WoW Classic Demo Extended to Monday

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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 375 Comments
  1. kamuimac's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zequill View Post
    The 3.2 million part was well know since Blizzard gave us that number a week or so after the release of BFA...

    I now understand how all those conspiracy theory can stick, you just take a fact, add a ton fake around it a bam, herd of mindless that think since a little bit of the info is true, everything is.
    those were day 1 purchases .

    jezus you people are ....... like fuck ....

    thats like compariing movies only but how the opening day was, instead how much movie earned through first month .
  1. Usernameforforums's Avatar
    It's important that Diablo Immortal is an excellent experience when released.
    This is not the problem Blizzard. Announcing and not announcing Diablo Immortal and Diablo 4 isn't even the problem. The problem is Diablo was the "center piece" of BlizCon this year and all we get was a mobile game. Saying "multiple projects are in the works" earlier this year, building hype, then only announcing a mobile game is the problem. You can make the best mobile game ever created but you are primarily a PC developer and ignored this fact. EVERYONE KNOWS D4 IS IN DEVELOPMENT! We just wanted some sort of confirmation to get our butts moist in preparation for Diablo4.

    Off topic to this, kinda: in the ATVI investor call it was mentioned that Tencent is developing a mobile Call of Duty. Like WTF.
  1. Noctus78's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tankbug View Post
    You know what the problem with your console and PC is? They are expensive, stationary and take up space. People need and want phones, and use them for everything, so they already have a "free" console built in already. The "home computer" is a thing of the past, except for a the gaming enthusiast, and that's why it's important to get good gaming onto the mobile devices.
    WUT?
    A phone is A LOT more expensive than console or PC (PC depending on multiple things, self building high end goes along 5-6 years and is about the same price a phone would be that has the power to play this but wouldnt last as long)
  1. MauroDiogo's Avatar
    "Fan reaction was muted..."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  1. Surreality's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tankbug View Post
    You know what the problem with your console and PC is? They are expensive, stationary and take up space. People need and want phones, and use them for everything, so they already have a "free" console built in already. The "home computer" is a thing of the past, except for a the gaming enthusiast, and that's why it's important to get good gaming onto the mobile devices.
    I built my PC two years ago for ~700 bucks. My phone costed me 1200 bucks.
  1. Flarelaine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MauroDiogo View Post
    "Fan reaction was muted..."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Well, mine was.

    I mean, they announced a game I'm not going to play. I'm swatting off a dozen Steam offers every week. *shrug*
  1. Rhelyo's Avatar
    I wouldn't play a game such as Diablo on the mobile phones we have these days.I fried a android and a tablet using them for a mobile game and the idea for a Diablo on mobile is a NO for me.
    If i were to own a latest gadget i wouldn't use it on a game such as Diablo where you have to constantly tapping on the screen to attack or move.It's cheaper to buy a PC than to buy a S8 for example.
    Games like Diablo should stick to PC/consoles.
  1. reauxmont's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mathiaslindberg View Post
    Fidelity doesn't mean the size of the screen.. and mobile doesn't mean just mean phones. If you're playing on a 13" laptop, the difference with a 12" iPad won't be significant. Not everyone plays on the highest end of desktops, especially not when it comes to the style of games that work with touchscreens, such as RTS games.
    RTS games work with touch screens? What? They might work, in a dumbed down version. You'll never be able to have as much APM (and therefore, control) with a touchscreen as with MKB.
  1. Deficineiron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    KK. I'll note that there's no point responding further, as you have none.
    Upon reflection (and seeing how badly the call/report went over), I do wonder what it was that put morhaime out the door.

    could always have been voluntary though the fact it was immediate? makes that seem much less likely - typically don't they announce a few months of transition or 'stepping down at end of year' etc.?

    blizz 'new idea generation' for this blizzcon is limited to porting a mobile app, and a demo with widely criticized obvious flaws. DI will make money of course (no idea how much, since they are only getting some share of NTES's revenue/profit or whatever depending on how they structure their deals.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if ATVI wanted someone in charge they felt would be more able to crack the whip in terms of productivity.
  1. tankbug's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Atwaru View Post


    So why are you not playing on your phone? In addition how many power banks are you carrying around to get enough runtime if you actually play 3D titles on your phone? The downside to phones is that they run on battery and higher end graphics require more power which lessens the runtime of a phone. As it's used for more than just gaming that also means people have to compromise on what they want to do and how much of their "energy budget" can be "wasted" on gaming.
    I did when I didn't own a Switch, which also, compared to phones, is a niche product. But my point isn't just what's now, it's what the future holds, and that's powerful and power efficient phones. So instead of trying to fight it, we should try to improve it.
  1. ctrlaltwalsh's Avatar
    Activision Blizzard had 345 million Monthly Active Users in the quarter.
    o Blizzard is a small piece (~11%) of Activision’s quarterly MAU numbers
    o This is why you are seeing a push for user growth, and also why you might not see such a horrible monetization model for Immortal, they are looking to grow this number.
    Blizzard had 37 million MAU in the quarter. (Identical to last quarter)
    o Stagnate growth, see above.
    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth set a new day-one franchise record with more than 3.4 million units sold-through.

    o Success at the door
    World of Warcraft engagement grew strongly quarter-over-quarter. The expansion saw strong participation in value-added services.

    o They have 6 months before those 6-month sub + mount purchases fall over, they will be looking to impress over the next 3-5 months (8.1, 8.1.5), then hype the following patch to retain subs. (8.2 will be likely be a big one for content.)
    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

    o Mobile is a significant portion of hearthstone player-base.
    Players spent a record 52 minutes per day in Activision, Blizzard, and King games in the quarter.

    o No comments on this, it is a stat they care about, expect games to look for regular commitment (as they care about it)
    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

    o eSports matters for the earnings calls, and growth on Twitch matters.
    BlizzCon drew over 40,000 fans in person with millions more livestreaming from around the world

    o Classic at home Demo was a massive success for increasing virtual ticket sales.
    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.

    o This is about giving evidence of the value of the MLG arm of the business and showing investors that it is a worthwhile investment, likely aiming to appear to imitate a major league model (ie NFL, Football, Baseball)
    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

    o Explaining investment in mobile.
    Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world.

    o They are not talking about the dislikes here, but the people who actually played the game and what they said.
    When the time is right, the eam will reveal other Diablo projects in the works.

    o Highlighting that this is a part of a larger market play for Diablo in the medium term, I wouldn’t expect anything until next year.
    o PURE SPECULATION: I suspect they will do a Gamescom announcement, and a Blizzcon demo of something.
    There are a lot of players that are eager for more Diablo content on PC and console, that came through clearly from BlizzCon.

    o Planting the seed for the next diablo press release, hence my speculation.
    Launching Diablo Immortal is only the beginning, there will be updates.

    o Commiting to long term support, this is kinda Blizzards schtick (Diablo 2 1.14 was over 15 years after release), so they are confirming it will be the same on new mobile releases.
    The team is only going to release when Diablo Immortal meets the community's high standards.

    o Essentially implying that they will be strict with the quality control.
    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.

    o Confirming speculation about China’s importance for Diablo Immortal.
    It's important that Diablo Immortal is an excellent experience when released.

    o They probably aren’t going to ham fist P2W (this time), this is their first new mobile offering in a while, they have said they will be making more, this is why they are partnering up, it will make it a sustainable model.
    o Essentially they have a small team to manage the decision-making and ‘game’ parts of the game, then they handoff the technical development to another company, they receive the daily/weekly/whatever build and test, make changes and iterate.
    o This is a very smart move as it cuts the technical costs for lower priority products while keeping Blizzard in control of the outcome.
    o The primary goal here appears to be MAU growth, this is an important number and whilst Blizzard holds a respected position in the industry, disrespected games within Activision’s stable have significantly higher numbers.
  1. tankbug's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by apelsinjuice View Post
    Consoles is not expensive compared to phones, ps4 cost like 300-400 and will last you for 5+ years of generation or so, meanwhile you buy the newest iphone or samsung or 900 dollars each year
    But consoles you have to buy in addition to your phone, which you will buy anyway, and will always be at your side. That's just how practical and simple mobile gaming is, even though the experience today can't come close to a proper console/pc game.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctus78 View Post
    WUT?
    A phone is A LOT more expensive than console or PC (PC depending on multiple things, self building high end goes along 5-6 years and is about the same price a phone would be that has the power to play this but wouldnt last as long)
    As I tried to explain, phones are extremely expensive, but you will buy them anyway. Consoles and PCs will always come in addition to phones. It's probably the #1 most important electronic device in people's lives these days, for better or worse.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Surreality View Post
    I built my PC two years ago for ~700 bucks. My phone costed me 1200 bucks.
    So you spent 1900 bucks, which is more than 1200.
  1. lockybalboa's Avatar
    "Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world."

    Yeah fuck off Blizzard. Serve you right for the stock decline!
  1. Mush's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Skulltaker View Post
    And once I have expulsom with my enchanter, I do what with that, exactly?
    I think it's for people that have ench/tailoring or something similar.
  1. Deficineiron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    those were day 1 purchases .

    jezus you people are ....... like fuck ....

    thats like compariing movies only but how the opening day was, instead how much movie earned through first month .
    notably, they no longer report first 30 days, haven't for many years.
  1. unbound's Avatar
    Fan reaction was muted, but fan's reactions at BlizzCon confirmed Diablo Immortal will be well received by players around the world.
    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.
  1. s0rk's Avatar
    Sad to see that everything is just corporate business, the drive to make deep, good games are gone as it seems. I dont want shallow, dumbed down games (aka mobile games).
  1. Erous's Avatar
    wow...I didn't expect a flat out lie in the earnings report.
  1. KevyB's Avatar
    This "earnings report" is fucking embarrassing if anything, it shows stagnation and potential decline in the near future.

    Abi shouldn't be too cocky ay.
  1. apelsinjuice's Avatar
    Acti blizzard stocks is now down 14% in the last few days, yesterday it was 10%, so it keeps falling.

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