Activision Blizzard's third fiscal quarter results are now available, showing favorable results for the period based on sales of the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft as well as Diablo III, and word is WoW subscribership has once again topped the 10 million plateau. Word is: "For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Activision reported net income of $226 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with net income of $148 million, or 13 cents a share, for the same period last year. Revenue rose nearly 12% to $841 million. Adjusted for deferred revenue from the same of certain game titles, the company said its earnings for the period would have been 15 cents a share on revenue of $751 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $710 million on this basis, according to consensus forecasts from FactSet." The post-earnings conference call included another couple of revelations, that StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is scheduled for the first half of 2013 and the unsurprising news that Diablo III Has An Expansion Plan, even though the original version of the action/RPG sequel is not yet complete without the promised PvP mode.
The World of Warcraft Website announces plans for a charity drive to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy, the recent superstorm:
Support the Red Cross’s Superstorm Sandy Response relief efforts and adopt a Cinder Kitten when this fiery feline arrives in the Blizzard Store later this year. Your support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to survivors of disasters like Superstorm Sandy with 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee during this charity drive going toward this worthy cause.
Details about when and how you can purchase the pet will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! To learn more about the Pet Store, please visit the Pet Store FAQ.
A Developer Blog for Star Wars: The Old Republic has details on the free-to-play BioWare is adding to the Star Wars MMORPG written by lead designer Damion Schubert (thanks Ant). This outlines their goals for the F2P transition, including allowing free players the opportunity to advance to level 50 without paying and how paid subscribers should not have their experience degraded, saying of the latter it turns out the subscriber experience will improve. They also give details on the rewards program and preferred status.
JeuxOnLine has word (in French) of Wargaming.Net's plans to add a Chinese tank tree to World of Tanks, their MMO armored combat game. They also have some renders, a trailer, and a tech tree, and The World of Tanks forum has a translation from the original French if you don't parlez vous. Apparently this represents a lot of what-ifs, as many of the included tanks never went into production. Thanks GameSpy.
The Elemental Forums have word that a new patch is now available for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress to update Stardock's strategy follow-up to version 1.01. The extensive patch notes are laid out in this post.
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Paradox Interactive is opening two new servers for Salem: The Crafting MMO, as they expand the beta test for their upcoming free to play project that apparently takes the G out of MMOG. Here's word on how to try to get a beta key as well as plans for a live stream of the game tomorrow night:
The New World is expanding! Paradox Interactive and Seatribe today announced that Salem: The Crafting MMO, PC Free-to-play, has launched two additional servers this week, allowing for more beta testers to enter a fantastical New England and carve a new life for themselves in the uncharted wilderness during the colonial period.
To commemorate the event, Paradox Interactive will begin distributing beta keys to those that have yet to experience 17th century living in a world filled with alchemy, witchcraft, and permadeath. For details on how to set sail for the Americas, visit the beta sign up site Salem: The Crafting here: http://beta.salemthegame.com
In order to help new arrivals succeed in Salem: The Crafting MMO, Paradox Interactive and Seatribe will host a live stream that will give players an upper hand in safely traversing the lands surrounding Boston—Salem’s starting point—by introducing the game world to them and giving valuable guidance in the form of tips and an understanding of basic fundamentals in-game. Tune into the broadcast at 8pm CET/2pm EST/11am PST, Thursday November 8, here: http://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive
For details on the Lovecraft-inspired title, please visit the official Salem: The Crafting MMO game site at http://www.salemthegame.com
The Kickstarter for Sir, You Are Being Hunted is fully funded, less than a week after launching. In addition to an alpha gameplay trailer from the blood sport game, the page says that Big Robot Games is now in position to turn their prototype into a full game, and that they will soon be posting stretch goals explaining what they will do with any extra funds they can raise.
With the drama of the election concluded, this area is bracing for a classic Nor'easter today. For the unfamiliar this is the typical severe weather pattern for this area, and has many of the earmarks of a hurricane, which would be bad enough if it wasn't on the heels of an actual hurricane (much less the largest Atlantic hurricane on record). We should be fine here, but can only hope that the many people still displaced or out of power in the area are adequately sheltered, and cross our fingers that the storm is not as severe as predicted, as the timing of this is pretty terrible.