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AMA Starting, Orphea PTR Datamining, InvenGlobal Interviews

Activision Blizzard Q3 2018 Earnings Call
Activision Blizzard has their earnings call today.

  • Activision Blizzard had 345 million Monthly Active Users in the quarter.
  • Blizzard had 37 million MAU in the quarter. (Identical to last quarter)
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth set a new day-one franchise record with more than 3.4 million units sold-through.
  • World of Warcraft engagement grew strongly quarter-over-quarter. The expansion saw strong participation in value-added services.
  • Next year will be World of Warcraft's 15th anniversary, with events both in and out of the game.
  • Hearthstone recently surpassed the 100 million life-to-date registered player milestone
  • Players spent a record 52 minutes per day in Activision, Blizzard, and King games in the quarter.
  • Viewership of Activision Blizzard games was up substantially this quarter, and in the month of October, Activision Blizzard had seven of the top 20 most viewed games on the industry’s largest streaming platform
  • BlizzCon drew over 40,000 fans in person with millions more livestreaming from around the world
  • Overwatch League continues to build on the success of its inaugural season with the announcement of the sale of another six teams in September, again at a substantially higher valuation than the team prices in the first season.
  • The total Overwatch League roster is now at 20 teams, with nine teams outside the U.S
  • Many top mobile games are based on IP originally created for console and PC, so the company is investing in mobile releases for Activision and Blizzard fanchises
  • Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world.
  • When the time is right, the team will reveal other Diablo projects in the works.
  • There are a lot of players that are eager for more Diablo content on PC and console, that came through clearly from BlizzCon.
  • Launching Diablo Immortal is only the beginning, there will be updates.
  • The team is only going to release when Diablo Immortal meets the community's high standards.
  • Taking a game to mobile with Blizzard quality standards can open Blizzard franchises to a new audience, especially in China where Blizzard is a strong brand.
  • It's important that Diablo Immortal is an excellent experience when released.


The Hearthstone Pop-Up Book Available on Amazon
The Hearthstone Pop-Up Book is now available for purchase on Amazon! This is a charming story told with the game's signature wit and whimsy, fully illustrated with center pops.




Developers Working on Mobile Titles Across All Blizzard IPs
In a recent press conference for Diablo: Immortal at Blizzcon, executive producer Allen Adham stated that mobile games for other Blizzard IPs are currently in development. Here is a recap of the specifics from the press conference. Wyatt Cheng is also part of the press conference.


  • Many of Blizzard's best developers are now working on new mobile titles across all of Blizzard's IPs.
  • Some of them are with external partners, like Diablo: Immortal; but many of them are being developed internally only, and they'll have information to share on those in the future.
  • Blizzard's approach to mobile gaming comes from many people over the last few years shifting away from playing primarily on desktop to playing many hours on mobile.
  • Allen says that they have more new products in development today at Blizzard than they've ever had before and the future is very bright.
  • Diablo: Immortal is being designed with the intent that people of all ages can play it, and will not be a mature rated game.
  • This is an opportunity to introduce Diablo to a much wider audience around the world.
  • NetEase has been a partner of Blizzard for awhile and this partnership happened organically. There are developers here and in China working on this title.
  • Diablo: Immortal being mobile was decided because the fidelity of mobile phones is getting to the level of being almost equivalent to PCs.
  • Wyatt says that most of the criticism comes from being skeptical of the game, but many who have played it on the show floor started skeptical but thought it was awesome.
  • Blizzard is always trying to innovate and this is just one of the ways they are experimenting with new genres.
  • They do emphasize that they are working on multiple Diablo projects and the hard-core PC fans should take note of this.


WoW Subreddit Developer Interview
The WoW subreddit also interviewed Ion Hazzikostas during Blizzcon.

  • Story
    • The major story arc for an expansion is planned out months to years in advance.
    • The Alliance will learn of Saurfang's escape from a Horde hero in their midst and try to understand how a prisoner escaped from under their nose.
    • There's more to creating a story than just listening to the community's perspective. Stories must have highs and lows then invoke different emotional responses from many different people in order to be meaningful and that means sometimes having frustrating moments which may be upsetting to some fans.
    • There has to be a balance between highs and lows in a story.
    • The PTR is when they’re more likely to take feedback from confused players and change things. Ultimately they feel that they need to trust creative impulses within the team and be story-focused, but they do listen to feedback.
  • Warfronts
    • The team admits that lack of clarification for how Warfronts cycle was not done well this caused a lot of confusion that can be addressed with better communication by Blizzard.
    • Warfront cycles were created to give more content that ebbs and flows based on player activities.
    • The new Warfront will have a rotating set of actual daily turn in quests while the contribution window is open. Different materials will be needed everyday rather than 13 things for you to do on day 1 and then zero for the rest of it.
    • The team wants to focus on smaller chunks of world content available more often over larger chunks that are only available every couple of weeks so that there feels like there is more to do.
  • Azerite Armor
    • With Azerite Armor, they hoped to have a system where players are always building toward a more interesting upgrade - making new decisions on a regular basis, but they some of these iterations in Battle for Azeroth haven't translated as well as they had hoped.
    • Having one spec trait to choose from and one generic trait was a major folly of the system upfront and they hope that the new second outer ring will address this by having several choices tailored to your spec to choose from right away.
    • The hope is that adding an additional ring of traits will lessen the sense that there’s only one Azerite piece that you have to have for a given situation. The new currency system for targeting specific high-iLevel Azerite pieces should also help with that.
    • They are still listening, still open to making changes as needed and hope that players trust that they care deeply about the matter and aren’t ignoring feedback because they think everything is fine.
  • World Quests
    • They admit that world quests have a lot of repetition and are looking for ways to address this, but the system as a whole is a much better one than past expansions where you only visited specific hubs in the world for daily quests after leveling to cap.
    • They’d like to make world quests more varied and engaging than just “find the closest rare elites and kill them” to complete an emissary.
    • Incursions are essentially world quests but are way more story driven and meaningful because they incorporate the war.
  • Professions
    • The team believes that the quest system for professions in Legion was too heavy based on feedback.
    • Later patches plan to add small quest content that tries to give importance to the professions that you have chosen.
  • Legendaries
    • The devs are open to having legendary items where it makes sense.
    • They want to avoid past experiences of having players get lucky and being 20% stronger than anyone else because of it, guilds having bad luck and getting no legendary drops, or stacking players because they have legendaries.
  • Guilds
    • A lot can be done for the improvement both on the recruitment side and from a player looking to find a guild. That is something they're working on and will have some improvements to roll out later on in Battle for Azeroth.
    • They want to make sure guild identity matters, but past iterations of buffs and level systems caused newer guilds to struggle to keep up, which limits the diversity of options.
  • Crucible of Storms
    • There will be a quest chain for both Horde and Alliance to explain the events leading to the raid. It will differ slightly based on faction.
  • Sanguicells
    • Enchanters will have new recipes that will actually convert Sanguicell into Expulsom for personal use.
    • A universal cooking recipe will allow you to use Sanguicell in place of rare fish for the highest level of raid feasts.
  • Emissary Rewards
    • The team switched from random rewards to specific ones so that players could decide if they wanted to do the cache for the day.
    • The rewards were recently increased to make it more worthwhile to players to complete emissaries.
    • In retrospect, Paragon reputation should have been in Battle for Azeroth since launch to keep world quests and reputation more relevant.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Activision Earnings Call, Hearthstone Pop-Up Book, Mobile Titles for Blizzard IPs started by chaud View original post
Comments 372 Comments
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Reathyr View Post
    I know everyone is bitching about mobile games, but it's not like they're MOVING TO mobile games, they're ADDING mobile games to their portfolio, which is smart especially looking at competition.

    NCSoft also had their earnings call and they made an absolute shit ton of money off the Lineage 2 Mobile game, so much so that they're also going to make mobile games based on Aion and Blade & Soul, as well as new original mobile mmo's, which will exist besides new PC based Aion 2 and Blade & Soul 2 which are also planned.

    As our mobile devices become more powerful year after year, our wireless connections become better and more stable, and the video games these device can handle become more expansive and more graphically intense, then it would be dumb for a video game company like Blizzard not to move into the mobile market with an already existing IP that is suited for such a game, it doesn't mean that there will never be a Diablo 4 for PC, or that all future Blizzard games from now on are going to be just mobile games, it just means that mobile games become part of Blizzard's line of games.
    Nothing matters if the plataform is not confortable to play for longer sessions.

    That's the problem with mobiles... nobody enjoys playing on it for hours, with the device heating, plugged on a cord (because it will drain your battery really fast) and using wifi, because let's face it, mobile network will always sucks. Mobile devices also suck as they're made with you trading it asap in mind. Next year, who knows, maybe it won't work on your phone anymore.

    Nobody enjoys that. Mobile games are just for easy money and not that longer playing sessions.

    Lineage 2 is a huge success on mobile? Sure, with most people playing on huge devices/Android emulators... and their PC portifolio is dead btw.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dranlord View Post
    is normal every expansion have deal like this just google it and you will find out
    the only expansion that didnt have a deal like this was Legion. And ppl rage about that, you can find that too on google.
    Is crazy how much ppl are overreacting to stuff, just bc they dont like something. Internet never stop surprising me 1

    - - - Updated - - -



    i agree with you they need to implement a vendor that allow this too.
    Nope, it's not normal this kind of deal so soon. They only do it when their product is not performing well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dranlord View Post
    LOL you guys undestand that this droop on market have almost 0 relationship with all of you??? right???

    Is related to ACTIVITION BLIZZARD not metting the earning call expectation, and just for a quick google, you can see is more related to the CoD not metting the crazy amount of money they plan to earn and Destiny doing really bad at the moment.
    And BfA, HS and HotS not doing well.

    CoD actually did surprisingly well for the predicted failure.
  1. derekrh's Avatar
    Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world.
    LOOOOOLLL, swing and a miss Scooter.
  1. Captain Busybody's Avatar
    Blizzivision is about to make so much freaking money from the mobile market that the amount will be unfathomable. We western (NA, EU, etc.) PC gamers can be loud, and opinionated all we want, but it will hardly affect the bottom line. We're so irrelevant that Blizzard-Activision is boasting to its investors that they intend to up the ante on mobile games development even after the so called "PR disaster" that was the announcement of Diablo: Immortal at Blizzcon. Whine it up, kiddos. See how far it gets you.

    $$ Do you not game on phones? You think you don't, but you will. $$
  1. oathy's Avatar
    Just over 55$ at the moment
    Not saying it will but if that hits 50$'s watch the reaction from Activision.
    Namely any news about diablo a new game will be out.
    and a version of immortal for PC.

    they can keep looking forward to the mystical 300 million from Asian Markets
    in the mean time they are pissing off investors and customers alike.
    when that guy made the comment about owing phones he was basically handing in his resignation.
  1. Kherneas's Avatar
    The saddest thing is that Blizzard will never admit how awful they've become.
    At this point the company is just too rich to sink from anything short of releasing non-stop obvious scam games so bad that even EA wouldn't dare putting them on the market.
    They'll just keep making money with trash by virtue of being called Blizzard.
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unbound View Post
    Wow. I mean seriously...wow.

    This isn't spin; this is outright lying to investors. There was booing at BlizzCon...that's not a "muted" response, and it is the precise opposite indicator of "confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world".

    This is likely why Activision-Blizzard stock is down nearly 14% as of this post. It's one thing to say things a bit disingenuously, but it is entirely different to outright lie to investors and analysts.

    Activision-Blizzard senior management should be completely ashamed of what they've become as a gaming company and as a leadership team.
    They should be ashamed, but they won't be. They have decided to retool to become a desktop gaming AND mobile gaming company. No number of "for shame!" comments will change it. They're committed now.

    The stock hit is bad - but they're probably looking long term. Executives can be very...tunnel visioned, when they're pushing into new business models, sure that they can pull it off. I worked for a company where a new CEO decided to blow off the core market, and get into a new segment they had no experience or expertise in...and within a year, lost 60% of the core market, and utterly failed in the new segment. They bought a company for the new segment, and had to sell it at a loss. It was bad. They laid off most of the staff, they went from 300+ people in the main office to just over half that, and downsized to cramped, new office space. Here's the crazy part - that CEO is still there. The board, for whatever reasons, have kept him there, and the company never recovered, their main competitor too that 60% loss and grabbed it and still retains it, 10+ years later.

    Companies rise and fall, and often for big, business model changing reasons like this one. Blizzard could make billions, and go to the next level, or they could fall back significantly. Much like the company I used to work for, they're taking advantage of their core audience, and trying to get a new one, while retaining the old. Sometimes it works. Look at Apple, who were laughed at when they initially announced the iPhone, or going back further, the iPod. Now the iPhone is their core product.

    Times change. Used to be, if Blizzard put a game out, you could expect it to be a solid, polished game you'd get a ton of play out of. Those days are long gone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurzwahltaste View Post
    Thats just a lie. Is that not Illegal if stocks are involved?
    How do you know it's a lie? Do you have access to data they're getting at Blizzard from all over the world, in terms of reception?

    Yes, there's a lot of hate towards the game, but Mona is right - once people tried it, they said the game was at worst okay, a lot liked it. Even Rhykker, who put out the most depressing video ever the other day about it, said that once he tried it, said it's a good game - but just not Diablo.

    I get it. I get why people are mad, I'm way disapointed and not thrilled with the mobile focus, and have simply given up on Blizzard. But I'm not their market anymore. EVEN IF they put out a new Diablo desktop title, I'm pretty resigned that it will also have an MTX angle of some kind, and won't be the quality I'm expecting, because Blizzard doesn't do that, anymore. The two franchises by Blizzard I used to be completely committed to, Warcraft and Diablo, are dead to me now. And maybe it's just that both are so old at this point, everything ends - tv shows, movie franchises, book series, bands get old and retire.

    Eh. I'm over it. I'll find something else to play. It just won't be a Blizzard title. It would be nice if they cared, but they don't, they have 20 million customers in China to replace me with. More power to them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Deficineiron View Post
    i wish they had broken King (candy crush) down in that (or maybe they did later). Presumably that is one of the most played mobile games in the world.
    King is printing money with Candy Crush, and they're expanding the franchise, and rolling it out in France.
  1. ashblond's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dranlord View Post
    LOL you guys undestand that this droop on market have almost 0 relationship with all of you??? right???

    Is related to ACTIVITION BLIZZARD not metting the earning call expectation, and just for a quick google, you can see is more related to the CoD not metting the crazy amount of money they plan to earn and Destiny doing really bad at the moment.
    Do you even understand what 12% share price drop in 1 day means?
  1. mmocbd7c196845's Avatar
    Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world.
    Are they for real? The crowd hated it, boo'd and was very vocal about it all. No doubt the project will score them a ton of relatively easy money, but saying the fans at BlizzCon gave them any indication they loved it... that's just a big fat lie. Not surprising after they tried to remove all the downvotes on YouTube. Sad.
  1. Deficineiron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post


    King is printing money with Candy Crush, and they're expanding the franchise, and rolling it out in France.
    unlike blizzard, king was paid for with cash (debt), but the concept for kotick seems similar - purchase a AAA property that is already best-in-class, and use his special magic formula to (try to) get even more money out of it.
  1. mmoccdfb04c462's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    Nothing matters if the plataform is not confortable to play for longer sessions.

    That's the problem with mobiles... nobody enjoys playing on it for hours, with the device heating, plugged on a cord (because it will drain your battery really fast) and using wifi, because let's face it, mobile network will always sucks. Mobile devices also suck as they're made with you trading it asap in mind. Next year, who knows, maybe it won't work on your phone anymore.

    Nobody enjoys that. Mobile games are just for easy money and not that longer playing sessions.

    Lineage 2 is a huge success on mobile? Sure, with most people playing on huge devices/Android emulators... and their PC portifolio is dead btw.
    Oh I know all about the downsides of mobile devices, but that's the thing, Diablo Immortal will probably not feature anything that makes you want to play hours on end, just a quick dungeon run you can do during your break or something like that, at least that's what I'm expecting of it.

    In the end, the big mistake that Blizzard made in my opinion, is that Blizzcon, with all it's hardcore PC fans, was the wrong venue to show this game at, to try and get people exited for it, this should have been done at a more neutral con that's not 100% Blizzard, preferably somewhere in Asia, as that is where the main market for these types of games tends to lie, or maybe a simple blog post would have sufficed, "hey we're doing this side project with NetEase, a mobile Diablo title, take a look if you're interested"
    Not on the main stage, at your biggest show, in a hall filled with PC playing fanatics who don't care one damn bit about mobile games, if not hate them outright.

    As for Lineage M (not 2 M my bad), ya big hit apparently, tho it seems to be riding on the coattails of Netmarble's Lineage 2 Revolution (also a mobile title)
    I was also wrong, NCSoft only mentioned they are committed to future PC games, but the announced Aion 2, Blade & Soul 2, Blade & Soul M, Blade & Soul S and Lineage2M (this time for real) are all mobile games, their only know PC development, Project TL, was not mentioned, so ya you're right their PC portfolio is very very dead.
    I got confused because they chose not to use the M(obile) designation for the sequels to Aion and Blade & Soul, and yes those are the fully fledged sequels/prequels to the original PC games.
  1. Deficineiron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Reathyr View Post
    Oh I know all about the downsides of mobile devices, but that's the thing, Diablo Immortal will probably not feature anything that makes you want to play hours on end, just a quick dungeon run you can do during your break or something like that, at least that's what I'm expecting of it.

    In the end, the big mistake that Blizzard made in my opinion, is that Blizzcon, with all it's hardcore PC fans, was the wrong venue to show this game at, to try and get people exited for it, this should have been done at a more neutral con that's not 100% Blizzard, preferably somewhere in Asia, as that is where the main market for these types of games tends to lie, or maybe a simple blog post would have sufficed, "hey we're doing this side project with NetEase, a mobile Diablo title, take a look if you're interested"
    Not on the main stage, at your biggest show, in a hall filled with PC playing fanatics who don't care one damn bit about mobile games, if not hate them outright.

    As for Lineage M (not 2 M my bad), ya big hit apparently, tho it seems to be riding on the coattails of Netmarble's Lineage 2 Revolution (also a mobile title)
    I was also wrong, NCSoft only mentioned they are committed to future PC games, but the announced Aion 2, Blade & Soul 2, Blade & Soul M, Blade & Soul S and Lineage2M (this time for real) are all mobile games, their only know PC development, Project TL, was not mentioned, so ya you're right their PC portfolio is very very dead.
    I got confused because they chose not to use the M(obile) designation for the sequels to Aion and Blade & Soul, and yes those are the fully fledged sequels/prequels to the original PC games.
    blizzard may have known this wasn't ideal - implication is they didn't have anything else to show or headline as upcoming.
  1. mmoc485a95b6e9's Avatar
    I heard BLIZZCON 2019 will be renamed to BLIZZPHON. Plus it will also take place in its new home -> Shanghai. True story
  1. Kayze's Avatar
    Oh look! Lots of people play bejeweled on their mobile phones! Obviously they want a full fledged game and Diablo is perfect for the fruit ninja market!

    For those defending this with Hearthstone, that game started on PC and was ported to mobile. It wasn't made from scratch on mobile AND wasn't made out to be a huge announcement. Diablo Immortals likely won't be bad, but it's still nothing special, a reskin, and not worth a huge announcement that it got.
  1. Planetdune's Avatar
    I wouldn't mind going back to a world without smartphones.. and without socials for that matter..
  1. Vegas82's Avatar
    Wow, so they’re straight up lying to shareholders. That seems smart...
  1. Krawu's Avatar
    It's important that Diablo Immortal is an excellent experience when released.
    Yeah it is, but unfortunately that has already been made impossible when they decided to develop it for mobile. I'm sure the Chinese market will love it but I'll not play a single second of it.
    At home, every other ARPG on PC is better by default since I have physical controls (and cheaper due to the very probably MTX shitstorm headed our way) and on mobile any game that doesn't have real-time gameplay is better by default.

    Sad to see that even after all the outrage Blizzard fails to understand why their fans are angry. If they wanted to extend an olive branch they can start by announcing a PC port. Or better yet, cancel the whole thing and start over without the involvement of NetEase. This is not a game for the gamers, it's a game for the investors.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what they do, since the IP is now officially dead for me. I simply don't trust them to do right by their fans any more. First they dumbed down the entire Diablo Formula in D3, then the RMAH (likely to make a return in Immortal) and drama during D3 development ("Fuck that loser" anyone?) and now this fiasco.

    What they should've done is to first announce the opening of a new Blizzard branch: Blizzard Mobile. Then have THAT studio come out with D:I as their first game, and then they could've peddled all the mobile shit games they wanted without alienating their fans.
  1. mmocfd328e0b6e's Avatar
    Muted: showing little enthusiasm

    "The idea received a muted response."
  1. apelsinjuice's Avatar
    The big investors are losing hope in Acti-blizzard. CoD selling less than expected, destiny doing badly, diablo immortals fiasco and a lot of other stuff will add up.

    but the fact is a lot of the bigger companies is looking to shift more and more to mobile as well as the Asian market.
  1. Fabinas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by oathy View Post
    BFA digital upgrade now down to 14 pounds from 52 pounds
    Dunno wtf is what you saw, there isn't such shit in ma bnet Launcher. Pic or didn't happen.
  1. Kuja's Avatar
    "Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world."

    Yeah, right. Let's see if play store reviews agree with that. Unless they manipulate those as well.

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