This evening Activision Blizzard held their quarterly conference call to reveal their financial results for the 2nd Quarter of 2012. The call was pretty much as we expected, touting record sales for Diablo 3 making it Blizzard’s best quarter ever for revenue.
What was a little disconcerting, and is certainly my fear, is that Mike stated that adding PvP would “enhance the value and longevity of Diablo 3” which skirts around the issue of the game’s other major problems which have been debated to death by players since the game launched. He did however mention “improvements to end-game rewards” so the itemisation is obviously a priority to get fixed.
Mike also pointed out that they are looking to attract more gamers to Blizzard games through Diablo 3 who would then go on and play other Blizzard games like World of Warcraft. I have picked out the main points from the call below.
- Blizzard has been busy since last investor call. Best quarter ever for revenue at Blizzard. Success down to a record breaking launch of Diablo 3.
- 16.9 million players logged into BattleNet in the past month to play Diablo 3, WoW or Sc2.
- Diablo 3 launch shattered PC gamer records including fastest PC gaming sales ever. To date more than 10 million copies have been sold. Including the 1.2 million copies sold through the WoW annual pass.
- While Diablo 3 is their number one seller, they did experience some challenges. Due to unprecedented influx of players a number of service issues arose that they needed to work around the clock to address. The vast majority of issues were ironed out within a couple of weeks of launch.
- They are not satisfied with just breaking launch records, they want people to play and enjoy Diablo 3 for a long time.
- The have already launched a number of fixes and updates including the activation of the auction house.
- Diablo team has been working on improvements to end-game rewards and adding PvP which they hope will enhance the value and longevity of the game.
- Players also took a break from WoW to play Diablo 3
- Regarding the RMAH, Mike states that RMAH usage is in-line with their expectations. Players are making use of it and they will continue to support it and update it to make sure it meets players needs
- Blizzard will not be providing projections or forecasts for the RMAH.
- Regarding the Blizzard players base and Diablo 3 and what will happen when MoP is released, Mike made it clear that they hope to bring in new players through Diablo 3 who will also try other Blizzard games, especially World of Warcraft.
- WoW subscribers down to 9.1 million subscribers worldwide, down from 10.2 million at the end of Q1. Majority of decline coming from the Eastern market.
- Blizzard say decline is to be expected as they reach the end of an expansion and prior to MoP launching.
- Great new games in the pipeline.
- Build excitement for MoP in coming weeks. Positive feedback in MoP beta test.
- Heart of the Swarm Beta coming soon
- Launch MoP as quickly as possible in China, likely after Q3.
You can listen to a recording of the full call here. There were 13 slides included with the presentation, though only three related to Blizzard or Diablo III. You can see them below, or see all the slides (PDF format) here.