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Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost

Activision Blizzard announces better-than-expected first quarter 2013 financial results, reporting GAAP net revenues of $1.32 billion (compared with $1.17 billion for the first quarter of 2012). The company's non-GAAP net revenues were $804 million ($587 million for the first quarter of 2012). As for earnings: "For the quarter ended March 31, 2013, Activision Blizzard’s GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.40, as compared with $0.33 for the first quarter of 2012. On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s earnings per diluted share were $0.17, as compared with $0.06 for the first quarter of 2012." This includes word that WoW has lost another 1.3 million subscribers ("mainly from the East, but in the West as well") along the way. Here are their selected business highlights:

  • As of March 31, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with 8.3 million subscribers.²
  • For the first quarter, Blizzard Entertainment had two top-10 PC titles in both North America and Europe with Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Diablo® III.¹
  • As of March 31, 2013, in North America and Europe combined, Activision Publishing was the #1 publisher overall for the quarter, including accessory packs and figures, with the #1 and #2 best-selling franchises – Skylanders and Call of Duty®.³
  • In both North America and Europe, including accessory packs and figures, Activision Publishing’s Skylanders Giants™ was the #1 best-selling game overall in dollars for the first quarter of 2013.³
  • For the quarter, in North America and Europe combined, Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the #2 best-selling title in dollars.¹
  • During the quarter, non-GAAP digital revenues from Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty franchise increased more than 100% year over year.²
  • On May 1, 2013, Activision Publishing announced that it will release its new Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, on November 5, 2013.
  • On April 29, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment announced that it will release Diablo III for the Sony PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system later this year. As announced previously, Blizzard also plans to adapt the game for the Sony PlayStation 4.
  • On March 22, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment announced Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, a new cross-platform free-to-play game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®.
  • On March 12, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment launched StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. As of the end of its first two days of sales, Heart of the Swarm had sold through approximately 1.1 million copies worldwide, including both retail and digital sales.²
  • On February 5, 2013, Activision Publishing announced Skylanders SWAP Force™, the newest installment in the popular Skylanders franchise.

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36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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36. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 10, 2013, 02:07 Dev
 
Creston wrote on May 9, 2013, 14:04:
nin wrote on May 9, 2013, 08:50:
Wallshadows wrote on May 8, 2013, 23:06:
Devil's advocate but the game is nearly 10 years old, of course it'll start to dip in subscription numbers.

Yep. Any other mmo would kill for 8 million. Hell, they're excited if they get 1 million.


*sees TOR sitting in the corner looking dejected, with Bioware and EA both softly crying.*



Creston
Any other SANE company.
 
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35. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 23:25 s1mon75
 
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
s1mon75 wrote on May 8, 2013, 22:44:
I honestly thought it would be much lower. Ive canned my account a few months ago. Not bad considering its been active since 23rd Nov 2003. Thats a long time to play a game, any game in fact.

As Op said, Bring on Titan!

Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.

Not knocking you, I get that you enjoyed the game. It makes me laugh at people who complain about playing a Free MMO like NWO and bitch about spending a little cash on the game to get some of the more unique items and then call it pay to win. If someone is willing to pay a monthly sub, like you did, I fail to understand how buying something like ZEN in a game is really any different in the end.

I dont feel knocked, its a bloody fair point!

If you add the amount of name changes, server transfers etc its closer to $2k

Its been a while since ive added them all up, but I have around 300 RL days played .. Lets say that $2000 investment, at over 7200hrs play time works out to be 0.27c an hour.

Personally I have no issue with that. If I worked out my per hour of gaming per how much ive spent my MWO or WOT accounts it would be a shed load higher.

As an older bloke, I can safely say all of the above has a much higher return on my investment and was cheaper than my first night in Vegas. Coke and Hookers are fucking expensive@!
 
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34. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 17:23 Julio
 
Eirikrautha wrote on May 9, 2013, 16:38:
I don't see any hypocrisy in previuosly paying an entry fee for a game and still complaining about PTW.

Agreed, PTW means no skill involved. You can have skill with a monthly fee.
 
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33. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 16:38 Eirikrautha
 
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 13:14:
nin wrote on May 9, 2013, 13:09:
Mr. Tact wrote on May 9, 2013, 12:28:
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.
I would agree that anyone who played WoW for years (which includes myself) complaining about the Neverwinter Zen scheme would be talking out of both sides of their mouth. That does not however preclude others from criticizing the setup.

As far as the sanity of spending over $1,000 in subscription fees to play WoW for six years, as I did. My argument is on a per hour basis it was FAR cheaper than any movie I've gone to see in a theater. Some think that's not a valid argument *shrug*. Whatever. To me, entertainment is entertainment. It is simply a means to fill time. And IMHO, that is all there is -- filling time until you finally die.


Also, $13-$15 a month is the equivalent of buying 3 or so AAA $60 releases a year, something I think a lot of folks do...it's easy to say "OMG, you spent how much playing a MMO?!", but when you break it down, it's really not that out of sorts with any other gamers yearly purchases.



Don't get me wrong, im not complaining about anyone who pays the monthly fee. my argument is those who have done this and play F2P MMOs and complain about spending money on the game that they seem to enjoy and then bitch about it being pay to win.

That's calling the kettle black in my book.

Well, you've conflated two different complaints here. There's a difference between paying for game enhancements and "pay-to-win." WOW's monthly fee engendered no advantage to any player... It was a flat cost of entry. PTW, on the other hand, rewards money spent with an in-game advantage. It's not the size of the expenditure; it's the function the money plays in the game that matters. I don't see any hypocrisy in previuosly paying an entry fee for a game and still complaining about PTW.
 
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32. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 14:04 Creston
 
nin wrote on May 9, 2013, 08:50:
Wallshadows wrote on May 8, 2013, 23:06:
Devil's advocate but the game is nearly 10 years old, of course it'll start to dip in subscription numbers.

Yep. Any other mmo would kill for 8 million. Hell, they're excited if they get 1 million.


*sees TOR sitting in the corner looking dejected, with Bioware and EA both softly crying.*



Creston
 
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31. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 13:57 LittleMe
 
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 11:59:
Yea, I read that business model too. I'm playing NWO now, and have a Rogue at lv 60. I did not feel like I had to pay to win or get my char to that level. but again, when someone complains about playing a little bit of cash for a game that's free I don't see how in the end there is any difference.

Many people seem to think that when a Free MMO comes out that it is free. But they all fail to understand that it takes servers and bandwidth to run those games. nothing is really free in the end.

Yeah the huge amount of costs Cryptic has incurred deserves respect and consideration. I haven't even played NWO but I play on buying a few smaller items just to thank them for developing a PC MMO. It's not my ideal game of course but I've been reading a lot of good mini-reviews including your getting to lvl 60 seems like a positive vote too.

I agree though that pay2win is a bad PR move and I wont pay for that, but I won't PvP in it..

 
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30. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 13:14 Darks
 
nin wrote on May 9, 2013, 13:09:
Mr. Tact wrote on May 9, 2013, 12:28:
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.
I would agree that anyone who played WoW for years (which includes myself) complaining about the Neverwinter Zen scheme would be talking out of both sides of their mouth. That does not however preclude others from criticizing the setup.

As far as the sanity of spending over $1,000 in subscription fees to play WoW for six years, as I did. My argument is on a per hour basis it was FAR cheaper than any movie I've gone to see in a theater. Some think that's not a valid argument *shrug*. Whatever. To me, entertainment is entertainment. It is simply a means to fill time. And IMHO, that is all there is -- filling time until you finally die.


Also, $13-$15 a month is the equivalent of buying 3 or so AAA $60 releases a year, something I think a lot of folks do...it's easy to say "OMG, you spent how much playing a MMO?!", but when you break it down, it's really not that out of sorts with any other gamers yearly purchases.



Don't get me wrong, im not complaining about anyone who pays the monthly fee. my argument is those who have done this and play F2P MMOs and complain about spending money on the game that they seem to enjoy and then bitch about it being pay to win.

That's calling the kettle black in my book.
 
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29. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 13:09 nin
 
Mr. Tact wrote on May 9, 2013, 12:28:
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.
I would agree that anyone who played WoW for years (which includes myself) complaining about the Neverwinter Zen scheme would be talking out of both sides of their mouth. That does not however preclude others from criticizing the setup.

As far as the sanity of spending over $1,000 in subscription fees to play WoW for six years, as I did. My argument is on a per hour basis it was FAR cheaper than any movie I've gone to see in a theater. Some think that's not a valid argument *shrug*. Whatever. To me, entertainment is entertainment. It is simply a means to fill time. And IMHO, that is all there is -- filling time until you finally die.


Also, $13-$15 a month is the equivalent of buying 3 or so AAA $60 releases a year, something I think a lot of folks do...it's easy to say "OMG, you spent how much playing a MMO?!", but when you break it down, it's really not that out of sorts with any other gamers yearly purchases.


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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28. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 12:28 Mr. Tact
 
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.
I would agree that anyone who played WoW for years (which includes myself) complaining about the Neverwinter Zen scheme would be talking out of both sides of their mouth. That does not however preclude others from criticizing the setup.

As far as the sanity of spending over $1,000 in subscription fees to play WoW for six years, as I did. My argument is on a per hour basis it was FAR cheaper than any movie I've gone to see in a theater. Some think that's not a valid argument *shrug*. Whatever. To me, entertainment is entertainment. It is simply a means to fill time. And IMHO, that is all there is -- filling time until you finally die.
 
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27. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 11:59 Darks
 
Verno wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:50:
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
If someone is willing to pay a monthly sub, like you did, I fail to understand how buying something like ZEN in a game is really any different in the end.

It depends on the game, WoW provides way more value for that $1700.00 than an eternity of NW and Zen can provide even though you might have to pay more in time or Zen to get the quality of service things you use in other subscription games. F2P doesn't mean cheaper, far from it if you get deep into them. Reading up on the business model stuff surrounding NW on Reddit was an eye opener.

Personally I don't mind the idea of a sub MMO these days but it would need to provide WoW levels of content and polish to get me there and no game can really do that.

Yea, I read that business model too. I'm playing NWO now, and have a Rogue at lv 60. I did not feel like I had to pay to win or get my char to that level. but again, when someone complains about playing a little bit of cash for a game that's free I don't see how in the end there is any difference.

Many people seem to think that when a Free MMO comes out that it is free. But they all fail to understand that it takes servers and bandwidth to run those games. nothing is really free in the end.
 
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http://www.moddb.com/mods/eye-of-the-beholder-ii-ledgend-of-darkmoon
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26. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 10:50 Verno
 
Darks wrote on May 9, 2013, 10:23:
If someone is willing to pay a monthly sub, like you did, I fail to understand how buying something like ZEN in a game is really any different in the end.

It depends on the game, WoW provides way more value for that $1700.00 than an eternity of NW and Zen can provide even though you might have to pay more in time or Zen to get the quality of service things you use in other subscription games. F2P doesn't mean cheaper, far from it if you get deep into them. Reading up on the business model stuff surrounding NW on Reddit was an eye opener.

Personally I don't mind the idea of a sub MMO these days but it would need to provide WoW levels of content and polish to get me there and no game can really do that.
 
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25. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 10:23 Darks
 
s1mon75 wrote on May 8, 2013, 22:44:
I honestly thought it would be much lower. Ive canned my account a few months ago. Not bad considering its been active since 23rd Nov 2003. Thats a long time to play a game, any game in fact.

As Op said, Bring on Titan!

Did I understand you correctly when you said, you just canned your account and you had been paying for it since 2003?

Have you run the numbers on this? you paid around 1700.00 dollars for a game.

Not knocking you, I get that you enjoyed the game. It makes me laugh at people who complain about playing a Free MMO like NWO and bitch about spending a little cash on the game to get some of the more unique items and then call it pay to win. If someone is willing to pay a monthly sub, like you did, I fail to understand how buying something like ZEN in a game is really any different in the end.
 
Avatar 20498
 
Creator of the Neverwnter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/eye-of-the-beholder-ii-ledgend-of-darkmoon
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24. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 08:50 nin
 
Wallshadows wrote on May 8, 2013, 23:06:
Devil's advocate but the game is nearly 10 years old, of course it'll start to dip in subscription numbers.

Yep. Any other mmo would kill for 8 million. Hell, they're excited if they get 1 million.



 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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23. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 08:14 Mr. Tact
 
Agreed. Love it or hate it, WoW has been and continues to be a fantastic success. While I'm holding onto hope that Titan will be as compelling as WoW was at launch, I figure the changes are very small. Actually, at this point, I think the odds of me ever buying another Blizzard game is pretty small. SC2 being the last thing I bought. And frankly, thinking about that makes me a little sad.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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22. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 06:58 Julio
 
Impressive that they managed to keep 8.3 million subscribers playing such an ancient game. Makes sense to keep milking it, it's unlikely they'll be able to get so many for whatever's next.  
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21. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 03:54 InBlack
 
Prez wrote on May 8, 2013, 23:25:
I think the really remarkable thing in regards to Blizzard is that they still have over 8 million people paying a monthly fee to play an ancient MMO that was never really that compelling to start with.

Oh I dont know about that, it was pretty compelling way back when in Vanilla land....I have no idea why people are still playing now though, there is more handholding than in a John Green novel. Its more like an on rails adventure shooter than a MMORPG. But yeah, people are sheep and what the fuck do I know....
 
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20. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 02:26 OldTimber
 
They lost a amount of subs any new game would kill to have as their whole playerbase with recuring payments not as some F2P/Cashshop game. Frankly I'd like to see how many subs were reactivated in the period also.  
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19. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 9, 2013, 00:44 ViRGE
 
Dev wrote on May 8, 2013, 21:23:
8m (current) to 12m (peak) is 50%. Thats not insignificant.
And yet anyone else would kill to have that kind of a subscriber base. $15/month and they shell out for the expansion pack at essentially the price for a full game every 2 years. $400/account per 2 year cycle is good money.
Wallshadows wrote on May 8, 2013, 23:06:
Devil's advocate but the game is nearly 10 years old, of course it'll start to dip in subscription numbers.
And then there's EVE... Though to be fair, that took a few years to "pop" in subscriber numbers, whereas Warcraft was a massive success right out of the gate.
 
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18. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 8, 2013, 23:49 Cutter
 
If they're not padding the numbers on subs - and I fully believe they are - I can't imagine that Actiblizz will allow Titan to remain under wraps any longer than this year. Come E3 I think we'll see real info on it. Regardless, what may have been interesting about it years ago is now so much old schlock given Actiblizz's current model of doing business. I sincrely doubt them seeing a repeat of WoW's success given everything out there and how bad they've screwed the pooch on D3, etc. And yes, they did a ton of sales on the Diablo name alone, but now knowing what ever the most casual gamer knows it will not live up to their expectations.
 
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17. Re: Activision Blizzard Results, More WoW Subs Lost May 8, 2013, 23:38 Verno
 
I think a lot of people wanted more of a departure from the originals, it was almost faithful to a fault. The expansion sales probably reflect that and more importantly a changing PC market.  
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