World of Warcraft Slows Losses As Activision Beats Q3 Outlook

World of Warcraft Slows Losses As Activision Beats Q3 Outlook

Activision Blizzard Logo

World of Warcraft subscriber numbers continue to slide but at a much slower pace than the previous quarter.

Activision has reported another solid financial quarter for 2013, pulling in GAAP net revenues of $691 million over the three month period that ended September 30. That's down rather substantially from the $841 million earned over the same period in 2012, but higher than its prior outlook of $635 million.

"Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share. Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digital revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue," Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said. "This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round."

Activision said Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Skylanders Giants are two of the top-five best-selling games year-to-date in both North America and Europe, while StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the top-selling PC game of the year so far. The World of Warcraft juggernaut also continues to roll along with roughly 7.6 million users, down from the 7.7 million it reported in July but not nearly as precipitously as the loss from April to June of this year, which saw the game lose 600,000 subscribers.

Despite the successful quarter, Kotick said the fourth quarter of the year "presents a unique and challenging landscape" because of the looming console transition. "We are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges successfully," he said, "particularly in light of the recent completion of our transaction with Vivendi and the focus and flexibility provided by our return to independence."

Activision is forecasting GAAP revenues for the final quarter of 2013 of $1.26 billion, down slightly from its prior outlook of $1.3 billion, but has increased its full-year revenue outlook from $4.31 billion to $4.32 billion.

Source: Activision

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On positive note for World of Warcraft, they announce the new expansion on Friday. That usually turns the numbers around for a couple quarters. I'm also expecting a return of the Warcraft Annual Pass with early access to the expansion beta, Diablo III/Reaper of Souls PC combo pack free, and a mount.

They're going to clean up with CoD sales but WoW numbers are still pretty meaningless without knowing the breakdown between Western and Eastern subs because the sub types are very different.

Don't forget the new skylanders swapforce game, in my town of 30,000 there is no were to buy new video games you have to travel for at least 20 mins by car and yet there are 3 places just in the main street that sell skylanders figures it's nuts.

Also there current assets are up by $2 billion from selling the shares they bought off of Vivendi on the open market. Activision Blizzard the only video game company were people fight to give them money.

finally perhaps now WoW is going to find somthing new can come out without WoW shadow casting its mmo model on every mmo

I'm surprised at the lack of mention of Hearthstone, which is looking like an amazing TCG from what I've watched, and quite possibly is also part of the reason why ActiBlizz's numbers are slowing down.

There's still that many people that play World of Warcraft? Huh, I wonder how many accounts are actually active and how many are just people that have forgotten that they pay money to Blizzard every so often...
I ask because I have barely heard so much as a squeak about WoW since that one Panda update. Then again, I might just not have been keeping up with the news.

More subscribers credit cards expired last quarter than this one.

Dr.Awkward:
I'm surprised at the lack of mention of Hearthstone, which is looking like an amazing TCG from what I've watched, and quite possibly is also part of the reason why ActiBlizz's numbers are slowing down.

Hearthstone still needs a lot of work. Old school card game players lambast it for lacking in depth. Some newbie's find it hard to get into cause it ain't exactly fun to walk into a beta and get stomped by someone who's already paid real money to get ahead in a beta.

It's shiny, and the fact it has warcraft stamped on it means it will be successful, they've been smart by not overcomplicating things really, but technically it's still a beta and hence you won't see it bought up in a business report like this.

I suspect that there were a lot of people like myself that just wanted to finish the expansion, so stuck around to kick Garrosh in the balls. I'm still waiting on my EQN or ESO beta invites else I'd already be gone. I play a few non-subscription MMOs but none have the social aspect that WoW has, even if that aspect is toxic 95% of the time. Give me a game with a healthy active population and I'll hang my hat there long term.

CTYR:
There's still that many people that play World of Warcraft? Huh, I wonder how many accounts are actually active and how many are just people that have forgotten that they pay money to Blizzard every so often...
I ask because I have barely heard so much as a squeak about WoW since that one Panda update. Then again, I might just not have been keeping up with the news.

Every time this comes up it comes off as really weird to me. Of course you won't hear about WoW if you aren't keeping up with WoW. It's WoW :P We're not in 2004-5-6 anymore! It's not news unless you find a source where it is news. And yes, there are actually that many people that play WoW. Obviously there are some bots and some duplicate accounts, but that's true for almost any online game. The exposure most people get to the actual amount of players is minuscule, so judging numbers based on one or two servers really means nothing. Some die, some thrive to this day. It's how MMO's run.

/everytime

OT:
I wonder what the numbers for Q4 will be with the CoD season being here, among with Blizzcon. Admittedly more interested in what Blizzcon actually has on the stage rather than the revenue from the convention itself xP

AstaresPanda:
finally perhaps now WoW is going to find somthing new can come out without WoW shadow casting its mmo model on every mmo

What the hell are you even trying to say in this post? It's s disaster area in there. Looks like you merged two sentences into one.

If you're claiming that WoW is dying, I'm afraid you're probably very wrong. The newest expansion is going to be announced in just a few days so it's likely we will see a surge of new and old players returning to the game over the ocming months like always happens.

I suspect there's a lot of number padding going on here. Weeks we been seeing more and more news about clusters of realms that are being merged because of lack of population. Seems like they are adding 10-15 realms a week. And they expect us to believe they only went down .1 million? I suspect they count trial accounts, and from what I heard, record numbers of bot accounts that are not being dealt with.

This is good, it means people won't lose their jobs.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Don't forget the new skylanders swapforce game, in my town of 30,000 there is no were to buy new video games you have to travel for at least 20 mins by car and yet there are 3 places just in the main street that sell skylanders figures it's nuts.

Also there current assets are up by $2 billion from selling the shares they bought off of Vivendi on the open market. Activision Blizzard the only video game company were people fight to give them money.

Then what I'd do is use steam, GOG, Green man gaming, humble bundles, amazon and ebay

Well in game terms, WOW is about 120 years old. Most games would have died long before this age, but the fact that WoW is still going long past the average life expectancy is pretty impressive.
I stopped playing after Cata, and Pandaria did little to make me want to come back to it, but I must say that I am pleased that it's still going.

Perhaps it will encourage designers to try and better themselves and beat WoW. What am I saying...no it wont. It simply encourages designers to be unimaginative and to ape WoW.

 

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