Earnings Report: Hell on the Rise, Azeroth in Decline

Cognimancer

Imperial Intelligence
Jun 13, 2012
1,906
0
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Earnings Report: Hell on the Rise, Azeroth in Decline

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"Only" bringing in a billion dollars is a good problem to have.

Activision Blizzard has published its Q2 2012 earnings report, and the numbers aren't half bad. The company earned $1.08 billion in revenue: more than the $950 million prediction made in May, but not quite on par with last year's Q2 earnings of $1.15 billion. That's a lot of money by anyone's standards, and Activision knows exactly where it's coming from.

"Our performance was driven by strong audience demand for our great games," stated Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "For the first six months, we had the top three best-selling games in North America and Europe with Activision Publishing's Skylanders Spyro's Adventures and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Blizzard Entertainment's record setting Diablo III."

Blizzard doesn't have quite as many horses in the race as Activision Publishing does, but it's certainly not falling behind in revenue. World of Warcraft subscriptions, alongside Call of Duty DLC, were responsible for $343 million this quarter, making up nearly a third of Activision Blizzard's total earnings. Blizzard was particularly proud of Diablo III's success, reporting that as of July, "more than 10 million players have entered the world of Sanctuary." About 1.2 million of those players grabbed their copy of the game for free via the WoW Annual Pass, which included a copy of Diablo III when players subscribed for 12 months of World of Warcraft playing time.

The biggest slip-up in the company's finances comes from a notable decline in World of Warcraft subscribers. After being switching to free-to-play models [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114283-League-of-Legends-Muscles-Past-World-of-Warcraft], Blizzard may need to start considering other options.

Overall, the company seems to have high hopes for the rest of 2012. Blizzard plans to release its fourth World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria on September 25, which may bring a resurgence of WoW subscriptions. Meanwhile, Activision is making an effort to bring the Call of Duty franchise to Chinese markets with an upcoming free-to-play title. As for how successful these plans will be, only time will tell.

Source: Activision [http://investor.activision.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=697761]

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Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
11,597
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This gives me a chance to use my joke now, Someone made a better game then WOW? LOL!
 

Hisshiss

New member
Aug 10, 2010
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Evil Smurf said:
This gives me a chance to use my joke now, Someone made a better game then WOW? LOL!
It's a cheap comparison, LoL is a free to play game, which means it already has a HUGE lead over WoW in term of accounts and activity simply because you don't have to pony up any actual money to play it.

But nobody seems to admit that part, cus it's just not cool to stand up for big bad WoW and all of its success.
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
3,422
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Hisshiss said:
It's a cheap comparison, LoL is a free to play game, which means it already has a HUGE lead over WoW in term of accounts and activity simply because you don't have to pony up any actual money to play it.

But nobody seems to admit that part, cus it's just not cool to stand up for big bad WoW and all of its success.
If you want to bring in technicalities then you should state that WoW is also free for the first 20 levels. So it's not quite so cut and dry.
 

Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
1,739
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In some fairness, WoW hasn't been updated with content in the last 9 months. The same thing happen before Cataclysm, it lost a lot of subs because it wasn't updated, then regained them back afterwards(then lost them again). I expect the same with Mists. Though I say people will be pleasantly surprised how good Mists is compared to the disaster that was Cata.(I'm in Beta and I like it so much better than live)
 

Moonlight Butterfly

Be the Leaf
Mar 16, 2011
6,157
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I'm so bored of WOW it's not even funny it's not a bad game just Christ I was playing the damn thing for years. I've had enough lol.
 

jurnag12

New member
Nov 9, 2009
460
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Allow me to speculate about what will happen:

For the next 2 months, the number of subscribers for WoW will continue to fall due to the typical pre-expansion mindset of "Anything I do now will be invalidated by the new gear and/or profession-levels, so I might as well do nothing".
Then, starting at 2 days before the release of Mists, it'll climb back up, quite probably going back over the 10 million mark , to stabilize about 2-3 weeks after teh release, and over a few months after the first big content patch, we'll be back at the familiar whining on the forums that:
- WoW is obviously dying
- The expansion before the current one was obviously better and Blizzard are idiots for changing things
- [Class A] is overpowered/underpowered/screwed over by the expansion, so [Class B] must be nerfed/buffed/removed from the game altogether/used to nail Ghostwalker to a wall.

Then in 2 years we'll be back at a slowly dropping sub number, a new expansion, and more whining that Blizzard is obviously trying to cater to some peripheral demographic for some arcane reason.

Me, I'll just do the same as what I've always done (3 1/2 years and counting): Happily pay the monthly fee to play a well designed (Your mileage may vary), decently balanced (YMMV) and most importantly, fun (if it weren't, you weren't playing it, now would you?) game, while being cautiously optimistic about the upcoming expansion pack.
 

Rainboq

New member
Nov 19, 2009
16,620
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As much as it pains me to say this, WOW needs to die, just so the MMO marketplace can get really competitive again, because no one with any sense wants to go toe to toe with WOW.
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
4,952
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and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.

CoD is much in the same boat for different reasons. CoD is that they have reached the peak of their innovation as well as the peak of their saturation. From here its just a matter of dwindling to a more moderate fanbase in favor of other gametypes.

Diablo 3 defies all logic on so many different levels. No one in their right mind should have bought this game. Those who did were treated to exactly what they were warned of. Only problem is that by the time they realized it, the damage had already been done and they made entirely more money than a game built around making a profit for having its players play it should have never been rewarded.

So... Two wounded franchises, and an abomination. But hey.... they did pretty good things with Spyro, right?
 

Maxtro

New member
Feb 13, 2011
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Nice chart. I was wondering what the number 2 MMO was. Looks like it's Aion, and SWTOR just announced that they dropped below 1 mil subs
 

Easton Dark

New member
Jan 2, 2011
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Rainboq said:
As much as it pains me to say this, WOW needs to die, just so the MMO marketplace can get really competitive again, because no one with any sense wants to go toe to toe with WOW.
Hey, I agree. The sooner it dies, the better it will be for the rest of the industry.
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
4,952
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Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.

Also I have a lot of trouble thinking AION has or ever had anywhere near 4 million subs.


Now as for League of Legends. You can make the case that it dethroned WoW as highest subbed MMO. Remember, MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. So by that definition you also have to include every Massively multiplayer online game regardless of genre. That includes MOBAs, RPGs, FPS, RTS, literally everything.

WoWs time has come and gone. Thats why people keep talking about it. From here in it is only going to be a downward spiral. Granted with as large as the 5 or so million subs WoW actually has, it might take upwards of a decade or more before its figures whittle down to the level of other competitors today topping 1-3 million, but the end has begun.
 

SonicKoala

The Night Zombie
Sep 8, 2009
2,266
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viranimus said:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.
viranimus said:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.
It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
4,952
0
0
SonicKoala said:
viranimus said:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.
viranimus said:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.
It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.
NOOOO !!! Im not apologizing. Im calling myself miserable and pathetic!
 

SonicKoala

The Night Zombie
Sep 8, 2009
2,266
0
0
viranimus said:
SonicKoala said:
viranimus said:
and the gaming industry crash of 2012 continues to escalate.

Im sorry, but really WoW is not even a competitor any more. They are on the decline and basically everyone who might have had interest in playing WoW has already tried it. While there will be no giant killer, the kill shot has been lobbed and it was Blizzard that lobbed it with the aptly name Cataclysm. Im sorry, but Wow will only continue to dwindle from here on out. Friendship and nostalgia can only hold people so long before they get tired of the same antiquated game mechanics and graphics. As "friends" leave, so too will more people leave because their friends left. The giant is dead... all we see now is the death throws and reflex reaction.
viranimus said:
Yeah, not buying that chart. Sorry. We know Blizzard has always fudged their sub numbers. However there is no way that the ratio of east vs west on WoW is anywhere near as small as 1 million. Only way that is plausible is if the true figure of Blizzards sub numbers is closer to 5 million, which actually is pretty likely.
It's alright, you're forgiven. There's no need to keep apologizing.
NOOOO !!! Im not apologizing. Im calling myself miserable and pathetic!
Now that's just too harsh. You gotta stop being so hard on yourself, man - it's not warranted. Here you are making all these great points, totally contributing to the discussion and what not - nothing miserable or pathetic about that. Just straight up gentlemanly discussion. Kudos.
 

Kikyoo

New member
Apr 16, 2008
124
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WoW is dated.
It is so old it's not even funny anymore. They keep trying to spin it like it's a whole new game, but it's still the same old game. I'm actually very ready for them to move on. I think a War craft 4 to set up a World of Warcraft 2 would be a good direction to move in, rather than keeping the hulking beast that is WoW alive as it right now. Sadly that's not how these things work. As long as there is still money to squeeze out of WoW they will keep it going as long as they are able. I grow fearful that WoW is going to out live me.
 

Twilight_guy

Sight, Sound, and Mind
Nov 24, 2008
7,131
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Kay, so Blizzard/Activation is doing fine, though there profits are going down slightly and WoW's user base is doing its standard tango of burnout cycles. Congrats to them, I suppose. Then again, if they did poorly then it would mean a hundred other companies went under at the same time.
 

dantoddd

New member
Sep 18, 2009
272
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with 10mn units sold diablo 3 is the best selling game of the year so far. When was the last time a PC game got that distinction