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Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter

Activision Blizzard announces their second quarter financial results, which are better than projected, which CEO Bobby Kotick attributes to "record digital sales of our online-enabled franchises." Word is:

In the quarter, the company delivered record GAAP net revenues of $1.1 billion, as compared with $967 million for the second quarter of 2010. On a non-GAAP basis, the company's net revenues were $699 million, as compared with $683 million for the second quarter of 2010. For the second quarter, the company delivered record GAAP net revenues from digital channels, representing a 27% increase year over year, and accounting for 37% of the company's total net revenues. On a non-GAAP basis, record net revenues from digital channels increased 13% year over year, accounting for more than 60% of the quarter's total net revenues.

For the second quarter of 2011, Activision Blizzard's GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.29, as compared with $0.17 for the second quarter of 2010. On a non-GAAP basis, the company's earnings per diluted share were $0.10, as compared with $0.06 for the second quarter of 2010.

Blizzplanet has word from the post-earnings conference call, where the company stated beta testing of Diablo III will commence by the end of the third quarter, which ends in September. If this seems familiar, it is because they announced basically the same thing during the conference call following their Q1 financials.

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35. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 5, 2011, 06:14 Theo
 
Verno wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 10:07:
You can't give people easy mode raiding and expect them to automatically like a much harder difficulty, particularly that demographic of gamer.

Interesting (not that i am disagreing with you) I was in the demographic that actaully returned when i heard that grouping was not easy mode anymore. weird eh?

 
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34. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 5, 2011, 00:05 xXBatmanXx
 
That is a pretty crappy earnings per share on such a large "record" revenue.....I question their ability to run an organization effeciently....

Wow, almost 400 million in non-GAAP? hmmmmm
Be interesting to see whay they put in there...
 
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33. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 11:37 bhcompy
 
Kosumo wrote on Aug 3, 2011, 21:49:
WoW is and oldish game, it is going to die down over time, it maybe past it's peak but I think it will still be around for many years to come (5-8 at lest)

Well, some games die down over time. EVE is 8 years old and has grown every year. Not bad
 
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32. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 11:16 sauron
 
nin wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 09:39:
Cataclysm was too much stick, and not enough carrot. So I'm not at all surprised people left.

Third of fourth expansions for an MMO are always difficult and seem to be the ones where the most mistakes get made.

Final Fantasy XI was the same - the first three expansions (Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urgan) were excellent. Chains of Promathia in particular was an absolutely huge and epic story. In contrast, the fourth expansion was thrown together while Square Enix were ramping up development on FFXIII and FFXIV. It didn't have the same level of resources or effort devoted to it, content was recycled and the story was underdeveloped, and so everybody left.
 
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31. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:52 Wildone
 
OOOO but they made you wait EIGHT YEARS for it so it must be good!!!!  
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30. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:36 yuastnav
 
RollinThundr wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 10:30:
Am I the only one underwhelmed by blizzards titles to begin with? D3 to me is a 2001 game with 2007 visuals, add in the forced always on connection, the real money transactions etc, what makes this any better than any of the rest of the garbage F2P microtransaction titles out there? Blizzard's name on the box? Because really that does zero for me.

Maybe you just aren't into their games.
I only played Starcraft, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 but those just weren't my games. They may be really good and I even enjoyed playing Tower Defense in StarCraft with my friends and occasionally played a round of Diablo 2 with them but those aren't just my games so I don't blame Blizzard for it.
So no, you are not the only one so it's okay.
 
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29. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:30 RollinThundr
 
Am I the only one underwhelmed by blizzards titles to begin with? D3 to me is a 2001 game with 2007 visuals, add in the forced always on connection, the real money transactions etc, what makes this any better than any of the rest of the garbage F2P microtransaction titles out there? Blizzard's name on the box? Because really that does zero for me.  
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28. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:28 nin
 
The Molten Front is a collection of daily quests far more tedious and repetitive than anything in Wrath. Truly an awful concept, and it takes an entire month of doing the same quests over and over again, after which you unlock some vendors.

Yeah, I'd heard it was a one month grind, and that gave me no reason to return.

In my case, I think it's time for something different. WOWs direction seems to be the exact opposite of what I want to see from a MMO.
 
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27. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:18 Jonny
 
Verno wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 10:07:
I kind of gave up on WoW when the lore stopped being interesting and they started with daily quests. Repetition by design is one thing but daily quests break the 4th wall to the point where I couldn't ignore the laziness anymore. I'd rather play interesting one off quests than repeat something 800 times to get a token to get a single armor piece.

They've not learned yet either. I know neither of you will have tried the Molten Front if you unsubbed a while ago, but I stuck around to see if it would save my rapidly collapsing interest.

It really didn't. The Molten Front is a collection of daily quests far more tedious and repetitive than anything in Wrath. Truly an awful concept, and it takes an entire month of doing the same quests over and over again, after which you unlock some vendors.

Really, really awful mindless grinding on a scale that even Cata at it's launch didn't match. It does not bode well for the future that the current team still can't even match Wrath, let alone innovate upon it. They seem incapable of going past simple grinding for gear as a gameplay concept.
 
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26. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 10:07 Verno
 
Cataclysm had a shocking number of bugs and issues by Blizzard standards, the rapid fire hotfixes literally went on for months afterward. Even worse is that they forgot that you can give people something but you can't take it away without pissing them off. You can't give people easy mode raiding and expect them to automatically like a much harder difficulty, particularly that demographic of gamer. Surprisingly I have to agree with nin here on the too much stick, not enough carrot comment.

I kind of gave up on WoW when the lore stopped being interesting and they started with daily quests. Repetition by design is one thing but daily quests break the 4th wall to the point where I couldn't ignore the laziness anymore. I'd rather play interesting one off quests than repeat something 800 times to get a token to get a single armor piece.
 
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25. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 09:39 nin
 
Well, Cataclysm was basically a thrown together shell with some intially bloody hard dungeons and raids because various folk had listened to the minority of loud people on the forums screaming about Wrath's EZ mode.

When it launched with content you could level through in a couple of days and then be utterly stuck if you had to rely on pugs or social guilds, the collapse in subs started. Even repeated nerfs to the content hasn't helped, because there was literally nothing in it but level as quickly as possible and then try to get into T11 raids that were a lot harder than they were in Wrath.

I'm agreeing the next expansion will probably abandon the return to vanilla hard mode bullshit and will go back to Wrath's accessible content, whether e-peen wavers like it or not. Purely because for every hardcore raider who kicks up a stink on the forums about welfare epics there are probably 50 people with subs who never go near the forum, don't give a shit about hardcore raiding and just want to potter about enjoying themselves for an hour or two a night.


That's the exact problem. Trying to go from hard to easy brings more players in. Great! But then going from easy to hard? That's the resistance and canceling we're seeing now.

I was one of those people. I never even considered raiding until LK. Hell, I basically played it as a SP game with a few friends here and there until LK! And while the time spent raiding in LK was a little more than I would have liked (we averaged about 9 hours week, over 3 nights), I had a great time, and saw content I normally never would have seen. With the buff, our group was 9/12 on hard mode ICC before Cataclysm launched. And I was fine with that.

Cataclysm seemed to go out of its way to push casuals like me out. So we left. Between that and the story that didn't seem to be nearly as interesting/epic (we finish a piece of lore that goes all the way back to WC3, vs now we get a pieced together story that doesn't seem to have a lot of going on) I didn't see any reason to stay on the treadmill.

Cataclysm was too much stick, and not enough carrot. So I'm not at all surprised people left.

 
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24. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 09:24 Jonny
 
Yakubs wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 08:58:
Losing 900k subs is a VERY VERY big deal when you're a public company and Bobby Kotick's latest bonus of stock options are still out of the money. Public companies are supposed to grow, not shrink. I guarantee there's pressure coming down from the Activision suits to the newly-suited Blizzard execs to fix this issue, and fast.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next WoW expansion swings the pendulum back towards super easy content and Flaming Sword of Flames +10,000,000.

Well, Cataclysm was basically a thrown together shell with some intially bloody hard dungeons and raids because various folk had listened to the minority of loud people on the forums screaming about Wrath's EZ mode.

When it launched with content you could level through in a couple of days and then be utterly stuck if you had to rely on pugs or social guilds, the collapse in subs started. Even repeated nerfs to the content hasn't helped, because there was literally nothing in it but level as quickly as possible and then try to get into T11 raids that were a lot harder than they were in Wrath.

I'm agreeing the next expansion will probably abandon the return to vanilla hard mode bullshit and will go back to Wrath's accessible content, whether e-peen wavers like it or not. Purely because for every hardcore raider who kicks up a stink on the forums about welfare epics there are probably 50 people with subs who never go near the forum, don't give a shit about hardcore raiding and just want to potter about enjoying themselves for an hour or two a night.
 
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23. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 09:13 MattyC
 
I still will never get the Blizz Activision merger. I am sure it made some sense to those inside from a business point of view, but it seems like Blizzard with WoW (even losing steam) hardly needed Activision and didn't get all that much out of the deal.


As for WoW losing a lot of players I dropped it too. Cata was just bland and a letdown for me. That said I mostly moved on to another Blizzard game (SC2) so I am still in their player base just sans monthly fee.
 
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22. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 09:09 nin
 
Ok so 11 million subscribers, minus 900k, is still a shitload of subscribers and money.

Indeed. You can bet it has their attention. I'm just not sure how they can turn it around, at this point.
 
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21. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 08:58 Yakubs
 
Losing 900k subs is a VERY VERY big deal when you're a public company and Bobby Kotick's latest bonus of stock options are still out of the money. Public companies are supposed to grow, not shrink. I guarantee there's pressure coming down from the Activision suits to the newly-suited Blizzard execs to fix this issue, and fast.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next WoW expansion swings the pendulum back towards super easy content and Flaming Sword of Flames +10,000,000.
 
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20. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 08:34 Theo
 
Most MMO companys would give there left legs to be as "niche" as blizzard are heading, this game would be profitable with 1 million subs @ this point.

Also, mmo subs usually go down by at least 20% over the summer months, so thats part of it. (not saying they will go back up, as you have all pointed out there are a lot of nice looking games on the way).

its not as bad as it seems however.

 
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19. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 08:17 Alamar
 
ASeven wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 07:43:
The Half Elf wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 06:17:
Teddy wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 02:34:
Cutter wrote on Aug 3, 2011, 22:28:
WoW may live for another decade for sure, but as a niche product much like UO. If it's not hemmoraghing customers on a massive scale now it will be soon with SWTOR, GW2, Titan, etc. At this point there's little keeping anyone around WoW except for the social aspect of it, and for the serious raiders and pvpers - a minority.


They just announced another 300,000 accounts lost last quarter. That's 900,000 accounts in half a year. I think that qualifies as hemmorhraging at this point.

Ok so 11 million subscribers, minus 900k, is still a shitload of subscribers and money.

If it keeps bleeding subscribers at this rate then soon it won't be that many left, not to cover infrastructure and other costs.

Soon is such a fun word : )

But let's look at the math...

Assuming, for the hell of it, 10 million is what they have after losing 900k... That needs to drop another 9 mil or so before infrastructure costs are too much, and long since that point, they would have closed half their servers anyways...

Also, 600k in one quarter, 300k in the next... does that mean it'll be 150k next quarter, or 0? Assuming half and half again, that's only 225k lost over the next half year... Sure, it's all simplified for your amusement, but worrying (or hoping) Blizzard is hurting from all this is silly...

It's all moot anyways; we don't know their numbers... like how much it costs them to hire the forklift operators to move around their massive stacks of money and what not ; )

-Alamar
 
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18. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 07:43 ASeven
 
The Half Elf wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 06:17:
Teddy wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 02:34:
Cutter wrote on Aug 3, 2011, 22:28:
WoW may live for another decade for sure, but as a niche product much like UO. If it's not hemmoraghing customers on a massive scale now it will be soon with SWTOR, GW2, Titan, etc. At this point there's little keeping anyone around WoW except for the social aspect of it, and for the serious raiders and pvpers - a minority.


They just announced another 300,000 accounts lost last quarter. That's 900,000 accounts in half a year. I think that qualifies as hemmorhraging at this point.

Ok so 11 million subscribers, minus 900k, is still a shitload of subscribers and money.

If it keeps bleeding subscribers at this rate then soon it won't be that many left, not to cover infrastructure and other costs.
 
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17. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 06:17 The Half Elf
 
Teddy wrote on Aug 4, 2011, 02:34:
Cutter wrote on Aug 3, 2011, 22:28:
WoW may live for another decade for sure, but as a niche product much like UO. If it's not hemmoraghing customers on a massive scale now it will be soon with SWTOR, GW2, Titan, etc. At this point there's little keeping anyone around WoW except for the social aspect of it, and for the serious raiders and pvpers - a minority.


They just announced another 300,000 accounts lost last quarter. That's 900,000 accounts in half a year. I think that qualifies as hemmorhraging at this point.

Ok so 11 million subscribers, minus 900k, is still a shitload of subscribers and money.
 
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16. Re: Activision Financials, Diablo III Beta This Quarter Aug 4, 2011, 06:01 ASeven
 
This poses an interesting question, a big share of activision's revenue, and a big reason why they keep having profits, is WoW. With this hemorraging of subscribers, what will happen if blizzard can't put a stop to it? It should be interesting to see Kotick facing his first real threat of losses.  
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