our exposure to market rate risk for changes in interest rates relates primarily to our investment portfolio. Our investment portfolio consists primarily of money market funds that invest in highly rated government backed securities, highly rated commercial paper, and debt instruments with high credit

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quality and relatively short average maturities. Because short-term securities mature relatively quickly and must be reinvested at the then current market rates, interest income on a portfolio consisting of cash, cash equivalents or short-term securities is more subject to market fluctuations than a portfolio of longer term securities. Conversely, the fair value of such a portfolio is less sensitive to market fluctuations than a portfolio of longer term securities. We do not use derivative financial instruments to manage interest rate risk in our investment portfolio. At December 31, 2012, our $4.0 billion of cash and cash equivalents were comprised primarily of money market funds. At December 31, 2012, our $416 million of short-term investments included $387 million of U.S. treasury and government sponsored agency debt securities, $18 million of restricted cash, and $11 million of corporate bonds. We had $8 million in auction rate securities at fair value classified as "Long-term investments" at December 31, 2012. The Company has determined that, based on the composition of our investment portfolio as of December 31, 2012, there was no material interest rate risk exposure to the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows as of that date.

Item 8.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

        Other financial statement schedules are omitted because the information called for is not applicable or is shown either in the Consolidated Financial Statements or the Notes thereto.

Item 9.    CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

        None.

Item 9A.    CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

Definition and Limitations of Disclosure Controls and Procedures.

        Our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act) are designed to reasonably ensure that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed under the Exchange Act is (i) recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC's rules and forms and (ii) accumulated and communicated to management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosures. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance that it will detect or uncover failures within the Company to disclose material information otherwise required to be set forth in our periodic reports. Inherent limitations to any system of disclosure controls and procedures include, but are not limited to, the possibility of human error and the circumvention or overriding of such controls by one or more persons. In addition, we have designed our system of controls based on certain assumptions, which we believe are reasonable, about the likelihood of future events, and our system of controls may therefore not achieve its desired objectives under all possible future events.

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Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures.

        Our management, with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, has evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures at December 31, 2012, the end of the period covered by this report. Based on this evaluation, the principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that, at December 31, 2012, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by the Company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is (i) recorded, processed, summarized, and reported on a timely basis, and (ii) accumulated and communicated to management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosures.

Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.

        Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Our management, with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness, as of December 31, 2012, of our internal control over financial reporting using the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission ("COSO") in Internal Control—Integrated Framework. Based on this evaluation, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2012.

        Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risks that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies and procedures may deteriorate.

        The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report included in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.

        There have not been any changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the most recent fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

Item 9B.    OTHER INFORMATION

        None.

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PART III

Item 10.    DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

        The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the sections of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders entitled "Proposal 1—Election of Directors," "Executive Officers," "Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance," "Corporate Governance Matters—Code of Conduct," "Corporate Governance Matters—Board of Directors and Committees—Board Committees" and "Corporate Governance Matters—Stockholder Recommendation of Directors" to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Item 11.    EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

        The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the sections of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders entitled "Executive Compensation" and "Director Compensation" to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Item 12.    SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS

        The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the sections of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders entitled "Equity Compensation Plan Information" and "Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management" to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Item 13.    CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

        The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the sections of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders entitled "Certain Relationships and Related Transactions" and "Corporate Governance Matters—Board of Directors and Committees" to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Item 14.    PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

        The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the sections of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders entitled "Audit-Related Matters" to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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PART IV

Item 15.    EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULE

(a)   1.   Financial Statements See Item 8.—Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for index to Financial Statements and Financial Statement Schedule on page 74 herein.

 

 

2.

 

Financial Statement Schedule The following financial statement schedule of Activision Blizzard for the calendar years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 is filed as part of this report and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of Activision Blizzard:

Schedule II—Valuation and Qualifying Accounts

 

 

 

 

Other financial statement schedules are omitted because the information called for is not applicable or is shown either in the Consolidated Financial Statements or the Notes thereto.

 

 

3.

 

The exhibits listed on the accompanying index to exhibits immediately following the financial statements are filed as part of, or hereby incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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SIGNATURES

        Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Activision Blizzard, Inc. has duly caused this Amendment No. 1 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K/A to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

Date: February 27, 2013

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC.    

By:

 

/s/ ROBERT A. KOTICK

Robert A. Kotick
Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, Inc.
(Principal Executive Officer)

 

 

        Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

By:   /s/ PHILIPPE G. H. CAPRON

(Philippe G. H. Capron)
  Chairman and Director   February 27, 2013

By:

 


/s/ JEAN-YVES CHARLIER


(Jean-Yves Charlier)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ ROBERT J. CORTI


(Robert J. Corti)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ FRÉDÉRIC R. CRÉPIN


(Frédéric R. Crépin)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ JEAN-FRANCOIS DUBOS


(Jean-François Dubos)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ DENNIS DURKIN


(Dennis Durkin)

 


Chief Financial Officer and Principal Financial Officer


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ LUCIAN GRAINGE


(Lucian Grainge)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013

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By:  

/s/ BRIAN G. KELLY


(Brian G. Kelly)
 

Co-Chairman and Director

 

February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ ROBERT A. KOTICK


(Robert A. Kotick)

 


Director, President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Executive Officer


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ ROBERT J. MORGADO


(Robert J. Morgado)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ RICHARD SARNOFF


(Richard Sarnoff)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ RÉGIS TURRINI


(Régis Turrini)

 


Director


 


February 27, 2013


By:

 


/s/ STEPHEN WEREB


(Stephen Wereb)

 


Chief Accounting Officer and Principal Accounting Officer


 


February 27, 2013

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Directors and Shareholders of Activision Blizzard, Inc.:

        In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and the related consolidated statements of operations, of comprehensive income, of changes in shareholders' equity and of cash flows, present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Activision Blizzard, Inc. and its subsidiaries at December 31, 2012 and 2011, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2012 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. In addition, in our opinion, the financial statement schedule listed in the accompanying index presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein when read in conjunction with the related consolidated financial statements. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company's management is responsible for these financial statements and financial statement schedule, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements, on the financial statement schedule, and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our integrated audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

        A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

        Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Los Angeles, California
February 22, 2013

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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Amounts in millions, except share data)

 
  At December 31,
2012
  At December 31,
2011
 

Assets

             

Current assets:

             

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 3,959   $ 3,165  

Short-term investments

    416     360  

Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $332 and $300 at

             

December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively

    707     649  

Inventories, net

    209     144  

Software development

    164     137  

Intellectual property licenses

    11     22  

Deferred income taxes, net

    487     507  

Other current assets

    321     396  
           

Total current assets

    6,274     5,380  

Long-term investments

   
8
   
16
 

Software development

    129     62  

Intellectual property licenses

    30     12  

Property and equipment, net

    141     163  

Other assets

    11     12  

Intangible assets, net

    68     88  

Trademark and trade names

    433     433  

Goodwill

    7,106     7,111  
           

Total assets

  $ 14,200   $ 13,277  
           

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

             

Current liabilities:

             

Accounts payable

  $ 343   $ 390  

Deferred revenues

    1,657     1,472  

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

    652     694  
           

Total current liabilities

    2,652     2,556  

Deferred income taxes, net

    25     55  

Other liabilities

    206     174  
           

Total liabilities

    2,883     2,785  
           

Commitments and contingencies (Note 17)

             

Shareholders' equity:

             

Common stock, $0.000001 par value, 2,400,000,000 shares authorized, 1,111,606,087 and 1,133,391,371 shares issued at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively

         

Additional paid-in capital

    9,450     9,616  

Retained earnings

    1,893     948  

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

    (26 )   (72 )
           

Total shareholders' equity

    11,317     10,492  
           

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

  $ 14,200   $ 13,277  
           

   

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.

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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Amounts in millions, except per share data)

 
  For the Years Ended December 31,  
 
  2012   2011   2010  

Net revenues

                   

Product sales

  $ 3,620   $ 3,257   $ 3,087  

Subscription, licensing, and other revenues

    1,236     1,498     1,360  
               

Total net revenues

    4,856     4,755     4,447  

Costs and expenses

                   

Cost of sales—product costs

    1,116     1,134     1,350  

Cost of sales—online subscriptions

    263     255     250  

Cost of sales—software royalties and amortization

    194     218     338  

Cost of sales—intellectual property licenses

    89     165     197  

Product development

    604     629     626  

Sales and marketing

    578     545     516  

General and administrative

    561     456     375  

Impairment of intangible assets

            326  

Restructuring

        25      
               

Total costs and expenses

    3,405     3,427     3,978  
               

Operating income

   
1,451
   
1,328
   
469
 

Investment and other income (expense), net

   
7
   
3
   
23
 
               

Income before income tax expense

   
1,458
   
1,331
   
492
 

Income tax expense

   
309
   
246
   
74
 
               

Net income

 
$

1,149
 
$

1,085
 
$

418
 
               

Earnings per common share

                   

Basic

  $ 1.01   $ 0.93   $ 0.34  
               

Diluted

  $ 1.01   $ 0.92   $ 0.33  
               

Weighted-average number of shares outstanding

                   

Basic

    1,112     1,148     1,222  

Diluted

    1,118     1,156     1,236  

Dividends per common share

 
$

0.18
 
$

0.165
 
$

0.15
 
               

   

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.

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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(Amounts in millions)

 
  For the Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
  2012   2011   2010  

Net income

  $ 1,149   $ 1,085   $ 418  

Other comprehensive income (loss):

                   

Foreign currency translation adjustment

    46     (61 )   11  

Unrealized gains on investments, net of deferred income taxes of $0 million, $1 million, and $1 million for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively

        2      
               

Other comprehensive income (loss)

  $ 46   $ (59 ) $ 11  
               

Comprehensive income

  $ 1,195   $ 1,026   $ 429  
               

   

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.

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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

For the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010

(Amounts and shares in millions)

 
  Common Stock    
  Treasury Stock   Retained
Earnings
(Accumulated
Deficit)
  Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Income (Loss)
   
 
 
  Additional
Paid-In
Capital
  Total
Shareholders'
Equity
 
 
  Shares   Amount   Shares   Amount  

Balance at December 31, 2009

    1,364   $   $ 12,376     (114 ) $ (1,235 ) $ (361 ) $ (24 ) $ 10,756  

Components of comprehensive income:

                                                 

Net income

                        418         418  

Other comprehensive income

                            11     11  

Issuance of common stock pursuant to employee stock options

    16         81                     81  

Issuance of common stock pursuant to restricted stock rights

    3                              

Restricted stocks surrendered for employees' tax liability

    (1 )       (8 )                   (8 )

Stock-based compensation expense related to employee stock options and restricted stock rights

            100                     100  

Return of capital to Vivendi related to taxes (see Note 15)

            (7 )                   (7 )

Dividends ($0.15 per common share)

            (189 )                   (189 )

Shares repurchased (see Note 19)

                (85 )   (959 )           (959 )
                                   

Balance at December 31, 2010

    1,382   $   $ 12,353     (199 ) $ (2,194 ) $ 57   $ (13 ) $ 10,203  

Components of comprehensive income:

                                                 

Net income

                        1,085         1,085  

Other comprehensive income

                            (59 )   (59 )

Issuance of common stock pursuant to employee stock options

    9         69                     69  

Issuance of common stock pursuant to restricted stock rights

    3                              

Restricted stock surrendered for employees' tax liability

    (1 )       (15 )                   (15 )

Stock-based compensation expense related to employee stock options and restricted stock rights

            95                     95  

Dividends ($0.165 per common share)

                        (194 )       (194 )

Shares repurchased (see Note 19)

                (61 )   (692 )           (692 )

Retirement of treasury shares

    (260 )       (2,886 )   260     2,886              
                                   

Balance at December 31, 2011

    1,133   $   $ 9,616       $   $ 948   $ (72 ) $ 10,492  

Components of comprehensive income:

                              </