Activision Blizzard hasn’t made as much money in the first quarter of 2014 as it did over the same period last year; which sounds strange considering how much we liked their addictive CCG in our Hearthstone review. But before you start feeling bad and sending them cheques, you should know that “not as much money” is still $1.11 billion.
The figure is higher than what Activision expected back in February, and has mainly been attributed to Blizzard’s output: Hearthstone, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and World of Warcraft.
Call of Duty: Ghosts also helped, mainly on consoles, because mediocre army man games continue to sell like things that are much better. Hot cakes, for instance. But Diablo’s Reaper of Souls expansion sold exceedingly well, with Blizzard shifting 2.7 million copies in its first week.
While World of Warcraft continues to lose subscribers, it remains the most popular MMO, with 7.6 million subscribers. It might be down 700,000 year on year, but the increase of shop items and the one million pre-sales of Warlords of Draenor suggests that there’s still plenty of people throwing money at it. Warlords of Draenor is already one of WoW’s fastest selling expansions, despite declining subscriptions.
Hearthstone, although ostensibly free, has also raised the profits. It now boasts over 10 million registered users, many of whom presumably spent a bit of cash on new decks.
At this rate they should just ditch the “Activision” part of Activision Blizzard. It’s not carrying its weight.