The Activision Blizzard results for the fourth quarter of 2014 were announced yesterday and, to probably nobody’s surprise, the combined companies reported making huge amounts of money.
What with Destiny still selling well, the latest Call of Duty installment somewhere out there, a World of Warcraft expansion, and Hearthstone apparently worthy of repeated mentions, the money was pouring in.
Of course, I am more interested in Blizzard around here than the
Call of Duty Activision side of the house. The Blizzard slide shows about what we would expect. Best annual revenues ever. More registered users. More good stuff coming.
Still, there is a point there that will be seen by some as losing by not winning enough. Only 10 million subscribers?
I know, it says “over” 10 million, but if it was over, say, 10.5 million, they would have said over 10.5 million. Past behavior indicates that.
And 10 million was the number they gave back in November after the expansion finally came out. That only got us up to the Mists of Pandaria peak. With the history of the game, anything less than 12 million will be failure in the eyes of some.
Of course, that dissatisfaction with not getting back to the peak subscriber number ignores the scale of WoW’s subscriber base. The jump from 7.4 million subscribers to over 10 million at the launch of Warlords of Draenor… 2.6 million subscribers… how many other popular MMOs would we have to stack up before we hit 2.6 million subscribers? Not just registered users or those tagging along for free, but people who signed up to pay that $15 a month? And what about that 10 million number?
The churn of users just coming and going since the expansion launched would probably kill some games. You can sure as shit bet if EverQuest II had 10 million subscribers… or 7.4 million… or even 2.6 million… Smed would be telling the PlayStation people what to do rather than being sold into bondage.
World of Warcraft remains the outlier that distorts the scale when we talking about MMOs. Comparing it to other things just doesn’t work, because even down from its peak it is still too big.
Anyway, that is the big news from Blizzard. All money, all the time.
Oh… and one more thing. StarCraft II – Legacy of the Void. The mention of it being the “Final” expansion to the StarCraft II series stands out for me. Maybe they said that back at BlizzCon and I missed it, but seeing that word “Final” on the financial presentation makes it stand out for me.
So what will the RTS team at Blizzard be doing when they have wrapped that up?
Should we read anything into the fact that the RTS team appears to be playing around with the Warcraft III assets?