Diablo 3 Will Sell 5 Million in First Year Predict Analysts

We usually don’t hold too much stock in industry analyst predictions, but there is probably some truth in the latest comments from analysts Cowen & Company who predict that Diablo 3 will sell 5 million units in the first year.

Cowen analyst Doug Creutz has predicted that the sales figures will be boosted by 1 million thanks to the World of Warcraft Annual Pass scheme Blizzard put in place. Creutz has stated that Activision’s strong line-up of titles which includes the WoW and SC expansions, Diablo 3 and CoD will boost Activision’s shares.

Since 1996, the Diablo franchise has sold more than 20 million units so the 5 million figure for Diablo 3 should be attainable if Blizzard get the marketing and promotion right.

This prediction is also the same as Michael Pachter’s back in May 2010.

Source: Gamasutra via RPGReporter.

Related to this article
  • All Diablo 3 Games now on Sale including Necromancer Pack
  • Blizzard Games now on Sale for Black Friday
  • Diablo 3 Sells 20 Million Across All Platforms Since Launch

  • You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

    39 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Will Sell 5 Million in First Year Predict Analysts

          • What kind of PC are you using, seriously.

            Mine cost me about $400 and I consider it mid to high end. There’s nothing on the market I can’t run high smoothly with AA on. What exactly do you consider high end? 

            • Oca what resolution did you play Witcher 2 on with AA enabled, and what was your framerate? 😛

            • $400 = mid to high end ?
              and I call on bs on your statement “there’s nothing on the market I can’t run smoothly with AA on”  
              total bs
              anandtech and tomshardware say otherwise  

            • My video card (no SLI) alone was $280, and I by no means got top of the line (not even the top of that specific product line).  Reliable power supply?  Minimum $60, on sale, from someone with a secret crush on you, who just had the best glory hole experience of their life!  😛

            • You people say this because you believed in some fabled, money-wasting idea of optimization.

              I previous ran a heavy OC duo core, and recently switched to bulldozer series due to threading needs. The first cost me a bit over $60, whereas the latter cost me no more than $100.

              I run a SD card for OS and a 2 TB HD. Details neglected because I don’t really feel like typing them in.

              I run GTX 470 SLI on 1920×1080. This set me back roughly $110 a piece.

              Power supply is a reliable name brand with well enough output to support everything. Got it a little bit over $30 after rebate. MB cost me about $60. I use my TV as a monitor. I did not include the SD card in total cost because, well, I don’t consider it a necessary component.

              Overclocked and custom water cooled. This rig cost me under $400. Any cost conscious people with a bit of patience could do the exact same.

              Now is it the best of the best? No. Can you get better by throwing more money in? Yes, but it’ll be a waste of money. Is there any games out there that I can’t reasonably run on highest setting/AA without stutter? No.

              As for Witcher 2, I ran max setting with x8 AA. Smooth. FPS stayed over 50 at all times.


              The ability to run every game on the market does not reflect the last few months, as I have not followed the market for new games since then.

              But all in all, I can guarantee you that this machine is more than capable of running ANYTHING better than 360 or PS3 can boast.

              Sure, you can run a PS3 title on PS3; I guarantee you it would not look anywhere near as good as it does on a decent computer.

          •  700 – 900 Dollar  = low end ?

            What ? There are some parts in a PC that you can use for a decade or longer like the case and some parts where paying more money doesn’t help much. You usually only switch out some parts after you bought a PC once in your life.

            To upgrade my PC  new graphics card, mainboard, ram , cpu  I paid like 650 € and I now run Bf 3 at max. I had to lower the ubersampling from like 4 to 3 for Witcher 2 but everything else was maxed too. I pay 20 bucks for a mouse AND keyboard and then >200 for a graphics card that can be modded for even more efficiency (6950). That’s how you use your money smart.

            Prices for Hardware in EU are almost € = $ so you can get a high end PC in US for 800 bucks.

            • I always find it a little amusing the people who leap onto threads like these to scoff about how little they were able to spend to build a “high-end” gaming rig. It’s like responding to someone talking about how much it would cost on average to have someone put in a new deck with, “that’s ridiculous, I built my own deck for half that, all I had to do was…”
              Pretending that one could, indeed, get all of the components for said “high end” gaming rig for $400 (I’m not convinced you could get the processor alone for that, much less motherboard, ram, graphics, power supply, etc.) not everyone has the time, knowledge, or desire to build their own machine. Most people don’t in fact, even those of us who could.

              When someone says an average gaming PC is $900, they don’t mean an average “bought some guts on Newegg, took the case and fans from my old build, installed Linux so I didn’t have to buy an OS, tweaked the hardware a bit, and am my own tech support as I occasionally have to swap out or upgrade stuff when my system goes unstable.” They mean the vast majority of people who bought a build (like the vast majority of car owners who bought from a dealer instead of restoring one).

            • Well you can get a gaming PC for the price of 2 consoles or the price of a console and cheap ass laptop (these are ~£200 each and a cheap gaming PC is doable for £400, though of cause it require you to shop around). Or for a little bit more than an Ipad 2 (using UK prices).
              ^ Of cause I am talking about a cheap end one but even this should last you a good 4+ years.

            • bought some guts on Newegg, took the case and fans from my old build, installed Linux so I didn’t have to buy an OS, tweaked the hardware a bit, and am my own tech support as I occasionally have to swap out or upgrade stuff when my system goes unstable.

              Would be valid if it were ever the case. It seriously takes like half an hour to build a system and it’s stable. Maybe an hour if it’s your first build.

    1. I’m not too sure how accurate it is to consider the free copies that came with 12 months of WoW subscription a sale.

      It’s more like… a freebie for something a sum of people already were going to get. 

      • Yeah, I don’t consider WoW annual pass keys as “sales”. It’s more like following a trail of desperation. You’ll find Diablo III there, tucked nicely under the shadow of the WoW bus.

      • (Edited for sounding like a pompous blowhard) These kind “units sold” figures are included in bean-counter’s reports all the time.  Just look at SiriusXM, OS licenses, “free” phones. A digital copy will move per fulfillment of a sales contract – that is all that matters. @Red – I do agree that it is driven by desperation, but it is also to avoid the snare of brand cannibalization.
        You are overlooking the opportunity cost that Blizzard is forgoing, which is actually the more profitable move.  They forgo a $59.99 sale to bring in revenue of $15.99 x 12 = $191.88.  They also only pay overhead on the data servers for these copies – they aren’t paying for packaging or the game materials on box copies.  When you factor this in, the delta between the forgone opportunity cost and the chosen opportunity is +$130.
        Of course this assumes that the Annual Pass purchaser would have cancelled their WoW account in the next 12 months, which is probably very likely considering the time sink that Diablo 3 may be (my assumption, but I wouldn’t characterize it as completely inaccurate).  They are just avoiding internal product cannibalization, and yes, it is still a sale.

        • Blizzard made $180 from those people for 2 games, which the users might not even be playing. I don’t know what the figures are on support costs per user for WoW, but I’d guess it’s a tiny % of the $15 a month those people are paying. If you average it over the 12 months, Bliz only has to make $5/month off of their WoW sub to break even. And obviously nowhere near 100% of them would have kept up their WoW sub, or bought D3. Much less both.

    2. On the Pre-order chart diablo 3 has 440,733 as of last week.  This number will greatly jump next week with the release date announcement. And thats just the US pre-orders

    3. If you can build your own computer, low end is definitely not $700-900, but if you, say, buy ALIENWARE then yes that’s low end. It’s all about using your money smart…high end (not top end) gfx, processor, and mb together costs about $600-700, rest of the stuff you can salvage from other computers or buy pretty cheap. As far as sales go, SW is projected to have 3 million copies sold by year 1, so 5 mil for diablo 3 doesn’t seem to far fetched. Although profits is another story entirely.

      • Yep dont be stupid when it comes to buying parts, IE dont go and buy the £1000 latest CPU when you can get a slightly weaker one that still tears stuff into little bits for £170 (the i5 2500K).

      • alienware has nothing to do with it
        check out tomshardware  
        every couple of months they do a budget pc build for $500-600, a mid level build for $1000 and an enthusiast build for $1500-$2000
        they buy all parts from newegg 
        and while their 500-600 build is ok, it is definitely nothing more than a low end gaming pc 
        it just doesn’t play well at the high end resolutions

        • Good call James.  Agree 100% and I love tomshardware.  I will say, for Diablo III, a well constructed $500 machine will max it with AA at 1920×1080.  Hell, I’m doing that with an OLD $500 machine: e8600, AMD 4830 with AA on at a reduced resolution of 1440×900.  This is seriously NOT the game to be concerned with top-end hardware.

        • You do realize tomshardware has a very skewed vision of budget, mid-level, and enthusiast?

          That and they usually are not very cost conscious in purchasing. Online retail price all around. 

    4. bad analysis, 5 millions in 3 weeks. D3 fits for everyone from 8 to 80 years old and a lot of players waiting for it. Many my friends who playing not only wow and sc2 want this game.

      • “Many of my friends ..”
        ^^ that’s bad analysis  

        you know what ? many of my friends prefer coffee from the deli next door than coffee from Starbucks.
        now let’s take that observation and apply it to the majority of the population.
        Starbucks will not be successful, but the next door deli will be.
        that’s bad analysis  

        “D3 fits for everyone from 8 to 80 years old”
        and yet how many people at BlizzCon stood up at Q & A and made it totally obvious they knew nothing about Diablo 3 and had never played Diablo 2 ? 

        I think D3 will sell millions, but just because people on this board have been waiting for D3 for 10 years doesn’t mean every one has. 

    5. 5 millions in first year ? 😀 What planet do you live ? I would bet that there is already 5 million annual passes and digital downloads sold ^^ even if it wont be enough i bet with all the preorders already done it can reach easily 7mil. first year ? nice joke …

    6. I would be absolutely stunned if the number was this low. D2 sold 7 million copies total (11 years ago !!). I think the vast majority of people that bought D2 will also buy D3. At its peak WoW had about 13 million subscribers. My guess is that >20 million subs played the game over time, including churned out users. So at 5 million, we’re saying that <25% of WoW players will play D3 ? Why ? There were >20 million people willing to spend $59.99 for the original WoW + God knows how much on the expansions +  $19.99 each MONTH just to play the game, and Cowen is suggesting that less than 25% of those people will be willing to spend $60 total to play D3, which is probably the most anticipated PC game relase in at least half a decade (in my view, since the original WoW). I’m not even going to start on the broader appeal, all of the non-WoW players and SC2 players that are going to be playing D3, potential console version, etc. etc.

      D2 was the best selling PC game of all time, and I fully expect D3 to live up to its precedessor. I also saw somewhere up above that someone is expecting 30K players after two years, which is an asinine comment given there are more than 30K D2 players still playing more than 11 years later.


        • Number of copies has nothing to do with the quality of the game IMO, at least not in the first year. For me if a game is still being bought by players after 2-3 year then I can say its a good game. Nowadays there’s too much hype created because of the millions of dollars spent with propaganda to make the game look better than what it really is.

    7. That Doug Creutz is an idiot… Some proof: he predicted SW TOR would sell 4 million copies with 2.5 million subscrptions throughout the year. What a joke, my own predictions on SW was 2.2- 2.5 m and 60 – 40 -20 % retention after 2, 4 and 6+ months.  These so called specialists have no clue. As for  5 million copies for D3, that number will be reached at the end of the first/second month. Which is very high for a PC only game. If Diablo 3 will reach console gaming I guess it could double that number in one year time. The most important aspect about D3 is not the sold copies though, but 2 things will set it apart: 1. An extreme long selling period. I bet the game will top PC sales for a very very long time due to the real money drop system. Mouth to mouth about real money loot will set the gaming world on fire. 2. Its RMAH system will be so ground breaking it will lay the foundation of other Blizzard’s game systems, like Titan free to play and its own RMAH system.  

    Comments are closed.