Daily Archives: February 10, 2017

Top 25 EVE Online Corporations Graph – The End Number

CCP Quant put up the monthly economic report for January 2017 yesterday.  I always go peruse the numbers and to see what has changed.  Cobalt Edge, for example, passed Delve as the regional mining champion.  Who is mining away up there?  Anyway, it is a treasure and not the sort of thing other MMO devs put out there.  EVE is its own special thing.

At the end of the report there was a bonus graph tracking the growth and changes of the “top 25” corporations, so ranked due to their peak membership.  It is a nice chart to look at:

Development of the top 25 corporations in EVE Online since 2012

Development of the top 25 corporations in EVE Online since 2012

It shows the ebb and flow of some of the long standing corporations as well as the rise of the new player friendly corporations in Null sec, starting with Brave Newbies Inc. then followed by KarmaFleet and Pandemic Horde Inc.

However, the chart was missing one detail in my opinion.  The left edge of the chart indicates the starting scale indicating how wide the flow would be at 8,000 members.  However, there is no gradation and no further measure, so it is hard to tell how big the combined mass of capsuleers in these corps really is.  So I went to DOTLAN and searched up each of the corporations and added up their current membership to get a number.

The right side of the graph represents about 45,000 pilots spread across 21 corporations, with the individual counts as follows, listed out top to bottom as they appear on the graph:

  1. Pandemic Horde – 12,054
  2. KarmaFleet – 4,848
  3. Red Federation – 2,312
  4. Blue Republic – 3,580
  5. EVE University – 1,944
  6. Fusion Enterprises Ltd. – 488
  7. Ascendance – 1,130
  8. Imperial Guardians – 530
  9. Sniggerdly – 477
  10. health clinic – 523
  11. Wildly Inappropriate – 1,052
  12. The Graduates – 416
  13. Conoco. – 1,187
  14. Mission Ready Mining – 1,735
  15. Peoples Liberation Army – 894
  16. 30plus – 374
  17. Signal Cartel – 822
  18. BOVRIL bOREers Mining CO-OP – 221
  19. GoonWaffe – 3,349
  20. Dreddit – 4,026
  21. Brave Newbies Inc. – 3,123

That is a snapshot of course, the count for a brief  moment in time as the numbers are constantly changing.  But it helps set the scale of the change over the time frame of the graph.

Trying to Find Data in the Activision Blizzard 2016 Financials

The final Activision Blizzard financial results for 2016 were announced yesterday.


You can find all that was said and posted over at the company investor relations site.

Gone are the days of straightforward information when they used to tell you the World of Warcraft subscriber numbers and listed out revenue from those subscriptions as a separate line item.  You knew how the game was doing in straight up, hard numbers.

Now though, now the finance team has done all they can to declare everything is wonderful without really telling you where the money is coming from.  Now it is mostly bullshit like Monthly Active Users, as with this slide:

Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation - Slide 7

Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation – Slide 7

I mean, when the division that brings in the least revenue, King, has almost an order of magnitude higher MAUs, you’ve pretty much proven that MAUs are divorced from financial reality.  That is playing, not paying.

And then there are the oddly specific brags as we see on the next slide.

 Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation - Slide 8

Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation – Slide 8

I like this particular quote about WoW:

World of Warcraft time spent grew Q/Q, surpassing Legion’s launch quarter and all non launch quarters in the last 4 years

Time spent playing went up in Q4 compared to Q3.  That makes sense, really, since WoW Legion launched at the back half of Q3, so play time was probably going to ramp up after that.  But then things sort of fall apart as the quote goes on.  It surpassed all “non launch” quarters in the last four years.

So it isn’t doing as well as Warlords of Draenor or Mists of Pandaria launches I guess.  Seems like an odd thing to bring up.  And pining it down to just four years means… that things were better before that?  There was a quote previously about concurrency hitting a post Cataclysm high previously along with first day sales numbers.  So they are being cagey about anything that might allude to actual subscribers.

Still, it isn’t like Blizzard isn’t making money.  According to slide 10 of the presentation, Blizz is no slouch in net revenues and is the champ of operating income.

Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation - Slide 10

Activision Blizzard Q4 2016 Financial Results Presentation – Slide 10

Activision topped Q4, but they released a Call of Duty title, so their previous quarters were not so hot.  Blizzard was a little more consistent over the last three quarters, if you dig into the financial model spreadsheet from the investor relations site.

But it is the highlights part under Blizzard that caught my eye.  Specifically, it says:

In 2016, >60% of segment revenue from non-World of Warcraft franchises…

That seemed like something from which I could get a hard number.  I decided to take a strict reading of that sentence and declare that it just mean WoW and not Hearthstone or any part of Heroes of the Storm.  Elsewhere in the presentation it was stated that Blizzard revenue was driven by WoW and Overwatch, so I don’t think assuming WoW-only for that statement is way off base.

Also, I chose to take 60% as a hard number, since if it was much more than that, they would have said so, since declaring that Blizzard isn’t totally dependent on WoW appeared to be part of the exercise.  It it had been 65% or 70%, they probably would have said that instead.

Given that, we can see right there on the slide that Blizzard’s revenue was $2,428 million, which indicates that WoW revenue for 2016 might be as high as $970 million.  Not bad for a twelve year old game.   Not as much as League of Legends in 2016 no doubt, but a bit more than Pokemon Go made in its first six months, if the number is correct.  Even if it is off by… say… 100 million… that is still a lot of income.  (That margin of error is more than GuildWars 2 made in 2016, as an example.)  The billion plus earning years might be behind the game, but it is still a money printing machine unlike any competing MMORPG.

As noted, Overwatch also got special mention in the presentation, so it must be doing well.  And even Hearthstone got a mention, having boosted its MAUs year over year, for whatever that is worth.

That leaves two of the Blizzard properties unaccounted for.  Diablo III didn’t have anything new to sell, so there was no real reason to expect that to show up for a special mention.  And then there is Heroes of the Storm, which has already been called out for problems that keep it from being a contender in its segment.  No mention gives that credence.

Overall though, Blizzard continues to make bank and WoW can support its 300 member development team (according to a GameSpot interview) and still turn a profit.  But with that many people working on the game, there isn’t any excuse for another long content drought.  We shall see if they can manage to avoid that before the next expansions.