JamesL reminds us that the Activision/Blizzard quarterly conference call is today, Tuesday November 8th, at 1:30pm PST. You can listen to the call, streaming live, via the ATVI investor page.
We were all excited about the last two of these, hoping for an announcement of the Diablo III beta start date. We never got it, with both the May and August calls featuring brief “we’re still on track for Beta in Q3” statements from Mike Morhaime.
Might today’s call reveal something new about Diablo III, such as an official release date? I sincerely doubt it, but you never know. Most likely the call will mostly focus on the newest Call of Duty game, which just launched and which is expected to be the biggest selling game of the year. Plus those Skylanders toys, which are apparently selling very well, especially with the annual, late-December “buy your kids overpriced, brightly-painted plastic crap” holiday approaching.
If you want more on that topic, check out a short interview with Bobby Kotick in USA Today. There’s no mention of Diablo or even of Blizzard, but if you don’t read it, Mr. Kotick will be displeased. And when he’s displeased, he forgets to blink. And you don’t want that.
In related news, a financial website of entirely unknown provenance has this “Buy ATVI now!” article up today. They cite expected huge sales for CoD:MW3, plus the likelihood of 3 Blizzard titles next year and project ATVI stock to rise towards $19/share. (It’s at $14 now, which is a three-year high.)
Update: As expected, nothing new on Diablo III. We did get some D3 news, in Bashiok’s posts about the D3CE’s Aesthetic Artifacts, but nothing was revealed during the call itself. A few of the key points:
Blizzcon 2011 had over 26,000 attendees and 500,000 PPV orders. (500k x $40 = $20m).
WoW is down to 10.3m subs, with most of the losses coming from the East. Bliz recognizes that the end game additions of Cataclysm were underwhelming, and they’ve got a huge content patch coming up very soon, as a stopgap measure while fans wait for the new Panda stuff in the next expansion.
Also, as Noxifer reports in comments:
Most of the questions [from media after the call] were about Diablo3 and WoW. From what I heard I got the sense that the investors look at Diablo3, RMAH kinda like a bad bet. [Compared to the guaranteed monthly $ from WoW subs.] Mike Morhaime was also under the line of fire about why the WoW subscribers went from 12 million to 10.3. His excuse was that last year they released two products, while this year they didn’t release any.