Activision Blizzard, Inc.
ACTIVISION INC /NY (Form: 10-K, Received: 06/09/2005 15:39:26)

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

(Mark one)

ý

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

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005

 

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 0-12699

 

ACTIVISION, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

95-4803544

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

 

3100 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA

 

90405

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

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

 

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

 

None

 

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

 

Preferred Stock Purchase Rights
Common Stock, par value $.000001 per share

(Title of Class)

 

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 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.   o

 

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

 

The aggregate market value of the Common Stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant on September 30, 2004 was $1,866,783,013.

 

The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of May 31, 2005 was 201,767,960.

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K, with respect to the 2005 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report.

 

 



 

INDEX

 

PART I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

 

 

 

 

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

 

 

 

 

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

 

 

 

 

Item 4.

 

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

 

 

 

 

PART II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters

 

 

 

 

 

Item 6.

 

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

 

 

 

 

Item 8.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

 

 

 

 

PART III.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

 

 

 

 

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

 

 

 

 

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management

 

 

 

 

 

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

 

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PART I

 

Item 1.            BUSINESS

 

(a)                                   General

 

Activision, Inc. (“Activision” or “we”) is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products.  We have built a company with a diverse portfolio of products that spans a wide range of categories and target markets and that is used on a variety of game hardware platforms and operating systems.  We have created, licensed and acquired a group of highly recognizable brands, which we market to a variety of consumer demographics.  Our fiscal 2005 product portfolio included such best-selling products as Spider-Man 2:  The Movie (“Spider-Man 2”), Shrek 2, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 (“THUG 2”), Call of Duty:  Finest Hour, Shark Tale, DOOM 3 and X-Men Legends .

 

Our products cover diverse game categories including action/adventure, action sports, racing, role-playing, simulation, first-person action and strategy.  Our target customer base ranges from casual players to game enthusiasts, children to adults and mass-market consumers to “value” buyers.  We currently offer our products primarily in versions that operate on the Sony PlayStation 2 (“PS2”), Nintendo GameCube (“GameCube”) and Microsoft Xbox (“Xbox”) console systems, Nintendo Game Boy Advance (“GBA”), Sony PlayStation Portable (“PSP”) and Nintendo Dual Screen (“NDS”) hand-held devices and the personal computer (“PC”).  The installed base for this current generation of hardware platforms is significant and growing and the fiscal 2005 release of two new handheld devices, NDS, which was released worldwide, and PSP, which was released in North America, will also help expand the software market.  We successfully executed our strategy of having a high-quality product presence at the launch of the NDS and PSP and are currently developing additional titles for the PSP and the NDS while continuing to develop games for the GBA.

 

We also intend to develop titles for the next-generation console systems which are being developed by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.  Microsoft recently unveiled its next-generation console, the Xbox 360, which is expected to be released in November 2005.  We are currently developing four titles for release on the Xbox 360, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Call of Duty 2, Quake IV and GUN.  Sony and Nintendo also recently unveiled their next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, respectively, and both are expected to be released in calendar 2006.  Our publishing business involves the development, marketing, and sale of products directly, by license or through our affiliate label program with certain third-party publishers.  Our distribution business consists of operations in Europe that provide logistical and sales services to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.

 

We were originally incorporated in California in 1979.  In December 1992, we reincorporated in Delaware.  In June 2000, we reorganized into the current holding company organizational structure.

 

In April 2003, the Board of Directors approved a three-for-two split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 50% stock dividend.  The split was paid on June 6, 2003 to shareholders of record as of May 16, 2003.  In February 2004, the Board of Directors approved a three-for-two split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 50% stock dividend.  The split was paid on March 15, 2004 to shareholders of record as of February 23, 2004.  In February 2005, the Board of Directors approved a four-for-three split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 33-1/3% stock dividend.  The split was paid March 22, 2005 to shareholders of record as of March 7, 2005.  The par value of our common stock was maintained at the pre-split amount of $.000001.   All share and per share data have been restated as if the stock splits had occurred as of the earliest period presented.

 

(b)                                       Business Combinations

 

We have completed a number of acquisitions of both software development companies and interactive entertainment product distribution companies.    During fiscal 2005, we continued to enhance our internal product development capabilities with the acquisition of a game developer, Vicarious Visions, Inc.  See the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding the accounting treatment of this and prior acquisitions.   During the first quarter of fiscal 2006, we acquired two additional game developers, Toys for Bob, Inc. and Beenox, Inc.

 

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(c)                                   Financial Information About Industry Segments

 

We have two reportable segments: publishing and distribution.  Publishing relates to the development (both internally and externally), marketing and sale of DVD, CD, UMD and cartridge-based interactive entertainment software products owned or controlled by us directly, by license or through our affiliate label program with certain third-party publishers.  Distribution primarily refers to logistical and sales services provided by our European distribution subsidiaries to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.  See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for certain financial information regarding reporting segment and geographic areas required by Item 1.

 

(d)                                  Narrative Description of Business

 

Our objective is to be a worldwide leader in the development, publishing and distribution of quality interactive entertainment software products that deliver a highly satisfying consumer entertainment experience.  Our business strategy, the key components of our business operations and the risk factors that could impact our business are detailed below.

 

Strategy

 

Create, Acquire and Maintain Strong Brands.   We focus development and publishing activities principally on products that are, or have the potential to become, franchise properties with sustainable consumer appeal and brand recognition.  It is our experience that these products can then serve as the basis for sequels, prequels and related new products that can be released over an extended period of time. We believe that the publishing and distribution of products based in large part on franchise properties enhances predictability of revenues and the probability of high unit volume sales and operating profits. We have entered into a series of strategic relationships with the owners of intellectual property pursuant to which we have acquired the rights to publish products based on franchises such as Marvel Comics’ properties, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and Fantastic Four.  Additionally, we have a multi-year, multi-property, publishing agreement with DreamWorks LLC that grants us the exclusive rights to publish video games based on DreamWorks Animation SKG’s theatrical release “Shrek 2,” which was released in the first quarter of fiscal 2005, “Shark Tale,” which was released in the second quarter of fiscal 2005, “Madagascar,” which was released in the first quarter of fiscal 2006, as well as the upcoming computer-animated film “Over the Hedge” and all of their respective sequels, including “Shrek 3.”  We also have a strategic relationship with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk through an exclusive multi-year agreement to develop video games using his name and likeness.  Through fiscal 2005, we have released six successful titles in the Tony Hawk franchise.  We also have created a number of successful internally developed intellectual properties such as the True Crime and Call of Duty franchise properties.  We believe that our fiscal 2006 release, GUN, also has the potential to join this list of franchise properties.

 

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 six important stages of development by a team that includes many of our highest-ranking operating managers and coordination between our sales and marketing personnel 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 record 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 adds to the quality of our products.

 

Create and Maintain Diversity in Product Mix, Platforms and Markets.   We believe that maintaining a diversified mix of products can reduce our operating risks and enhance profitability. Therefore, we develop and publish products spanning a wide range of product categories, including action/adventure, action sports, racing, role-playing, simulation, first-person action and strategy.  We also develop products designed for target audiences ranging

 

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from casual players to game enthusiasts, children to adults and mass-market consumers to “value” buyers.  Presently, we concentrate on developing, publishing and distributing products that operate on PS2, GameCube and Xbox console systems, GBA, PSP, and NDS hand-held devices and the PC.  We intend to develop products for the next-generation console systems: Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution. We typically offer our products for use on multiple platforms in order to reduce the risks associated with any single platform, leverage our costs over a larger installed hardware base and increase unit sales.

 

Continue to Improve Profitability.   We continually strive to manage risk and increase our operating leverage and efficiency with the goal of increased profitability. We believe the key factor affecting our future profitability will be the success rate of our product releases. Therefore, our product selection and development process includes, as a significant component, periodic evaluations of the expected commercial success of products under development. Through this process, for titles that we determine to be less promising, corrections are made in the development process or, if necessary, they are discontinued before we incur additional development costs. In addition, we believe our focus on cross platform releases and branded products will contribute to improved profitability.

 

We continue to focus on increasing our margins. We have, for example, acquired certain experienced and specialized developers in instances where we can enhance profitability through the elimination of royalty obligations.  Additionally, we often rely on independent third-party interactive entertainment software developers to develop some of our software products, thereby taking advantage of specialized independent developers without incurring the fixed overhead obligations associated with increased internally employed staff.

 

Our sales and marketing staff work with our studio resources to increase the visibility of new product launches and to coordinate the timing and promotion of product releases. Our finance and sales and marketing personnel work together to improve inventory management and receivables collections. We have instituted broad, objective-based reward programs that provide incentives to management and staff throughout the organization to produce results that meet our financial objectives.

 

Grow Through Continued Strategic Acquisitions and Alliances.   The interactive entertainment industry has been consolidating, and we believe that success in this industry will be driven in part by the ability to take advantage of scale. Specifically, smaller companies are more capital constrained, enjoy less predictability of revenues and cash flow, lack product diversity and must spread fixed costs over a smaller revenue base. Several industry leaders are emerging that combine the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of the industry with professional management, the ability to access the capital markets and the ability to maintain favorable relationships with developers, intellectual property owners and retailers. Through numerous completed acquisitions since 1997, we believe that we have successfully diversified our operations, our channels of distribution, our development talent pool and our library of titles, and have emerged as one of the industry’s leaders. We intend to continue to evaluate the expansion of our resources through acquisitions, strategic relationships and key license transactions. We intend to continue expanding our intellectual property library through key license transactions and strategic relationships with intellectual property owners and to continue to evaluate opportunities to increase our development capacity through the acquisition of or investment in selected experienced software development firms.

 

Products

 

Historically we have been best known for our action/adventure, strategy and simulation products.  We have also been successful in the superheroes and skateboarding categories with our release of titles based on the Spider-Man and X-Men properties, as well as the Tony Hawk franchise.  We have also been successful in the racing and first person action categories through two original intellectual properties, True Crime and Call of Duty , both of which we plan on continuing as successful long-term franchises.  In addition, we have established ourselves as a leader in the “value” software publishing business with products under our Cabela’s, Rapala’s and Greg Hasting’s Paintball licenses, as well as with products distributed on behalf of our “value” affiliate label partners.   Products published by us in this category are generally developed by third-parties, often under contract with us, and are marketed under the Activision Value Publishing name.  Value software is typically less sophisticated and less complex, both in terms of the development process and consumer gameplay.

 

Hardware Licenses. Our products currently are being developed or published primarily for PS2, Xbox and GameCube console systems; GBA, PSP and NDS hand-held devices; and PCs.  We also intend to develop products for the next-generation console systems: Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution.  In order to maintain general access to the console systems and hand-held devices marketplace, we have maintained licenses for PS2, GameCube and Xbox console systems and GBA, PSP and NDS hand-held devices with the owners of each such

 

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platform.  Each license allows us to create multiple products for the applicable platform, subject to certain approval rights which are reserved by each licensor.  Each license also requires that we pay the licensor a per unit royalty for each unit manufactured.  In contrast, we are not required to obtain any license for the development and production of products for PCs.

 

Intellectual Property Rights.   Many of our current and planned releases are based on intellectual property and other character or story rights licensed from third-parties, as well as a combination of characters, worlds and concepts derived from our extensive library of titles, and original characters and concepts owned and created by us.  When publishing products based on licensed intellectual property rights, we generally seek to capitalize on the name recognition, marketing efforts and goodwill associated with the underlying property. For intellectual property owned by Activision, we generally attempt to establish such properties as sustainable, long-term game franchises.

 

In acquiring intellectual property rights from third-parties, we seek to obtain rights to publish titles across a variety of platforms, to include the ability to produce multiple titles and to retain rights over an extended period of time.  In past years, we have been able to enter into a series of long-term or multi-product agreements with owners of various intellectual properties that are well known throughout the world and to create products based on these recognizable characters, story lines or concepts.  These agreements typically provide us with exclusive publishing rights for a specific period of time and, in some cases, for specified platforms and, in other cases, with renewal rights upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. The scope of our licensing activities includes theatrical motion pictures, television shows, animated films and series, comic books, literary works, sports personalities and events and celebrities. We intend to continue expanding relationships with our existing intellectual property partners and to enter into agreements with other intellectual property owners for additional recognizable properties, characters, story lines and concepts.  However, we may not be able to maintain or expand our existing relationships or to seek out and sustain new long-term relationships of similar caliber in the future.

 

Product Development and Support

 

We develop and produce titles using a model in which a core group of creative, production and technical professionals, in coordination with our marketing and finance 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.  We believe that this model allows us to supplement internal expertise with top quality external resources on an as-needed basis.

 

In addition, we often seek out and engage independent third-party developers to create products on our behalf.  Such products are sometimes owned by us, and usually we have unlimited rights to commercially exploit these products.  In other circumstances, the third-party developer may retain ownership of the intellectual property and/or technology included in the product and reserve certain exploitation rights. We typically select these independent third-party developers based on their expertise in developing products in a specific category and use the same developer to produce the same game for multiple platforms.  Each of our third-party developers is under contract with us for specific or multiple titles.  From time to time, we also acquire 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 such developers provide us with exclusive publishing and/or distribution rights for a specific period of time, often for specified platforms and territories.  In either case, we often have the ability to publish and/or distribute sequels, conversions, enhancements and add-ons to the product initially being produced by the independent developer and frequently have the right to engage the services of the original developer with regard to the development of such products.

 

In consideration for the services that the independent third-party developer provides, it receives a royalty generally based on net sales of the product that it has developed.  Typically, the developer also receives an advance, which we recoup from the royalties otherwise payable to the developer.  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 an independent developer allows us to reduce our fixed development costs, share development risks with the third-party developer, take advantage of the third-party developer’s expertise in connection with certain categories of products or certain platforms, and gain access to proprietary development technologies.

 

From time to time, we may make a capital investment and hold a minority interest in a third-party developer in connection with interactive entertainment software products to be developed by such developer for us, which we

 

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believe helps to create a closer relationship between us and the developer.  We account for those capital investments over which we have the ability to exercise significant influence using the equity method.  For those investments over which we do not have the ability to exercise significant influence, we account for our investment using the cost method.  There can be no assurance that we will realize long-term benefits from such investments or that we will continue to carry such investments at their current value.

 

“Greenlight Process”

 

We have adopted and implemented a rigorous procedure for the selection, development, production and quality assurance of our internally and externally produced interactive entertainment software titles. The process, known internally as the “Greenlight Process,” involves six phases throughout the development and production phases of a title, each of which includes a number of specific performance milestones.  The six phases of the “Greenlight Process” are the concept, assessment, prototype, first playable, alpha and beta.  This procedure is designed to enable us to manage and control production and development budgets and timetables, to identify and address production and technical issues at the earliest opportunity, and to coordinate marketing and quality control strategies throughout the production and development phases, all in an environment that fosters creativity.  Checks and balances are intended to be provided through the structured interaction of the project team with our creative, technical, marketing and quality assurance/customer support personnel, as well as our legal, accounting and finance departments.  In order to maintain the competitiveness of our products and to take advantage of increasingly sophisticated technology associated with hardware platforms, our development process includes a significant amount of time for play-testing new products and extensive product quality evaluations.

 

Product Support

 

We provide various forms of product support to both our internally and externally developed titles.  Our quality assurance personnel are involved throughout the development and production of each title published by us.  We subject 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, we provide online access to our customers on a 24-hour basis as well as telephone operator help lines during regular business hours.  The customer support group tracks customer inquiries, and we use this data to help improve the development and production processes.

 

Publishing Activities

 

Marketing

 

Our marketing efforts include online activities (such as the creation of World Wide Web pages to promote specific titles), 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 on compact discs.  From time to time, we also receive marketing support from hardware manufacturers 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 certain of our franchise properties have loyal and devoted audiences who purchase our sequels as a result of dedication to the property and satisfaction from previous product purchases.  We therefore market these sequels both toward the established market as well as broader audiences.  In addition, in marketing titles based on licensed properties, we believe that we derive benefits from the continued exploitation of these licensed properties and the marketing and promotional activities of the property owners.

 

Sales and Distribution

 

North America.   Our products are available for sale or rental in thousands of retail outlets domestically.  Our North American customers include Best Buy, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Electronics Boutique, GameStop, Target, Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart.  Our largest customer, Wal-Mart, accounted for approximately 23% and 20% of our consolidated net revenues for fiscal 2005 and 2004, respectively.

 

In the United States and Canada, our products are sold primarily on a direct basis to mass-market retailers, consumer electronics stores, discount warehouses and game specialty stores.  We believe that a direct relationship

 

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with retail accounts 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 sell our products to a limited number of distributors.

 

International.   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, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Japan.  Whenever practicable, we 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.

 

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 and Europe. 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. Distributing other publishers’ titles mitigates the risk associated with a particular title or titles published by us failing to achieve expectations. Services provided by us under our affiliate label program include order solicitation, in-store marketing, logistics and order fulfillment, sales channel management, as well as other accounting and general administrative functions. Our current affiliate label partners include LucasArts, as well several affiliate label partners in our “value” business. Each affiliate label relationship is unique and may pertain only to distribution in certain geographic territories such as the United States or Europe and may be further limited only to specific titles or titles for specific platforms.

 

See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for certain financial information regarding reporting segments and geographic areas required by Item 1.

 

Distribution

 

We distribute interactive entertainment hardware and software products in Europe through our European distribution subsidiaries, Centresoft in the United Kingdom, NBG in Germany and CD Contact in the Benelux countries.  These subsidiaries act as wholesalers in the distribution of products and also provide packaging, logistical and sales services, and in some cases, product localization for certain vendors.  They provide services to our publishing operations and to various third-party publishers, including Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.  Centresoft is Sony’s exclusive distributor of PlayStation products to the independent channel in the United Kingdom.  In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, sales for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft accounted for approximately 18%, 4% and 3%, respectively, of our worldwide distribution net revenues.

 

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 into the European market.  Centresoft and our other distribution subsidiaries operate in accordance with strict confidentiality procedures in order to provide independent services to various third-party publishers.

 

Emerging Technologies

 

We are actively supporting emerging platforms (wireless devices, closed and open online networks and interactive television) by publishing and licensing key brands, such as Shrek 2 , Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and Call of Duty for these emerging platforms.  We also develop and optimize many of our titles for consoles that support online play, such as PS2, Xbox Live, and the up-coming next-generation consoles, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Revolution.  We have published and licensed rights to various brands, such as Spider-Man 2: The Movie, Shrek 2, Call of Duty and X-Men Legends, for various hand-held wireless devices, such as Nokia’s N-Gage wireless platform, as well as many traditional wireless handsets.  We believe that more of our brands ca   n be successfully published for wireless and online platforms, as well as exploited through other emerging technologies, as they continue to evolve.

 

Manufacturing

 

We prepare a set of master program copies, documentation and packaging materials for our products for each hardware platform on which the product will be released.  Except with respect to products for use on the Sony,

 

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Nintendo and Microsoft systems, our disk duplication, packaging, printing, manufacturing, warehousing, assembly and shipping are performed by third-party subcontractors.

 

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

 

To date, we have not experienced any material difficulties or delays in the manufacture and assembly of our products or material returns due to product defects.

 

Competition

 

The interactive entertainment software 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 very large corporations with significantly greater financial, marketing and product development resources than we have.  Due to their greater resources, certain of our competitors can 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 desirable motion picture, television, sports and character properties and pay more to third-party software developers than we can.  In addition, competitors with larger 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 software industry include: product features and playability; brand name recognition; compatibility of products with popular platforms; access to distribution channels; quality of products; ease of use; price; marketing support; and quality of customer service.

 

We compete primarily with other publishers of personal computer and video game console interactive entertainment software.  Significant third-party software competitors currently include, among others: Atari, Inc.; Capcom Co. Ltd.; Eidos PLC; Electronic Arts Inc.; Konami Company Ltd.; Namco Ltd.; Sega Enterprises, Ltd.; Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.; THQ Inc.; Ubi Soft Entertainment; and Vivendi Universal Publishing.  In addition, integrated video game console hardware and software companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Microsoft Corporation compete directly with us in the development of software titles for their respective platforms.

 

Employees

 

As of March 31, 2005, we had 1,728 employees, including 984 in product development, 154 in North American publishing, 138 in international publishing, 121 in operations, corporate finance and administration, and 331 in European distribution activities.

 

As of March 31, 2005, 234 of our full-time employees were subject to term employment agreements with us.  These agreements generally commit such employees to employment terms of between one and five years from the commencement of their respective agreements.  Most of the employees subject to such 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 and marketing product managers.  The execution by us of employment agreements with such employees, in our experience, 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.

 

None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement except for the employees of our German distribution subsidiary who are allowed by German law to belong to an organized labor council.  To date, we have not experienced any labor-related work stoppages.

 

Factors Affecting Future Performance

 

In connection with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Litigation Reform Act”), we are hereby disclosing certain cautionary information to be used in connection with written materials (including this Annual Report on Form 10-K) and oral statements made by or on behalf of our employees and representatives that

 

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may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Litigation Reform Act.  Such statements consist of any statement other than a recitation of historical fact and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate” or “continue” or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology.  You are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are necessarily speculative and there are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those referred to in such forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risk and reflect management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict.  The discussion below highlights some of the more important risks identified by management, but should not be assumed to be the only factors that could affect future performance.  You are cautioned that we do not have a policy of updating or revising forward-looking statements, and thus you should not assume that silence by management over time means that actual events are bearing out as estimated in such forward-looking statements.

 

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

 

A significant portion of our revenues is derived from products based on a relatively small number of popular brands each year, and these products are responsible for a disproportionate amount of our profits.  In addition, many of these products have substantial production or acquisition costs and marketing budgets.  In fiscal 2005, 37% of our consolidated net revenues (48% of worldwide publishing net revenues) was derived from three brands, which accounted for 16%, 11% and 10%, respectively, of consolidated net revenues (21%, 14% and 13%, respectively, of worldwide publishing net revenues).  In fiscal 2004, 35% of our consolidated net revenues (49% of worldwide publishing net revenues) was derived from three brands, which accounted for 17%, 14% and 4%, respectively, of consolidated net revenues (24%, 20% and 5%, respectively, of worldwide publishing net revenues).  In fiscal 2003, two brands accounted for 38% of our consolidated net revenues (52% of worldwide publishing net revenues), one of which accounted for 20% and the other of which accounted for 18% of consolidated net revenues (27% and 25%, respectively, of worldwide publishing net revenues).  We expect that a limited number of popular brands will continue to produce a disproportionately large amount of our revenues and profits.  Due to this dependence on a limited number of brands, the failure to achieve anticipated results by one or more products based on these brands may significantly harm our business and financial results.

 

Our future success depends on our ability to release popular products.

 

The life of any one game product is relatively short, in many cases less than one year.  It is therefore important for us to be able to continue to develop many high quality new products that are popularly received.  We focus our development and publishing activities principally on products that are, or have the potential to become, franchise brand properties.  If we are unable to do this, our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

 

If we are unable to maintain or acquire licenses to intellectual property, we may publish fewer “hit” titles and our revenue may decline.

 

Many of our products are based on intellectual property and other character or story rights acquired or 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 to include new products in existing licenses.  The loss of a significant number of our intellectual property licenses or of our relationships with licensors, or inability to obtain additional licenses of significant commercial value could have a material adverse effect on our ability to develop new products and therefore on our business and financial results.  Additionally, the failure of intellectual property acquired by us to be popularly received could impact the market acceptance of our 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 cause material harm to our business and financial results.  Furthermore, the competition for these licenses and distribution agreements is often intense.  Competition for these licenses may also drive up the advances, guarantees and royalties that we must pay to the licensor, which could increase our costs.

 

Transitions in console platforms could have a material impact on the market for interactive entertainment software.

 

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 our game console entertainment software products may be expected to slow or even decline until new platforms are introduced and achieve wide consumer acceptance.  In fiscal 2005, Nintendo released its latest portable game system, the NDS, and Sony released the PSP in North America.  We began selling games for each of these hand-held platforms concurrently with their respective launches and are

 

10



 

currently developing additional titles for the PSP and NDS.  The introduction of the PSP and NDS may have a negative effect on the sale of our GBA titles.  We also intend to develop titles for the next-generation console systems being developed by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.   Microsoft recently unveiled their next-generation console, the Xbox 360, which is expected to be released in November 2005.  Sony and Nintendo also recently unveiled their next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, respectively, and both are expected to be released in calendar 2006.  Delays in the launch, shortages, technical problems or lack of consumer acceptance of the next-generation platforms could adversely affect our sales of products for these platforms.  In addition, as console hardware moves through its life cycle, hardware manufacturers typically enact price reductions, and decreasing prices may put downward pressure on our software prices.

 

We must make significant expenditures to develop products for new platforms which may not be successful or released when anticipated.

 

The interactive entertainment software industry is subject to rapid technological change.  New technologies could render our current products or products in development obsolete or unmarketable.  We must continually anticipate and assess the emergence and market acceptance of new interactive entertainment hardware platforms well in advance of the time the platform is introduced to consumers.  New platforms have historically required the development of new software and also have the effect of undermining demand for products based on older technologies.  Because product development cycles are difficult to predict, we must make substantial product development and other investments in a particular platform well in advance of introduction of the platform and we may be required to realign our product portfolio and development efforts in response to market changes.  If the platforms for which we develop new software products or modify existing products are not released on a timely basis, do not attain significant market penetration, if we develop products for a delayed or unsuccessful platform or if we cancel development of products in response to market changes, we may not be able to recover in revenues our development costs, which could be significant, and our business and financial results could be significantly harmed.

 

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

 

The interactive entertainment software industry is highly seasonal, with the highest levels of consumer demand occurring during the year end holiday buying season.  As a result, our net revenues, gross profits and operating income have historically been highest during the second half of the calendar year.  Additionally, in a platform transition period, sales of game console software products can be significantly affected by the timeliness of introduction of game console platforms by the manufacturers of those platforms, such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.  The timing of hardware platform introduction is also often tied to holidays and is not within our control.  If a hardware platform is released unexpectedly close to the holidays, this would result in a shortened holiday buying season and could negatively impact the sales of our products.  Further, delays in development, licensor approvals or manufacturing can also affect the timing of the release of our products, causing us to miss key selling periods such as the year end holiday buying season.

 

We depend on skilled personnel.

 

Our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to identify, hire and retain skilled personnel.  The software industry is characterized by a high level of employee mobility and aggressive recruiting among competitors for personnel with technical, marketing, sales, product development and management skills.  We may not be able to attract and retain skilled personnel or may incur significant costs in order to do so.  If we are unable to attract additional qualified employees or retain the services of key personnel, our business and financial results could be negatively impacted.

 

Our platform licensors are our chief competitors and frequently control the manufacturing of and have broad approval rights over our video game 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.

 

Our agreements with these manufacturers include certain provisions, such as approval rights over all products and related promotional materials and the ability to change the fee they charge for the manufacturing of products, that allow them substantial influence over our costs and the release schedule of our products.  In addition, since each of the manufacturers is also a publisher of games for its own hardware platforms and manufactures products for all of its

 

11



 

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 our development, manufacturing, marketing or distribution costs, which could materially harm our business and financial results.

 

In addition, as online capabilities for video game platforms emerge, our platform licensors will control our ability to provide online game capabilities for our console platform products and will in large part establish the financial terms on which these services are offered to consumers.  Currently, both Microsoft and Sony provide online capabilities for Xbox and PS2 products, respectively.  In each case, compatibility code and the consent of the licensor are required for us to include online capabilities in our products.  In addition, the business model for Microsoft’s and Sony’s online businesses for their video game products may compete with our online business. As these capabilities become more significant, the failure or refusal of our licensors to approve our products, or the successful deployment by these licensors of services competitive to ours, may harm our business.

 

Our platform licensors set the royalty rates and other fees that we must pay 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 the next year, we expect our platform licensors to introduce new hardware platforms into the market.  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 structure 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 for online gameplay and features for their consoles and the manufacturing of products.  The control that platform licensors have over the fee structures for their future platforms and online access makes it difficult for us to predict our costs and profitability in the medium to long term.  Because publishing products for console systems is the largest portion of our business, any increase in fee structures would have a significant negative impact on our business model and profitability.

 

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

 

Software products as complex as the ones we publish may contain undetected errors when first introduced or when new versions are released.  Despite extensive testing prior to release, we cannot be certain that errors will not be found in new products or releases after shipment, that could result in loss of or delay in market acceptance.  This loss or delay could significantly harm our business and financial results.

 

Inadequate intellectual property protections could prevent us from enforcing or defending our proprietary technology.

 

We regard our software as proprietary and rely on a combination of copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements and other methods to protect our proprietary rights.  We own or license various copyrights and trademarks.  Although we provide “shrink-wrap” license agreements or limitations on use with our software, it is uncertain to what extent these agreements and limitations are enforceable.  We are aware that some unauthorized copying occurs within the computer software industry, and if a significantly greater amount of unauthorized copying of our interactive entertainment software products were to occur, it could cause material harm to our business and financial results.

 

Policing unauthorized use of our products is difficult, and software piracy is a persistent problem, especially in some international markets.  Further, the laws of some countries where our products are or may be distributed either do not protect our products and intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, or are poorly enforced.  Legal protection of our rights may be ineffective in such countries.  Moreover, as we leverage our software products using emerging technologies such as the Internet and online services, 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 these emerging technologies.

 

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 increasingly may become subject to infringement claims.  Many of our products are highly realistic and feature materials that are based on real world examples, which may inadvertently

 

12



 

infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.  Our products often utilize complex, cutting edge technology that may become subject to the intellectual property rights of others.  Although we believe that we make reasonable efforts to ensure that our products do not violate the intellectual property rights of others, it is possible that third-parties still may claim infringement.  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 and expensive to defend.

 

Intellectual property litigation or claims could force us to do one or more of the following:

 

                  Cease selling, incorporating 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; or

 

                  Redesign the effected interactive entertainment software products, which could cause us to incur additional costs, delay introduction and possibly reduce commercial appeal of our products.

 

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

 

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

 

We rely on independent third-party interactive entertainment software developers to develop some of our software products.  Since we depend on these developers, in the aggregate, we remain subject to the following risks:

 

                  Continuing strong demand for developers’ resources, combined with the recognition they receive in connection with their work, may cause developers who worked for us in the past either to work for our competitors in the future or to renegotiate our agreements with them on terms less favorable for us;

 

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

 

                  Our competitors may acquire the businesses of key developers or sign them to exclusive development arrangements.  In either case, we would not be able to continue to engage such developers’ services for our products, except for those that they are contractually obligated to complete 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 cause material harm to our business and financial results.  Typically, we pay developers a royalty based on a percentage of net revenues, less agreed upon deductions, but in a few cases, 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.

 

We operate in a highly competitive industry.

 

The interactive entertainment software 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 very large corporations with significantly greater financial, marketing and product development resources than we have.  Due to these greater resources, certain of our competitors can 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 desirable motion picture, television, sports and character properties and pay more to third-party software developers than we can.  We believe that the main competitive factors in the interactive entertainment software industry include: product features and playability; brand name recognition; compatibility of products with popular platforms; access to distribution channels; quality of products; ease of use; price; marketing support; and quality of customer service.

 

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We compete primarily with other publishers of personal computer and video game console interactive entertainment software.  Significant third-party software competitors currently include, among others: Atari, Inc.; Capcom Co. Ltd.; Eidos PLC; Electronic Arts Inc.; Konami Company Ltd.; Namco Ltd.; Sega Enterprises, Ltd.; Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.; THQ Inc.; Ubi Soft Entertainment; and Vivendi Universal Publishing.  In addition, integrated video game console hardware and software companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Microsoft Corporation compete directly with us in the development of software titles for their respective platforms.

 

We also compete with other forms of entertainment and leisure activities.  For example, we believe that the overall growth in the use of the Internet and online services 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 and online services.

 

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

 

Retailers of our products 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.  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 any retailer’s sales volume.  We cannot be certain that retailers will continue to purchase our products or to provide our products with adequate levels of shelf space and promotional support on acceptable terms.  A prolonged failure in this regard may significantly harm our business and financial results.

 

Our sales may decline substantially without warning and in a brief period of time because we do not have long-term contracts for the sale of our products.

 

In the United States and Canada, we primarily sell our products on a direct basis to mass-market retailers, consumer electronics stores, discount warehouses and game specialty stores.  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.  Our sales are made primarily on a purchase order basis without long-term agreements or other forms of commitments.  Our largest customer, Wal-Mart, accounted for approximately 23% and 20% of our consolidated net revenues for fiscal 2005 and 2004, respectively.  The loss of, or significant reduction in sales to, any of our principal retail customers or distributors could significantly harm our business and financial results.

 

We may permit our customers to return our products and to receive pricing concessions which could reduce our 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 and damaged products in accordance with terms granted. Price protection, when granted and applicable, allows customers a credit against amounts they owe us with respect to merchandise unsold by them. We may permit product returns from, or grant price protection to, our customers under certain conditions.  The conditions our customers must meet to be granted the right to return products or price protection are, among other things, compliance with applicable payment terms, delivery to us of weekly inventory and sell-through reports, and consistent participation in the launches of our premium title releases.  We may also consider other factors, including the facilitation of slow-moving inventory and other market factors.   When we offer price protection, we offer it with respect to a particular product to all of our retail customers; however, only those customers who meet the conditions detailed above can avail themselves of such price protection.  We also offer a 90-day limited warranty to our end users that our 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.

 

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We may be burdened with payment defaults and uncollectible accounts if our distributors or retailers cannot honor their credit arrangement with us.

 

Distributors and retailers in the interactive entertainment software industry have from time to time experienced significant fluctuations in their businesses, and a number of them have failed.  The insolvency or business failure of any significant retailer or distributor of our products could materially harm our business and financial results.  We typically make sales to most of our 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 we can obtain sufficient credit insurance.  Although, as in the case with most of our customers, we have insolvency risk insurance to protect against our customers’ bankruptcy, insolvency or liquidation, this insurance contains a significant deductible and a co-payment obligation, and the policy does not cover all instances of non-payment.  In addition, although we maintain a reserve for uncollectible receivables, the reserve may not be sufficient in every circumstance.  As a result, a payment default by a significant customer could significantly harm our business and financial results.

 

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

 

Our CD Contact, NBG and Centresoft subsidiaries distribute interactive entertainment software and hardware products and provide related services in the Benelux countries, Germany and the United Kingdom, respectively, and via export in other European countries for a variety of entertainment software publishers, many of which are our competitors, and hardware manufacturers.  These services are generally performed under limited term contracts.  Although we expect to use reasonable efforts to retain these vendors, we may not be successful in this regard.  The cancellation or non-renewal of one or more of these contracts could significantly harm our business and financial results.  Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft products accounted for approximately 18%, 4% and 3%, respectively, of our worldwide distribution net revenues for fiscal 2005.

 

Our international revenues may be subject to regulatory requirements as well as currency fluctuations.

 

Our international revenues have accounted for a significant portion of our total revenues.  International sales and licensing accounted for 50%, 53% and 50% of our consolidated net revenues in fiscal 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.  We expect that international revenues will continue to account for a significant portion of our total revenues in the future.  International sales may be subject to unexpected regulatory requirements, tariffs and other barriers.  Additionally, foreign sales that are made in local currencies may fluctuate. We have and may continue to engage in limited currency hedging activities.  Currency exchange rates fluctuations may in the future have a material negative impact on revenues from international sales and licensing and thus our business and financial results.

 

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

 

Legislation is continually being introduced that may affect both the content of our products and their distribution.  For example, privacy laws in the United States and Europe impose various restrictions on our web sites.  Those rules vary by territory although the Internet recognizes no geographical boundaries.  In addition, many foreign countries have laws that permit governmental entities to censor the content and advertising of interactive entertainment software.  Other countries, such as Germany, have adopted laws regulating content both in packaged goods and those transmitted over the Internet that are stricter than current United States laws.

 

In the United States, federal and several state governments are considering content restrictions on products such as ours, as well as restrictions on distribution of such products.  We may be required to modify our products or alter our marketing strategies to comply with new regulations, which could delay the release of our products in those countries.  Due to the uncertainties regarding such regulations, confusion in the marketplace may occur, and we are unable to predict what effect, if any, such regulations would have on our business.  In addition, a number of state legislative bodies in states such as Illinois, California, New York and Washington introduced various forms of legislation designed to regulate and control sales of video games deemed inappropriate for sales to minors. While we believe that such legislation is in violation of the First Amendment prohibition on restraints on free speech and therefore unconstitutional and will continue to support the efforts of our industry in opposing the introduction and adoption of such laws, in the event such legislation is adopted and enforced, the sales of our products in states with such laws may be negatively affected.

 

In addition to such regulations, certain retailers have in the past declined to stock some of our products because they believed that the content of the packaging artwork or the products would be offensive to the retailer’s

 

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customer base.  Although to date these actions have not caused material harm to our business, we cannot assure you that similar actions by our distributors or retailers in the future would not cause material harm to our business.

 

Our products may be subject to legal claims.

 

In prior fiscal years, two lawsuits, Linda Sanders, et al. v. Meow Media, Inc., et al. , United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and Joe James, et al. v. Meow Media, Inc., et al. , United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Paducah Division, have been filed against numerous video game companies, including us, 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 agreed to defend us in such lawsuits in the past, it is uncertain whether the insurance carrier would do so in the future, or if it would cover all or any amounts which we might be liable for if such future lawsuits are not decided in our favor.  If such future lawsuits are filed and ultimately decided against us and our insurance carrier does not cover the amounts we are liable for, it could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.  Payment of significant claims by insurance carriers may make such insurance coverage materially more expensive or unavailable in the future, thereby exposing our business to additional risk.

 

We may face limitations on our ability to find suitable acquisition opportunities or to integrate additional acquired businesses.

 

We intend to pursue additional acquisitions of companies, properties and other assets that can be purchased or licensed on acceptable terms and which we believe can be operated or exploited profitably.  Some of these transactions could be material in size and scope.  Although we continue to search for additional acquisition opportunities, we may not be successful in identifying suitable acquisitions.  As the interactive entertainment software industry continues to consolidate, we face significant competition in seeking and consummating acquisition opportunities.  We may not be able to consummate potential acquisitions or an acquisition may not enhance our business or may decrease rather than increase our earnings.  In the future, we may issue additional shares of our common stock in connection with one or more acquisitions, which may dilute our existing shareholders.  Future acquisitions could also divert substantial management time and result in short-term reductions in earnings or special transaction or other charges.  In addition, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully integrate the businesses that we may acquire into our existing business.  Our shareholders may not have the opportunity to review, vote on or evaluate future acquisitions.

 

Our shareholder rights plan, charter documents and other agreements may make it more difficult to acquire us without the approval of our Board of Directors.

 

We have adopted a shareholder rights plan under which one right entitling the holder to purchase two nine-hundredths (2/900) of a share, as adjusted on account of stock dividends made since the plan’s adoption, of our Series A Junior Preferred Stock price at an exercise price of $8.89 per share, subject to adjustment and as adjusted on account of stock dividends made since the plan’s adoption, is attached to each outstanding share of common stock.  Such shareholder rights plan makes an acquisition of control in a transaction not approved by our Board of Directors more difficult.  Our Amended and Restated By-laws have advance notice provisions for nominations for election of nominees to the Board of Directors which may make it more difficult to acquire control of us.  Our long-term incentive plans provide, in the discretion of a committee, for acceleration of stock options following a change in control under certain circumstances, which has the effect of making an acquisition of control more expensive.  In addition, some of our officers have severance compensation agreements that provide for substantial cash payments and accelerations of other benefits in the event of a change in control.  These agreements and arrangements may also inhibit a change in control.

 

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Our reported financial results could be affected if significant changes in current accounting principles are adopted.

 

Recent actions and public comments from the Securities and Exchange Commission have focused on the integrity of financial reporting generally. Similarly, Congress has considered a variety of bills that could affect certain accounting principles. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board and other regulatory accounting agencies have recently adopted several new accounting standards, such as accounting for stock options, some of which represent a significant change from current practices. Changes in our accounting for stock options could materially increase our reported expenses.

 

Our stock price is 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:

 

                              Quarter to quarter variations in results of operations;

 

                              Our announcements of new products;

 

                              Our competitors’ announcements of new products;

 

                              Our product development or release schedule;

 

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

 

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

 

                              Hardware manufacturers’ announcements of price reductions in hardware platforms;

 

                              Changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by analysts; and

 

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

 

In addition, the public stock markets experience extreme price and trading volume volatility, particularly in high technology sectors of the market.  This volatility has significantly affected the market prices of securities of many technology companies for reasons often unrelated to the operating performance of the specific companies.  These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

We seek to manage our business with a view to achieving long-term results, and this could have a negative effect on short-term trading.

 

We focus on creation of shareholder value over time, and we intend to make decisions that will be consistent with this long-term view.  As a result, some of our decisions, such as whether to make or discontinue operating investments, manage our balance sheet and capital structure, or pursue or discontinue strategic initiatives, may be in conflict with the objectives of short-term traders.  Further, this could adversely affect our quarterly or other short-term results of operations.

 

We do not pay cash dividends on our common stock.

 

We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock nor do we anticipate paying cash dividends in the near future.

 

Financial Information about Foreign and Domestic Operations and Export Sales

 

See Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 10 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.

 

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Available Information

 

Our website is located at http://www.activision.com.  Furthermore, 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 Exchange Act are available free of charge and through our website.  The information found on our website is not a part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this or any other report we file with or furnish to the SEC.

 

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Item 2.            PROPERTIES

 

Our principal corporate and administrative offices are located in approximately 114,700 square feet of leased space in a building located at 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90405.  The following is a listing of the principal offices maintained by us on May 31, 2005:

 

PROPERTY

 

LOCATION

 

SQ FT

 

OWNERSHIP

 

LEASE EXPIRATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Offices

 

Santa Monica, CA, USA

 

114,700

 

Lease

 

April 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Development Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beenox, Inc.

 

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

 

2,700

 

Lease

 

January 2006

 

Infinity Ward, Inc.

 

Encino, CA, USA

 

17,600

 

Lease

 

August 2005

 

Luxoflux, Inc.

 

Santa Monica, CA, USA

 

12,400

 

Lease

 

January 2009

 

Neversoft Entertainment, Inc.

 

Encino, CA, USA

 

27,400

 

Lease

 

July 2005

 

Neversoft Entertainment, Inc.

 

Woodland Hills, CA, USA

 

53,300

 

Lease

 

September 2014

 

Raven Studios

 

Madison, WI, USA

 

21,400

 

Lease

 

June 2005

 

Shaba Games, Inc.

 

San Francisco, CA, USA

 

23,300

 

Lease

 

February 2008

 

Toys For Bob, Inc.

 

Novato, CA, USA

 

5,100

 

Lease

 

July 2006

 

Treyarch Corporation

 

Santa Monica, CA, USA

 

55,000

 

Lease

 

November 2009

 

Vicarious Visions, Inc.

 

Mountain View, CA, USA

 

3,100

 

Lease

 

January 2006

 

Vicarious Visions, Inc.

 

Troy, NY, USA

 

14,600

 

Lease

 

January 2006

 

Z-Axis, Ltd.

 

Foster City, CA, USA

 

24,000

 

Lease

 

August 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia Publishing

 

Sydney, Australia

 

7,300

 

Lease

 

July 2006

 

France Publishing

 

Bezons, France

 

3,800

 

Lease

 

December 2006

 

German Publishing

 

Burglengenfeld, Germany

 

2,200

 

Own

 

N/A

 

Japan Publishing

 

Tokyo, Japan

 

2,300

 

Lease

 

March 2006

 

United Kingdom Publishing

 

Slough, UK

 

8,200

 

Lease

 

September 2005

 

Value Publishing

 

Eden Prairie, MN, USA

 

14,000

 

Lease

 

May 2008

 

Italy Publishing

 

Legnano, Italy

 

2,700

 

Lease

 

October 2008

 

Spain Publishing

 

Madrid, Spain

 

3,300

 

Lease

 

April 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Distribution

 

Burglengenfeld, Germany

 

55,700

 

Own

 

N/A

 

Netherlands Distribution-offices

 

Breda, the Netherlands

 

4,200

 

Lease

 

January 2007

 

Netherlands Distribution-warehouse

 

Venlo, the Netherlands

 

44,600

 

Own

 

N/A

 

United Kingdom Distribution

 

Birmingham, UK

 

182,089

 

Lease

 

May 2011-2018

 

 

Our publishing operations additionally lease facilities in Canada, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Sweden for purposes of sales and branch offices.

 

Item 3.            LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

On March 5, 2004, a class action lawsuit was filed against us and certain of our current and former officers and directors.  The complaint, which asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 based on allegations that our revenues and assets were overstated during the period between February 1, 2001 and December 17, 2002, was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California by the Construction Industry and Carpenters Joint Pension Trust for Southern Nevada purporting to represent a class of purchasers of Activision stock.  Five additional purported class actions have subsequently been filed by Gianni Angeloni, Christopher Hinton, Stephen Anish, the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund and Joseph A. Romans asserting the same claims.  Consistent with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”), the court appointed lead plaintiffs consolidating the six putative securities class actions into a single case.  In an Order dated May 16, 2005, the court dismissed the consolidated complaint because the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the heightened pleading standards of the PSLRA.  The court did, however, give the lead plaintiffs leave to file an amended consolidated complaint within 30 days of the order.  We do not know whether the lead plaintiffs will file an amended consolidated complaint, but in the event that one is filed, we intend to vigorously defend the case at such time.

 

19



 

In addition, on March 12, 2004, a shareholder derivative lawsuit captioned Frank Capovilla, Derivatively on Behalf of Activision, Inc. v. Robert Kotick, et al. was filed, purportedly on behalf of Activision, which in large measure asserts the identical claims set forth in the federal class action lawsuit.  That complaint was filed in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. Also, on March 22, 2005, a new derivative lawsuit captioned Ramalingham Balamohan, Derivatively on Behalf of Nominal Defendant Activision, Inc. v. Robert Kotick, et al. was filed in the Federal Court of Los Angeles.  This complaint makes the same allegations as the previous complaints, but it names all the current directors as defendants.  We strongly deny allegations in both derivative cases and will vigorously defend these cases.  In the California derivative case, Activision, as nominal defendant, filed a motion to stay all proceedings.  The case, and all motion practice and responsive pleadings, has been held in abeyance pending a status conference with the court. In the Federal derivative case, plaintiff filed a notice of dismissal of the action, without prejudice on or about June 3, 2005.

 

On July 11, 2003, we were informed by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Securities and Exchange Commission has commenced a non-public formal investigation captioned “In the Matter of Certain Video Game Manufacturers and Distributors.” The investigation appears to be focused on certain accounting practices common to the interactive entertainment industry, with specific emphasis on revenue recognition.  In connection with this inquiry, the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted to us a request for information.  We responded to this inquiry on September 2, 2003.  To date, we have not received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission for any additional information.  The Securities and Exchange Commission staff also informed us that other companies in the video game industry received similar requests for information. The Securities and Exchange Commission has advised us that this request for information should not be construed as an indication from the Securities and Exchange Commission or its staff that any violation of the law has occurred, nor should it reflect negatively on any person, entity or security. We have cooperated and intend to continue to cooperate fully with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the conduct of this inquiry.

 

On June 30, 2003, we terminated our Star Trek Merchandising License Agreement with Viacom Consumer Products, Inc. and filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California for breach of contract and constructive trust against Viacom Consumer Products and Viacom International, Inc. (“Viacom”). On August 15, 2003, Viacom filed its response to our complaint as well as a cross-complaint alleging, among other matters, a breach of contract by Activision and seeking claimed damages in excess of $50 million. On February 23, 2005, we reached an agreement with Viacom that settled the legal disputes.  As a result of the settlement, all pending lawsuits filed by each party in the Superior Court in Los Angeles regarding this matter have been dismissed by court order dated March 18, 2005.   The settlement had no material impact on the financial results of Activision’s operations.

 

In addition, w   e are party to other routine claims and suits brought by us and against us in the ordinary course of business, including disputes arising over the ownership of intellectual property rights, contractual claims and collection matters.  In the opinion of management, after consultation with legal counsel, the outcome of such routine claims will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

 

Item 4.            SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

 

On April 4, 2005, we held a Special Meeting of Stockholders in Santa Monica, California.  One item was submitted to a vote of the stockholders: To approve an amendment to the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock from 225,000,000 to 450,000,000.

 

The amendment to the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock from 225,000,000 to 450,000,000 was approved.  Set forth below are the results of the voting:

 

For

 

Against

 

Abstain

 

132,454,455

 

5,528,569

 

75,370

 

 

20



 

PART II

 

Item 5.            MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

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.  As of May 31, 2005, there were approximately 2,808 holders of record of our common stock.

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Fiscal 2004

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter ended June 30, 2003

 

$

6.75

 

$

4.51

 

Second Quarter ended September 30, 2003

 

7.19

 

5.43

 

Third Quarter ended December 31, 2003

 

9.55

 

5.79

 

Fourth Quarter ended March 31, 2004

 

12.13

 

8.54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2005

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter ended June 30, 2004

 

$

12.82

 

$

10.31

 

Second Quarter ended September 30, 2004

 

12.30

 

9.12

 

Third Quarter ended December 31, 2004

 

15.38

 

9.36

 

Fourth Quarter ended March 31, 2005

 

18.71

 

13.59

 

 

On May 31, 2005, the last reported sales price of our common stock was $15.80.

 

Cash Dividends

 

We paid no cash dividends in our fiscal years 2005 or 2004 nor do we anticipate paying any cash dividends at any time in the foreseeable future.  We expect that earnings will be retained for the continued growth and development of the business.  Future dividends, if any, will depend upon our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors.

 

Stock Splits

 

In April 2003, the Board of Directors approved a three-for-two split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 50% stock dividend.  The split was paid on June 6, 2003 to shareholders of record as of May 16, 2003.  In February 2004, the Board of Directors approved a second three-for-two split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 50% stock dividend.  The split was paid on March 15, 2004 to shareholders of record as of February 23, 2004.   In February 2005, the Board of Directors approved a four-for-three split of our outstanding common shares effected in the form of a 33-1/3% stock dividend.  The split was paid on March 22, 2005 to shareholders of record as of March 7, 2005.  The par value of our common stock was maintained at the pre-split amount of $.000001.   All share and per share data have been restated as if the stock splits had occurred as of the earliest period presented.

 

On March 7, 2005, in connection with our stock split, all shares of common stock held as treasury stock were formally cancelled and restored to the status of authorized but unissued shares of common Stock.

 

Buyback Program

 

During fiscal 2003, our Board of Directors authorized a buyback program under which we can repurchase up to $350.0 million of our common stock. Under the program, shares may be purchased as determined by management, from time to time and within certain guidelines, in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, including privately negotiated structured stock repurchase transactions and through transactions in the options markets. Depending on market conditions and other factors, these purchases may be commenced or suspended at any time or from time to time without prior notice.

 

Under the buyback program, we did not repurchase any shares of our common stock in the year ended March 31, 2005.  We repurchased approximately 2.5 million shares of our common stock for $12.4 million and 21.6 million

 

21



 

shares of our common stock for $101.4 million, in the years ended March 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively.  In addition, approximately 2.3 million shares of common stock were acquired in the year ended March 31, 2004 as a result of the settlement of $10.0 million of structured stock repurchase transactions entered into in fiscal 2003.  As of March 31, 2005, we had no outstanding structured stock repurchase transactions.  Structured stock repurchase transactions are settled in cash or stock based on the market price of our common stock on the date of the settlement. Upon settlement, we either have our capital investment returned with a premium or receive shares of our common stock, depending, respectively, on whether the market price of our common stock is above or below a pre-determined price agreed in connection with each such transaction.

 

Shareholders’ Rights Plan

 

On April 18, 2000, our Board of Directors approved a shareholders rights plan (the “Rights Plan”).  Under the Rights Plan, each common shareholder at the close of business on April 19, 2000 received a dividend of one right for each share of common stock held.  Each right represents the right to purchase two nine-hundredths (2/900) of a share, as adjusted on account of stock dividends made since the plan’s adoption, of our Series A Junior Preferred Stock at an exercise price of $8.89, as adjusted on account of stock dividends made since the plan’s adoption.  Initially, the rights are represented by our common stock certificates and are neither exercisable nor traded separately from our common stock.  The rights will only become exercisable if a person or group acquires 15% or more of the common stock of Activision, or announces or commences a tender or exchange offer which would result in the bidder’s beneficial ownership of 15% or more of our common stock.

 

In the event that any person or group acquires 15% or more of our outstanding common stock, each holder of a right (other than such person or members of such group) will thereafter have the right to receive upon exercise of such right, in lieu of shares of Series A Junior Preferred Stock, the number of shares of common stock of Activision having a value equal to two times the then current exercise price of the right.  If we are acquired in a merger or other business combination transaction after a person has acquired 15% or more of our common stock, each holder of a right will thereafter have the right to receive upon exercise of such right a number of the acquiring company’s common shares having a market value equal to two times the then current exercise price of the right.  For persons who, as of the close of business on April 18, 2000, beneficially own 15% or more of the common stock of Activision, the Rights Plan “grandfathers” their current level of ownership, so long as they do not purchase additional shares in excess of certain limitations.

 

We may redeem the rights for $.01 per right at any time until the first public announcement of the acquisition of beneficial ownership of 15% of our common stock.  At any time after a person has acquired 15% or more (but before any person has acquired more than 50%) of our common stock, we may exchange all or part of the rights for shares of common stock at an exchange ratio of one share of common stock per right.  The rights expire on April 18, 2010.

 

22



 

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

 

Information for our equity compensation plans in effect as of March 31, 2005 is as follows (amounts in thousands, except per share amounts):

 

 

 

(a)

 

(b)

 

(c)

 

Plan Category

 

Number of securities
to be issued upon
exercise of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights

 

Weighted-average
exercise price of
outstanding
options, warrants
and rights

 

Number of securities
remaining available for
future issuance under
equity compensation
plans (excluding
securities reflected in
column (a))

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

 

12,468

 

$

6.86

 

312

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 

24,813

 

$

6.23

 

16,437

 

Total

 

37,281

 

$

6.44

 

16,749

 

 

See Note 14 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 for the material features of each equity compensation plan that was adopted without security holder approval.

 

23



 

Item 6.            SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

 

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 herein.  The selected consolidated financial data presented below as of and for each of the fiscal years in the five-year period ended March 31, 2005 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements except basic and diluted earnings per share and basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding which have been restated for the effect of our stock splits.  The Consolidated Balance Sheets as of March 31, 2005 and 2004 and the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for each of the fiscal years in the three-year period ended March 31, 2005, and the report thereon, are included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

Year ended March 31,

 

 

 

 

 

Restated (1)

 

 

 

2005 (2)

 

2004 (2)

 

2003 (2)

 

2002 (2)

 

2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net revenues

 

$

1,405,857

 

$

947,656

 

$

864,116

 

$

786,434

 

$

620,183

 

Cost of sales – product costs

 

658,949

 

475,541

 

440,977

 

435,725

 

324,907

 

Cost of sales – intellectual property licenses and software royalties and amortization

 

185,997

 

91,606

 

124,196

 

99,006

 

89,702

 

Income from operations

 

184,571

 

109,817

 

94,847

 

80,574

 

39,807

 

Income before income tax provision

 

197,663

 

115,992

 

103,407

 

83,120

 

32,544

 

Net income

 

138,335

 

77,715

 

66,180

 

52,238

 

20,507

 

Basic earnings per share

 

0.74

 

0.44

 

0.34

 

0.34

 

0.18

 

Diluted earnings per share

 

0.66

 

0.40

 

0.32

 

0.29

 

0.17

 

Basic weighted average common shares outstanding

 

187,517

 

177,665

 

192,479

 

151,955

 

111,895

 

Diluted weighted average common shares outstanding

 

209,145

 

193,191

 

207,310

 

178,366

 

123,300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash Provided By (Used In):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

215,309

 

67,403

 

90,975

 

111,792

 

81,565

 

Investing activities

 

(143,896

)

(170,155

)

(301,547

)

(8,701

)

(8,631

)

Financing activities

 

72,654

 

117,569

 

64,090

 

50,402

 

2,547

 

 

 

 

As of March 31,

 

 

 

2005 (2)

 

2004 (2)

 

2003 (2)

 

2002 (2)

 

2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working capital

 

$

915,413

 

$

675,796

 

$

422,500

 

$

333,199

 

$

182,980

 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

 

840,864

 

587,649

 

406,954

 

279,007

 

125,550

 

Capitalized software development and intellectual property licenses

 

127,340

 

135,201

 

107,921

 

56,742

 

42,205

 

Goodwill

 

91,661

 

76,493

 

68,019

 

35,992

 

10,316

 

Total assets

 

1,306,963

 

968,817

 

704,816

 

556,887

 

359,957

 

Long-term debt

 

 

 

2,671

 

3,122

 

63,401

 

Shareholders’ equity

 

1,099,912

 

832,738

 

597,740

 

430,091

 

181,306

 

 


(1)                                   Consolidated financial information for fiscal years 2004-2001 has been restated for the effect of our four-for-three stock split effected in the form of a 33-1/3% stock dividend to shareholders of record as of March 7, 2005, paid March 22, 2005.

 

(2)                                   Effective April 1, 2001, we adopted the provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangibles.”  SFAS No. 142 addresses financial accounting and reporting requirements for acquired goodwill and other intangible assets.  Under SFAS No. 142, goodwill is deemed to have an indefinite useful life and should not be amortized but rather tested at least annually for impairment.  In accordance with SFAS No. 142, we have not amortized goodwill during the years ended March 31, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002.

 

24



 

Item 7.            MANAGE MENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Overview

 

Our Business

 

We are a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products.  We have built a company with a diverse portfolio of products that spans a wide range of categories and target markets and that is used on a variety of game hardware platforms and operating systems.  We have created, licensed and acquired a group of highly recognizable brands, which we market to a variety of consumer demographics. Our fiscal 2005 product portfolio included such best-selling products as Spider-Man 2:  The Movie (“Spider-Man 2”), Shrek 2, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 (“THUG 2”), Call of Duty:  Finest Hour, Shark Tale, DOOM 3 and X-Men Legends .

 

Our products cover diverse game categories including action/adventure, action sports, racing, role-playing, simulation, first-person action and strategy.  Our target customer base ranges from casual players to game enthusiasts, children to adults and mass-market consumers to “value” buyers.  We currently offer our products primarily in versions that operate on the Sony PlayStation 2 (“PS2”), Nintendo GameCube (“GameCube”) and Microsoft Xbox (“Xbox”) console systems, Nintendo Game Boy Advance (“GBA”), Sony PlayStation Portable (“PSP”) and Nintendo Dual Screen (“NDS”) hand-held devices and the personal computer (“PC”).  The installed base for this current generation of hardware platforms is significant and growing and the fiscal 2005 release of two new handheld devices, NDS, which was released worldwide, and PSP, which was released in North America, will also help expand the software market.  We successfully executed our strategy of having a high-quality product presence at the launch of the NDS and PSP with one title based on the Spider-Man franchise at the launch of the NDS and two titles based on the Spider-Man and Tony Hawk franchises for the launch of the PSP.  We are currently developing additional titles for the PSP and the NDS while continuing to develop games for the GBA given its large and growing base.

 

We also intend to develop titles for the next-generation console systems which are being developed by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.  Microsoft recently unveiled their next-generation console, the Xbox 360, which is expected to be released in November 2005.  We are currently developing four titles for release on the Xbox 360, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Call of Duty 2, Quake IV and GUN.   Sony and Nintendo recently unveiled their next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, respectively, and both are expected to be released in calendar 2006.  Though there are still many unknowns relating to these new platforms, our aim is to have a significant presence at the launch of each new platform while being careful not to move away too quickly from the current generation platforms given their large and still growing installed base.

 

Our publishing business involves the development, marketing and sale of products directly, by license or through our affiliate label program with certain third-party publishers.  In the United States and Canada, we primarily sell our products on a direct basis to mass-market retailers, consumer electronics stores, discount warehouses and game specialty stores.  We conduct our international publishing activities through offices in the United Kingdom (“UK”), Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Japan.  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.  Our distribution business consists of operations located in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany that provide logistical and sales services to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.

 

Our profitability is directly affected by the mix of revenues from our publishing and distribution businesses. Operating margins realized from our publishing business are substantially higher than margins realized from our distribution business.  Operating margins in our publishing business are affected by our ability to release highly successful or “hit” titles.  Though many of these titles have substantial production or acquisition costs and marketing budgets, once a title recoups these costs, incremental net revenues directly and positively impact our operating margin. Operating margins in our distribution business are affected by the mix of hardware and software sales, with software producing higher margins than hardware.

 

Our Focus

 

With respect to future game development, we will continue to focus on our “big propositions,” products that are backed by strong brands and high quality development, for which we will provide significant marketing support.

 

Our fiscal 2006 “big propositions” will include well-established brands, which are backed by high-profile intellectual property and/or highly anticipated motion picture releases.  Examples of these brands are our superheroes

 

25



 

and skateboarding brands.  We have a long-term relationship with Marvel Enterprises through an exclusive licensing agreement.  This agreement grants us the exclusive rights to develop and publish video games based on Marvel’s comic book franchises Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic 4 and Iron Man.  Through our long-term relationship with Marvel Enterprises, we expect our fiscal 2006 releases to include titles based on Marvel’s Spider-Man, Fantastic 4 and X-Men.  The video game release of Fantastic 4 is scheduled for June 2005 just prior to the theatrical release of “Fantastic 4.”  We will also be developing and publishing video games based on New Line Cinema’s upcoming feature film “Iron Man,” which is expected to be released in calendar 2007.  In addition, through our licensing agreement with Spider-Man Merchandising, LLP, we will be developing and publishing video games based on Columbia Pictures/Marvel Enterprises, Inc.’s upcoming feature film “Spider-Man 3,” which is expected to be released in May 2007.   In addition, we have an exclusive licensing agreement with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk.  The agreement grants us exclusive rights to develop and publish video games using Tony Hawk’s name and likeness.  Through fiscal 2005, we have released six successful titles in the Tony Hawk franchise with cumulative net revenues of $958.1 million, including the most recent, THUG 2 , which was released in the third quarter of fiscal 2005.  We will continue to promote our skateboarding franchise with the release in fiscal 2006 of Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland .

 

We also continue to develop a number of original intellectual properties which are developed and owned by Activision.  For example, in the third quarter of fiscal 2005 we released the highly successful Call of Duty: Finest Hour , on multiple console platforms.  This title was ranked by NPD Funworld (“NPD”) as one of the top-five best selling games in December 2004 and was the third game based upon this original property following the Call of Duty and Call of Duty: United Offensive titles for the PC.  The highly successful title True Crime: Streets of L.A., released in the third quarter of fiscal 2004, is another title based upon original intellectual property.  We expect to develop a variety of games on multiple platforms based on these two original properties.  We also expect to establish our fiscal 2006 release, GUN, as a source of recurring revenues.

 

We will also continue to evaluate and exploit emerging brands that we believe have potential to become successful game franchises.  For example, we have a multi-year, multi-property, publishing agreement with DreamWorks LLC that grants us the exclusive rights to publish video games based on DreamWorks Animation SKG’s theatrical release “Shrek 2,” which was released in the first quarter of fiscal 2005, “Shark Tale,” which was released in the second quarter of fiscal 2005, “Madagascar,” which was released in the first quarter of fiscal 2006, as well as upcoming computer-animated films “Over the Hedge,” and all of their respective sequels, including “Shrek 3.”

 

In addition to acquiring or creating high profile intellectual property, we have also continued our focus on establishing and maintaining relationships with talented and experienced software development teams.  We have strengthened our internal development capabilities through the acquisition of several development companies with talented and experienced teams including, most recently, the acquisitions of Vicarious Visions Inc. in January 2005, Toys For Bob, Inc. in April 2005 and Beenox, Inc. in May 2005.  We have development agreements with other top-level, third-party developers such as id Software and Lionhead Studios.

 

We are utilizing these developer relationships, new intellectual property acquisitions, new original intellectual property creations and our existing library of intellectual property to further focus our game development on product lines that will deliver significant, lasting and recurring revenues and operating profits.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

We have identified the policies below as critical to our business operations and the understanding of our financial results.  The impact and any associated risks related to these policies on our business operations is discussed throughout Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations where such policies affect our reported and expected financial results.  For a detailed discussion on the application of these and other accounting policies, see Note 1 to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.  The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles 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.

 

Revenue Recognition.  We recognize revenue from the sale of our products upon the transfer of title and risk of loss to our customers.  Certain products are sold to customers with a street date (the date that products are made widely available for sale by retailers).  For these products we recognize revenue no earlier than the street date.  Revenue from product sales is recognized after deducting the estimated allowance for returns and price protection.  With respect to license agreements that provide customers the right to make multiple copies in exchange for

 

26



 

guaranteed amounts, revenue is recognized upon delivery of such copies.  Per copy royalties on sales that exceed the guarantee are recognized as earned.  In addition, in order to recognize revenue for both product sales and licensing transactions, persuasive evidence of an arrangement must exist and collection of the related receivable must be probable.  Revenue recognition also determines the timing of certain expenses, including cost of sales — intellectual property licenses and cost of sales — software royalties and amortization.

 

Sales incentives or other consideration given by us to our customers is accounted for in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”) Issue 01-9, “Accounting for Consideration Given by a Vendor to a Customer (Including a Reseller of the Vendor’s Products).”  In accordance with EITF Issue 01-9, sales incentives and other consideration that are considered adjustments of the selling price of our products, such as rebates and product placement fees, are reflected as reductions of revenue.  Sales incentives and other consideration that represent costs incurred by us for assets or services received, such as the appearance of our products in a customer’s national circular ad, are reflected as sales and marketing expenses.

 

Allowances for Returns, Price Protection, Doubtful Accounts and Inventory Obsolescence.  In determining the appropriate unit shipments to our customers, we benchmark our titles using historical and industry data.  We closely monitor and analyze the historical performance of our various titles, the performance of products released by other publishers and the anticipated timing of other releases in order to assess future demands of current and upcoming titles.  Initial volumes shipped upon title launch and subsequent reorders are evaluated to ensure that quantities are sufficient to meet the demands from the retail markets but at the same time, are controlled to prevent excess inventory in the channel.

 

We may permit product returns from, or grant price protection to, our customers under certain conditions.  In general, price protection refers to the circumstances when we elect to decrease the wholesale price of a product by a certain amount and, when granted and applicable, allows customers a credit against amounts owed by such customers to Activision 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 are, among other things, compliance with applicable payment terms, delivery to us of weekly inventory and sell-through reports, and consistent participation in the launches of our premium title releases.  We may also consider other factors, including the facilitation of slow-moving inventory and other market factors.  Management must make 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 brand, console hardware life cycle, Activision sales force and retail customer feedback, industry pricing, weeks of on-hand retail channel inventory, absolute quantity of on-hand retail channel inventory, Activision warehouse on-hand inventory levels, the title’s recent sell-through history (if available), marketing trade programs and competing titles.  The relative importance of these factors varies among titles depending upon, among other items, genre, platform, seasonality and sales strategy.  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 upon historical experience we believe 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 management makes different judgments or utilizes different estimates in determining the allowances for returns and price protection.

 

Similarly, management must make estimates of the uncollectibility 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 impact management’s estimates in establishing our allowance for doubtful accounts.

 

We value inventory at the lower of cost or market.  We regularly review inventory quantities on hand and in the retail channel and record a provision for excess or obsolete inventory based on the future expected demand for our products. Significant changes in demand for our products would impact management’s estimates in establishing our inventory provision.

 

27



 

Software Development Costs.  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 Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (“SFAS”) No. 86, “Accounting for the Costs of Computer Software to Be Sold, Leased, or Otherwise Marketed.”  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.  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 when we believe such amounts are not recoverable.  Capitalized costs for those products that are cancelled or 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.  We evaluate the future recoverability of capitalized amounts on a quarterly basis.  The recoverability of capitalized software development costs is evaluated based on the expected performance of the specific products for which the costs relate.  Criteria used to evaluate expected product performance include:  historical performance of comparable products using comparable technology; orders for the product prior to its release; and estimated performance of a sequel product based on the performance of the product on which the sequel is based.

 

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, generally resulting in an amortization period of six months or less.  For products that have been released in prior periods, we evaluate the future recoverability of capitalized amounts on a quarterly basis.  The primary evaluation criterion is actual title performance.

 

Significant management judgments and estimates are utilized in the assessment of when technological feasibility is established, as well as in the ongoing assessment of 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 and/or revised forecasted or actual costs are greater than the original 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.

 

Intellectual Property Licenses.   Intellectual property license costs represent license fees paid to intellectual property rights holders for use of their trademarks, copyrights, software, technology or other intellectual property or proprietary rights in the development of our products.  Depending upon the agreement with the rights holder, we may obtain the rights to use acquired intellectual property in multiple products over multiple years, or alternatively, for a single product.

 

We evaluate the future recoverability of capitalized intellectual property licenses on a quarterly basis.  The recoverability of capitalized intellectual property license costs is evaluated based on the expected performance of the specific products in which the licensed trademark or copyright is to be used.  As many of our 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.  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 abandoned are charged to product development expense in the period of cancellation.  Criteria used to evaluate expected product performance include: historical performance of comparable products using comparable technology; orders for the product prior to its release; and estimated performance of a sequel product based on the performance of the product on which the sequel is based.

 

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.  For intellectual property included in products that have been released

 

28



 

and unreleased products, we evaluate the future recoverability of capitalized amounts on a quarterly basis.  The primary evaluation criterion is actual title performance.

 

Significant management judgments and estimates are utilized in the assessment of 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, and/or revised forecasted or actual costs are greater than, the original 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.  Additionally, as noted above, as many of our 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.  Material differences may result in the amount and timing of charges for any period if management makes different judgments or utilizes different estimates in evaluating these qualitative factors.

 

29



 

Selected Consolidated Statements of Operations Data

 

The following table sets forth certain consolidated statements of operations data for the periods indicated as a percentage of consolidated net revenues and also breaks down net revenues by territory and platform, as well as operating income by business segment:

 

 

 

Year ended March 31,

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net revenues

 

$

1,405,857

 

100

%

$

947,656

 

100

%

$

864,116

 

100

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of sales – product costs

 

658,949

 

47

 

475,541

 

50

 

440,977

 

51

 

Cost of sales – software royalties and amortization

 

123,800

 

9

 

59,744

 

6

 

79,194

 

9

 

Cost of sales – intellectual property licenses

 

62,197

 

5

 

31,862

 

3

 

45,002

 

5

 

Product development

 

86,543

 

6

 

97,859

 

10

 

56,971

 

7

 

Sales and marketing

 

230,058

 

16

 

128,221

 

14

 

100,646

 

12

 

General and administrative

 

59,739

 

4

 

44,612

 

5

 

46,479

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

1,221,286

 

87

 

837,839

 

88

 

769,269

 

89

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from operations

 

184,571

 

13

 

109,817

 

12

 

94,847

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment income, net

 

13,092

 

1

 

6,175

 

 

8,560

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income before income tax provision

 

197,663

 

14

 

115,992

 

12

 

103,407

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income tax provision

 

59,328

 

4

 

38,277

 

4

 

37,227

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

138,335

 

10

%

$

77,715

 

8

%

$

66,180

 

8

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Revenues by Territory:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

 

$

696,325

 

50

%

$

446,812

 

47

%

$

432,261

 

50

%

Europe

 

675,074

 

48

 

479,224

 

51

 

413,125

 

48

 

Other

 

34,458

 

2

 

21,620

 

2

 

18,730

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total net revenues

 

$

1,405,857

 

100

%

$

947,656

 

100

%

$

864,116

 

100

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Revenues by Segment/Platform Mix:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Console

 

$

713,947

 

51

%

$

508,418

 

54

%

$

466,116

 

54

%

Hand-held

 

138,695

 

10

 

24,945

 

2

 

49,966

 

6

 

PC

 

220,087

 

15

 

132,369

 

14

 

99,893

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total publishing net revenues

 

1,072,729

 

76

 

665,732

 

70

 

615,975

 

71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Console

 

256,452

 

18

 

223,802

 

24

 

208,505

 

24

 

Hand-held

 

23,282

 

2

 

18,361

 

2

 

14,103

 

2

 

PC

 

53,394

 

4

 

39,761

 

4

 

25,533

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total distribution net revenues

 

333,128

 

24

 

281,924

 

30

 

248,141

 

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total net revenues

 

$

1,405,857

 

100

%

$

947,656

 

100

%

$

864,116

 

100

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Income by Segment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing

 

$

160,826

 

11

%

$

93,223

 

10

%

$

79,139

 

9

%

Distribution

 

23,745

 

2

 

16,594

 

2

 

15,708

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total operating income

 

$

184,571

 

13

%

$

109,817

 

12

%

$

94,847

 

11

%

 

30



 

Results of Operations – Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2005 and 2004

 

Net income for the year ended March 31, 2005 was $138.3 million or $0.66 per diluted share, as compared to $77.7 million or $0.40 per diluted share for the year ended March 31, 2004.

 

Net Revenues

 

We primarily derive revenue from sales of packaged interactive software games designed for play on video game consoles (such as the PS2, Xbox and GameCube), PCs and hand-held game devices (such as the GBA, NDS and PSP).  We also derive revenue from our distribution business in Europe that provides logistical and sales services to third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software, our own publishing operations and third-party manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware.

 

The following table details our consolidated net revenues by business segment and our publishing net revenues by territory for the years ended March 31, 2005 and 2004 (in thousands):

 

 

 

Year Ended March 31,

 

Increase/

 

Percent

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

(Decrease)

 

Change

 

Publishing net revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

 

$

696,325

 

$

446,812

 

$

249,513

 

56

%

Europe

 

341,946

 

197,300

 

144,646

 

73

%

Other

 

34,458

 

21,620

 

12,838

 

59

%

Total international

 

376,404

 

218,920

 

157,484

 

72

%

Total publishing net revenues

 

1,072,729

 

665,732

 

406,997

 

61

%

Distribution net revenues

 

333,128

 

281,924

 

51,204

 

18

%

Consolidated net revenues

 

$

1,405,857

 

$

947,656

 

$

458,201

 

48

%

 

Consolidated net revenues increased 48% from $947.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $1,405.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  This increase was principally generated by our publishing business.  The increase in consolidated net revenues was driven by the following:

 

                  Strong performances from our publishing business on the releases of our largest ever lineup of titles including: Spider-Man 2, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, THUG 2, Shrek 2, X-Men Legends, Doom 3, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Shark Tale, Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2005 and Rome: Total War.  The strength of these titles combined with the significant sales and marketing investment led to over ten million-unit selling titles and achievement of our goal of having four multi-million-unit selling titles.  We also had strong catalog sales from a number of our franchises including Tony Hawk, True Crime, Spider-Man and Call of Duty.  As a result of the strong performance of our key fiscal 2005 releases, we were able to maintain the original price points for those titles for an extended period of time.

 

                  Continued focus on international publishing expansion with the opening of offices in Spain and Italy and an increased focus on other territories contributing to an increase in International Publishing revenues of 72% over fiscal 2004.

 

                  An increase in our hand-held platform presence growing consolidated hand-held revenues   by $118.7 million or 274% from $43.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $162.0 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  This was driven by a significant increase in the number of GBA titles released from four titles in fiscal 2004 to eleven titles in fiscal 2005, and by the introduction of the PSP and NDS platforms, for which we released a combined total of three titles.

 

                  International net revenues benefited from the strong year-over-year strengthening of the Euro (“EUR”) and Great British Pound (“GBP”) in relation to the U.S. dollar.  We estimate that foreign exchange rates increased reported net revenues by approximately $55.3 million.   Excluding the impact of changing foreign currency rates, our international net revenues increased 31% year-over-year.

 

31



 

North America Publishing Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

696,325

 

50

%

$

446,812

 

47

%

$

249,513

 

56

%

 

North America publishing net revenues increased 56% from $446.8 million for the year ended March 31, 2004, to $696.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  The increase reflects the strong performance of our fiscal 2005 slate of titles, strong catalog sales from a number of our franchises and a significant increase in our hand-held platform presence.

 

International Publishing Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

376,404

 

26

%

$

218,920

 

23

%

$

157,484

 

72

%

 

International publishing net revenues increased by 72% from $218.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2004, to $376.4 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.   International publishing also saw strong results from our 2005 titles , as well as strong fourth quarter performance in our LucasArts affiliate business In addition, we had strong catalog sales from a number of our franchises, including Spider-Man, Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and True Crime.  There also was a positive strengthening of the EUR and the GBP in relation to the U.S. dollar of approximately $29.0 million.  Excluding the impact of changing foreign currency rates, our international publishing net revenues increased 59% year-over-year.  In the coming year, we will continue to focus on expanding our international publishing capabilities.  In fiscal 2006, we expect to increase our direct-selling efforts in five countries and materially expand our international marketing efforts.

 

32



 

Publishing Net Revenues by Platform

 

Publishing net revenues increased 61% from $665.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $1,072.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  The following table details our publishing net revenues by platform and as a percentage of total publishing net revenues for the years ended March 31, 2005 and 2004 (in thousands):

 

 

 

Year Ended
March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revs

 

Year Ended
March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revs

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

Publishing Net Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PC

 

$

220,087

 

21

%

$

132,369

 

20

%

$

87,718

 

66

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Console

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony PlayStation 2

 

417,310

 

39

%

289,048

 

43

%

128,262

 

44

%

Microsoft Xbox

 

196,894

 

18

%

145,111

 

22

%

51,783

 

36

%

Nintendo GameCube

 

96,936

 

9

%

52,909

 

8

%

44,027

 

83

%

Other

 

2,807

 

%

21,350

 

3

%

(18,543

)

(87

)%

Total console

 

713,947

 

66

%

508,418

 

76

%

205,529

 

40

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand-held

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game Boy Advance

 

101,642

 

9

%

24,621

 

4

%

77,021

 

313

%

PlayStation Portable

 

19,200

 

2

%

 

%

19,200

 

100

%

Nintendo Dual Screen

 

17,699

 

2

%

 

%

17,699

 

100

%

Other

 

154

 

%

324

 

%

(170

)

(52

)%

Total hand-held

 

138,695

 

13

%

24,945

 

4

%

113,750

 

456

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total publishing net revenues

 

$

1,072,729

 

100

%

$

665,732

 

100

%

$

406,997

 

61

%

 

Personal Computer Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

220,087

 

21

%

$

132,369

 

20

%

$

87,718

 

66

%

 

Net revenues from sales of titles for the PC increased 66% from $132.4 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $220.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2005. Driving the increase were the fiscal 2005 releases of Doom 3 and Rome: Total War combined with continued strong sell through of our catalog title, Call of Duty.  According to NPD, we were the only publisher to have three top-ten PC titles for calendar year 2004 — Doom 3, Call of Duty and Rome: Total War.   Also contributing to the increase in net revenues from sales of titles for the PC was an increase in the total number of titles shipped from eight in fiscal 2004 to fifteen in fiscal 2005.   We expect fiscal 2006 PC publishing net revenues as a percentage of total publishing net revenues to remain consistent with fiscal 2005.

 

33



 

Sony PlayStation 2 Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

417,310

 

39

%

$

289,048

 

43

%

$

128,262

 

44

%

 

Net revenues from sales of titles for the PS2 increased 44% from $289.0 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $417.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  The increase was primarily due to strong, worldwide sales of several of our fiscal 2005 releases including THUG 2, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, X-Men Legends, Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2005. In fiscal 2005 we released thirteen titles for PS2 compared to ten in fiscal 2004 which included: True Crime: Streets of L.A., Tony Hawk’s Underground, X2: Wolverine’s Revenge, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts and Cabela’s Deer Hunt 2004 Season.  We expect the installed base of PS2 to continue to grow, although at a slower rate than in previous years, due to the anticipated release of the next-generation system in calendar 2006.  Given our slate of fiscal 2006 titles, as the installed base increases we expect our overall net revenues from PS2 sales to continue to increase over prior periods.  In addition, Sony recently announced that they will be releasing their next-generation console, the PlayStation 3 (“PS3”), in calendar 2006.  Given the initially low installed base, we expect the release of the PS3 to have little impact on fiscal 2006 net revenues.

 

Microsoft Xbox Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

196,894

 

18

%

$

145,111

 

22

%

$

51,783

 

36

%

 

Net revenues from sales of titles for the Xbox increased 36% from $145.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $196.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  Though the number of new Xbox titles remained relatively consistent from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2005, we were able to increase our Xbox sales in both the North America and international markets.  The increase was primarily due to strong worldwide sales of several of our Xbox titles including THUG 2, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, X-Men Legends, Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Greg Hastings’ Tournament Paintball and Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2005.  The increase was also affected by an increased installed base of the Xbox due mainly to the price cuts on the Xbox hardware in calendar 2004.  Given our slate of fiscal 2006 titles, as the installed base increases we expect our overall net revenues from Xbox sales to continue to increase over prior periods.  We expect the growth of the installed base of Xbox hardware to continue to grow through the remainder of calendar 2005 with growth slowing as the release of Microsoft’s next-generation system, the Xbox 360, which is expected to be released in November 2005.  Consistent with our strategy of having a high-quality presence at the launch of each new platform, we are currently developing four titles, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Call of Duty 2, Quake IV and GUN, to be released concurrently with the launch of the Xbox 360.  We expect that the potential release of the Xbox 360 will not have a material impact on our fiscal 2006 net revenues due to a number of factors, including an initially small installed base.

 

34



 

Nintendo GameCube Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

96,936

 

9

%

$

52,909

 

8

%

$

44,027

 

83

%

 

Net revenues from sales of titles for the Nintendo GameCube increased 83% from $52.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2004 to $96.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2005.  The increase is primarily due to the increase in the number of GameCube new title releases from five in fiscal 2004 to eight in fiscal 2005.  Also driving the increase in revenues was that the title slate in fiscal 2005 performed strongly as it was more targeted toward the demographic of the GameCube audience than the fiscal 2004 GameCube title slate.  Our fiscal 2005 title slate was driven by new title releases of Shrek 2, Spider-Man 2, Shark Tale, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events , THUG 2 and Call of Duty: Finest Hour.  Fiscal 2004 GameCube revenues were driven mainly by releases of Tony Hawk’s Underground and True Crime: Streets of L.A .   We expect the installed base of GameCube hardware to continue to grow given its current low price point; however, at a slower pace than previous years given the upcoming next-generation console transition.   We also expect fiscal 2006 GameCube net revenues to increase over fiscal 2005 given our planned 2006 product slate.  Nintendo recently announced that they will be releasing their next-generation console, the Revolution, in calendar 2006.  Given the initially low installed base, we expect the release of the Revolution to have little initial impact on our net revenues.

 

Hand-held (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

138,695

 

13

%

$

24,945

 

4

%

$

113,750

 

456

%

 

Net revenues from sales of titles for the hand-held for the year ended March 31, 2005 increased 456% from the prior fiscal year, from $24.9 million to $138.7 million.  This was driven mainly by a significant increase in the number of GBA titles released from four titles in fiscal 2004 to eleven titles in fiscal 2005 and the introduction of two new handheld devices, NDS, which was released worldwide, and PSP, which was released in North America.   We successfully executed our strategy of having a high-quality presence at the launch of both the NDS and PSP platforms with one title based on the Spider-Man franchise at the launch of the NDS and two titles based on the Spider-Man and Tony Hawk franchises for the launch of the PSP.  In addition to the increase in the number of GBA titles released, we implemented a customized marketing plan for the GBA platform and demographic to support a strong slate of new releases including THUG 2, Shrek 2: Beg for Mercy!, Shark Tale , Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events , Spider-Man 2 and Shrek 2 which were all targeted toward the demographic of the GBA audience.

 

We expect the overall hand-held market to grow significantly with the recent releases of the NDS and PSP.  However, with the releases of the NDS and PSP we expect that market share for the GBA will eventually begin to decrease while the overall hand-held market will continue to expand with a growing installed base and broader demographic on the newer platforms.  We expect to continue our focus on developing hand-held games for mass-market consumers for each of these hand-held platforms.   Due to the expected increase in the overall hand-held market and our fiscal 2006 product slate, we expect net revenues from sales of titles for the hand-held to increase over fiscal 2005.

 

35



 

Overall

 

The platform mix of our future publishing net revenues will likely be impacted by a number of factors, including the ability of hardware manufacturers to continue to increase their installed hardware base, the introduction of new hardware platforms, as well as the timing of key product releases from our product release schedule.  We expect that net revenues from console titles will continue to represent the largest component of our publishing net revenues with PS2 having the largest percentage of that business due to its larger installed hardware base.  We expect net revenues from hand-held titles to remain the smallest component of our publishing net revenues.  However, with the recent releases of the NDS and PSP platforms, we expect to see a continued increase in our hand-held business in comparison to prior periods.  Our net revenues from PC titles will be primarily driven by our product release schedule.

 

A significant portion of our revenues and profits is derived from a relatively small number of popular titles and brands each year as revenues and profits are significantly affected by our ability to release highly successful or “hit” titles.   For example, for the year ended March 31, 2005, 31% of our consolidated net revenues and 41% of worldwide publishing net revenues were derived from net revenues from our Spider-Man 2, THUG 2 and Call of Duty: Finest Hour titles.  Though many titles have substantial production or acquisition costs and marketing budgets, once a title recoups these costs, incremental net revenues directly and positively impact operating profits resulting in a disproportionate amount of operating income being derived from these select titles.   We expect that a limited number of titles and brands will continue to produce a disproportionately large amount of our net revenues and profits.

 

Two factors that could affect future publishing and distribution net revenue performance are console hardware pricing and software pricing.  As console hardware moves through its life cycle, hardware manufacturers typically enact price reductions.  Reductions in the price of console hardware typically result in an increase in the installed base of hardware owned by consumers.  Price cuts on Xbox, PS2 and GBA hardware were announced in March, May and September 2004, respectively.  Historically, we have also seen that lower console hardware prices put downward pressure on software pricing.  While we expect console software launch pricing for most genres to hold at $49.99 through the calendar 2005 holidays, we believe we could see additional software price declines thereafter.

 

Distribution Net Revenues (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

333,128

 

24

%

$

281,924

 

30

%

$

51,204

 

18

%

 

Distribution net revenues for the year ended March 31, 2005 increased 18% from the prior fiscal year, from $281.9 million to $333.1 million.  Excluding the impact of the changing foreign currency rates, our distribution net revenues increased 9% year-over-year.  About half of this increase was due to the positive impact of the year-over-year strengthening of the EUR and the GBP in relation to the U.S. dollar.  The increase was primarily due to the continued growth in the industry wide software market, an increase in sales to mass merchants, as well as a change in the product mix.  The mix of distribution net revenues between hardware and software sales varied year-over-year with approximately 13% of distribution net revenues from hardware sales in the year ended March 31, 2005 as compared to 28% in the prior fiscal year.  This was mainly attributed to an increase in business with large, mass-market customers that generate a higher percentage of sales from software.  In both fiscal years, hardware sales were principally comprised of sales of console hardware.  The mix of future distribution net revenues will be driven by a number of factors including the occurrence of further hardware price reductions instituted by hardware manufacturers, the introduction of new hardware platforms and our ability to establish and maintain distribution agreements with hardware manufacturers and third-party software publishers.  We expect our fiscal 2006 distribution results to be in line with fiscal 2005.

 

36



 

Costs and Expenses

 

Cost of Sales – Product Costs (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

658,949

 

47

%

$

475,541

 

50

%

$

183,408

 

39

%

 

Cost of sales – product costs represented 47% and 50% of consolidated net revenues for the years ended March 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.  In absolute dollars, cost of sales — product costs increased 39% due to significantly higher sales in fiscal 2005 as compared to fiscal 2004.  The primary factors affecting the reduction in the cost of sales — product costs as a percentage of consolidated net revenues were:

 

                  Increased ability to maintain premium pricing on “big proposition” titles for the year ended March 31, 2005.

 

                  An increase in publishing net revenues from sales of PC titles by 66% year-over-year.  PC publishing revenues as a percent of publishing net revenues for the year also grew from 20% to 21%.  PC titles typically have lower product costs associated with them.

 

                  A lower percentage of revenues generated from our distribution business, which is a lower margin business, in fiscal 2005 as compared to fiscal 2004.

 

We expect cost of sales — product costs as a percentage of net revenues to slightly decrease as a percentage of revenue in fiscal 2006 as compared to fiscal 2005.  This is primarily due to a lower percentage of revenue expected to be generated from our distribution business in fiscal 2006, which is a lower margin business.  We may also continue to experience a benefit from changes in product mix in fiscal 2006 due to the focus on “big proposition” titles, for which we could benefit from higher retail pricing and manufacturing volume discounts.

 

Cost of Sales Software Royalties and Amortization (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

123,800

 

12

%

$

59,744

 

9

%

$

64,056

 

107

%

 

Cost of sales – software royalties and amortization for the year ended March 31, 2005 increased as a percentage of publishing net revenues from the prior fiscal year, from 9% to 12%.  In absolute dollars, cost of sales – software royalties and amortization for the year ended March 31, 2005 also increased from the prior fiscal year, from $59.7 million to $123.8 million.  This increase was due to an increase in the number of titles released as well as an increase in the overall costs to develop games This compares to fiscal 2004 in which a higher proportion of revenues were derived from internally developed titles with lower associated game development costs.  In fiscal 2006, we expect cost of sales – software royalties and amortization to decrease as a percentage of publishing net revenues as compared to fiscal 2005 as our fiscal 2006 titles slate includes a higher percentage of internally developed titles.

 

37



 

Cost of Sales – Intellectual Property Licenses (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

62,197

 

6

%

$

31,862

 

5

%

$

30,335

 

95

%

 

Cost of sales – intellectual property licenses for the year ended March 31, 2005 increased in absolute dollars and as a percentage of publishing net revenues over the same period last year, from 5% to 6%.  The increases in both absolute dollars and as a percentage of publishing net revenues were due to the release of more titles with associated licensed intellectual property as well as continued strong catalog sales of titles with associated licensed intellectual property compared to the titles released in fiscal 2004 for which a higher proportion of revenues was derived from titles that were internally developed with no associated intellectual property.  In fiscal 2005 we released the following titles with associated intellectual property: Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, X-Men Legends, THUG 2, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Doom 3.  In fiscal 2004, two of our top performing titles, True Crime: Streets of L.A. and Call of Duty, were based on our wholly-owned original intellectual property. In fiscal 2006, we expect cost of sales – intellectual property licenses to remain relatively flat as a percentage of publishing net revenues as compared to fiscal 2005.

 

Product Development (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Publishing
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

86,543

 

8

%

$

97,859

 

15

%

$

(11,316

)

(12

)%

 

Product development expenses for the year ended March 31, 2005 decreased as a percentage of publishing net revenues from the prior fiscal year, from 15% to 8%. In absolute dollars, product development expenses for the year ended March 31, 2005 also decreased from the prior fiscal year, from $97.9 million to $86.5 million.  The decrease in product development as a percentage of publishing net revenues and in absolute dollars primarily resulted from a pre-tax charge of approximately $21 million taken in the third quarter of fiscal 2004 related to the cancellation of products which were believed to be unlikely to produce an acceptable level of return on our investment.   Excluding the impact of the pre-tax charge, product development expenses for the year ended March 31, 2005 increased by approximately $9.7 million.  This increase was attributable to higher game development costs as development time and team sizes as well as quality assurance time increased due to enhanced production values and to support more complex and robust gaming experiences.  We expect product development costs to increase in absolute dollars due to next-generation development costs but stay constant as a percentage of revenues as we leverage the costs against bigger brands, sold in more markets, across more gaming devices.

 

Sales and Marketing (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenue

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenue

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

230,058

 

16

%

$

128,221

 

14

%

$

101,837

 

79

%

 

Sales and marketing expenses of $230.1 million and $128.2 million represented 16% and 14% of consolidated net revenues for the years ended March 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.  T he increases in both absolute dollars and as a percentage of net revenues was primarily generated by our publishing business as a result of significant marketing programs, including television and in-theatre ad campaigns and in-store promotions, run in

 

38



 

support of our key fiscal 2005 “big proposition” title releases Spider-Man 2 , Shrek 2, Doom 3, Shark Tale, X-Men Legends, THUG 2, Call of Duty: Finest Hour and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.   Our experience has shown that this increased spending will lengthen the product sales life cycle and add to the long-term prospects of the respective product lines.

 

General and Administrative (in thousands)

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Consolidated
Net Revenues

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

59,739

 

4

%

$

44,612

 

5

%

$

15,127

 

34

%

 

General and administrative expenses of $59.7 million and $44.6 million represented 4% and 5% of consolidated net revenues for the years ended March 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.  The increase in absolute dollars was primarily due to an increase in headcount and related costs to support business growth, as well as an increase in professional services fees to support Sarbanes-Oxley related compliance.  The decrease as a percentage of consolidated net revenues was due mainly to the significant increase in sales volume.

 

Operating Income (in thousands)

 

 

 

March 31,
2005

 

% of
Segment
Net Revs

 

March 31,
2004

 

% of
Segment
Net Revs

 

Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percent
Change