Overnight Activision Blizzard announced better than expected financial results for the first quarter of 2013, ending March 31, 2013.

The publisher reported GAAP net revenues of $1.32 billion, compared with $1.17 billion for the first quarter of 2012.

World of Warcraft continues to be a major contributor to Activision Blizzard's wealth, which remains the most popular subscription-based MMO with 8.3 million subs. However, this represents a hefty 1.3 million drop over the quarter.

Updated sales for StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm weren't offered, with the publisher reiterating two day sales of 1.1 million copies.

Elsewhere it was business as usual for Skylanders Giants and Black Ops 2 which were the No.1 and No.2 best-selling titles in dollars across Europe and North America.

"Our first quarter performance was driven by continued consumer interest in all of our key franchises," said chief executive officer, Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick. "Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm was the #1 PC game for the quarter. Additionally, during the quarter, Blizzard's World of Warcraft remained the #1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world with more than eight million subscribers, although the game saw declines of approximately 1.3 million subscribers, mainly from the East, but in the West as well."

He continued with a word of warning regarding the challenges facing the industry in the coming months: "While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter.

"The shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in our World of Warcraft business all raise concerns, as do continued challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious.

"However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years."

Source: Activision Investor Relations

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