Activision/Blizzard’s 2011 Q4 Financial Overview Call went off this afternoon, at 1:30pm. As usual, the call focused almost entirely on Activision and Blizzard’s financial issues. They reported another year of record profits and a large stock buy back. But what about the Blizzard news? And especially the Diablo news?
CFO Thomas Tippl stated that no major releases from Activision or Blizzard are planned during the first quarter of 2012. So there goes “early 2012” for Diablo III. Seems like we’re looking at Q2 now, April, May, or June, at the soonest. Morhaime has not yet spoken, and he should deliver some more details.
Mike Morhaime spoke about last year’s launches of WoW in various international markets. They are prepared to launch multiple titles in 2012, and with the next Blizzcon in 2013 their developers are focused on completing those games. There are currently 10.2m subscribers for WoW, with no significant changes in sub numbers since the previous quarter. They think the new patch is doing well and retaining users. The WoW annual pass (free D3 with purchase), is doing very well, and they’ve signed up more than 1m players in the West to the pass.
Diablo 3 beta testing began last year. After feedback from the community and the internal team they’ve greatly improved the game with major system changes. They’ve also been testing the Auction House extensively. They expect the D3 launch to be huge, and they can confirm they are targeting a Q2 release for Diablo III. More release date details will be released in the next few weeks.