Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag financial

Activision-Blizzard makes lots of money, no update on Blizzard earnings

Activision-Blizzard has released their third-quarter numbers for the financial year of 2009, and as you might expect for the company in charge of Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and World of Warcraft, business is brisk. They were expecting to bring in around $700 million, and ended up pulling in around $50 million more than that. It's good, we guess, to be the king.

Blizzard, in particular, laid claim to three of the top five selling PC games in North America on the good side, and on the bad side, Activision acknowledges in the press release that they're happy to have WoW back online in China, but a little worried about the troubles it's seen over there lately.

Strangely enough, there is no information in the earnings about how much money World of Warcraft has pulled in for the company, or any updates about subscriber numbers. Usually, that gets at least a mention, so maybe, with subscribers certainly down in China, Activision-Blizzard wants to keep that under their hat for now.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, News items, Making money

Activision-Blizzard and their financial future

Barron's has a long article up about Blizzard's corporate overlords at Activision-Blizzard, and as is usual with most pieces of Activision news, people will probably see in it what they want to see. Those who think Bobby Kotick is just a money-grubbing exploiter will find more fuel for their firey fanboy rage: apparently he's a follower of Las Vegas casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn, and is modeling some of Activision-Blizzard's business plan off of that guy, Shareholders, however, will probably be thrilled. In terms of a purely financial sense, Activision-Blizzard is apparently one of the shinest futures around, with Kotick bragging that videogames will eclipse film and TV in terms of moneymaking in just a few years.

From our perspective, as longtime fans and players of Blizzard's games, the most interesting thing I see here is that Barron's makes no distinction at all between Activision and Blizzard any more -- the Activision-Blizzard company, according to the article, is equally responsible for both the Starcraft and Transformers franchises. Obviously, as gamers, we see a huge distinction between those two: one is a classic, storied, much-loved videogame series, and the other is a cash-in on a license that's panned everywhere but the box office. But for the financial guys, they're just both properties of Activision-Blizzard. That's not to say that our Blizzard is entirely lost (anyone who was at BlizzCon last week knows that's not true), but it is a sign that the merger is no longer news. From an outsider perspective, Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft are just two cash cows from the same company.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Economy, NPCs

Quantifying Wrath's success

The Egotistical Priest has a good series of posts up attempting to somehow quantify whether Wrath has been an overall success or not. Of course, it's definitely a financial success, but has the game's second expansion delivered what both players and Blizzard expected it to? Vonya sets out to find out in what has turned into a three part post: you can find parts one and two on the site now, and part three is set to come out tomorrow.

So far, the answer is yes: while the area of Tradeskills is noted as less than a success (it seems to me, too, that tradeskills had more variety and options in Burning Crusade than their current state in Wrath, though that might be because we're only partway through the expansion cycle), everything else is noted as a win for Blizzard: they've really beefed up questing, balance has been intriguing since Wrath (and even if one class has rubbed you wrong, consider how many players came running back with the expansion patch to re-try their class), and of course, Achievements have (predictably) brought the game to new levels of addiction and given players of all kinds new things to do.

Vonya still plans to tackle instancing and raiding as the other two criteria for Wrath's success (and there are probably a few other ways you could test it -- lore? setting?), but by the reasoning so far, Wrath is a win no matter how you slice it. Blizzard has outdone themselves with the second expansion -- the only question is where they'll go from here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Activision loses money, Blizzard to release one marquee game per year

Activision-Blizzard held a conference call for the press yesterday, and so there's all kinds of financial and release news floating around out there. The biggest news isn't necessarily Blizzard-related, but it does mean that our game's company is finally feeling the crunch a bit: Activision-Blizzard reported a loss of $72 million in the last quarter, and their outlook for the coming year fell short of analysts' expectations. Even though that sounds bad, it doesn't mean things are necessarily bad, though: Blizzard themselves added nearly a billion dollars to the total, so while A-B might not be doing so well, B is doing just fine.

Blizzard CEO Paul Sams also announced during the call that the company is now aiming for "one 'frontline' title per year," though not necessarily World of Warcraft related. That likely means that we'll see the first Starcraft 2 this year -- our friends at Joystiq have a quick report on the beta appearing soon, as well as the Battle.net revamp we've been waiting for. And it also means that (unless Blizzard is really rolling on Diablo III, which I doubt, given its condition when we played it at last year's BlizzCon), that we'll be looking at mid/late 2010 for the release of the next WoW expansion.

Besides the loss of the $72 million (it's always in the last place you look), things seem to be hopping at Blizzard and their parent company. Should be a pretty busy 2009 for them.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Activision doing well, Blizzard has spent $200M in upkeep on WoW

Activision Blizzard (the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment) held an Analyst's Day earlier this week (in which a bunch of stock analysts sit down to crunch numbers and predict the future), and they came out of it really well -- according to those in the know, Activision Blizzard is set to do very well in the future. Buoyed by Blizzard and their other big franchises (do we have to name them by now? Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, etc.), 99% of analysts give the stock a "Buy" or "Hold" rating, and many were impressed with what Activision told them about their releases in 2009.

And we got another interesting insight into just what kind of money Blizzard is looking at -- they reported on the call that since 2004, they've spent $200 million on the upkeep of World of Warcraft alone. That includes things like payroll, customer support, and hardware updates, of which there have been plenty of those. $200 million does seem like a lot, but of course when you consider just how much revenue they've pulled in via subscriptions (ten million players paying up to $15 a month, though Blizzard has all kinds of different subscription plans around the world), $200 million over four years isn't all that much.

We're told, though, that that money doesn't include any development costs (pre-release, and we're not sure if it includes patch/expansion development or not, either). And it certainly doesn't include Blizzard-wide costs, like their new HQ, or what they spend on advertising, promotion, and those big events held around the world. There's no question, however, that there's plenty of money coming both in and out of Blizzard's doors.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Making money, Hardware

The9 scores again in Q2 '08


The9, which is the company in China that runs Blizzard's World of Warcraft game there, has released their second quarter financial numbers, and they're rocking yet again -- they pulled in record income and revenue, nabbing about US$66.3 million, a full $60.7 million of which came directly from World of Warcraft and all the deals they have surrounding that property there. And their peak concurrent user total for WoW topped 1 million, which means one million accounts (not necessarily people) were logged on and playing at the same time.

Apparently the company is also running a few other games, but clearly WoW is dominating their income, and, needless to say, doing very well for them. And probably won't be stopping anytime soon -- if Blizzard follows through on their plan to release Wrath asap in China, odds are that The9's biggest game will get even more popular.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
Hallow's End 10/18 - 11/1
Day of the Dead 11/1 - 11/3
Darkmoon Faire 11/2 - 11/9
BlizzCon 2014 11/7 - 11/8

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories