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GLOBAL TECH WRAP: With its unfashionable focus away from social media & tablets, Activision cleans up


Sony PlayStation Vita (hand-held): $18 million
Nintendo 3DS and DS (hand-held): $82 million
Distribution: $140 million
Nintendo Wii and Wii U (console): $183 million
Sony PlayStation3 (console): $259 million
Online subscriptions: $285 million
Microsoft Xbox 360 (console): $314 million
PC games: $487 million

Source: Activision financial results; all $USD

New-wave gaming companies like Zynga have been getting all the press - thanks to their focus on social media and tablet gaming.

But while Zynga and other struggle to get into the black, Activision-Blizzard is making bucketloads with its old-fashioned focus on game consoles and PCs .

The world's largest computer game company blew away expectations as it announced a  quarterly profit of $US354 million (three times the year go figure) on $US1.77 billion. 

Activision shares [NAS:ATVI]  leapt 11.19% to close at $US13.41 - a 52-week high that pushed its market cap to $US14.92 billion.

The company has already revealed Black Ops 2 - the latest game in its Call of Duty franchise - made $US1 billion in just 15 days during the December quarter (James Cameron's Avatar, the fastest movie to hit that mark, took 17 days).

Today, Activision said its Skylanders franchise - a game aimed at kids - has generated $1 billion revenue since it was first released in late 2011, including $US100 million from toy sales.

The pay monthly online game World of Warcraft slipped from 10 million to 9.6 million subscribers, resuming its long-term decline after a rebound last quarter.

Activision's share surge runs contrary to the prediction of one keen Call of Duty player, whom on November 12 (with Activision shares on $10.77), tweeted:

Elsewhere in global tech news today:

Google chairman and designated adult Eric Schmidt is to sell half his Google stock for $US2.51 billion. (The Verge)

Americans are getting antsy as 81 agencies apply to use drones for domestic surveillance. (Computerworld)

Hackers have posted photos after apparently accessing the email of Former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (Wall Street Journal)

Google's jets may get their own $82 million complex at San Jose International Airport (The Verge)