Activision Blizzard Earnings Call
The quarterly Activision Blizzard earnings call is today:


  • World of Warcraft Classic drove the biggest quarterly increase to subscription plans in franchise history, in both the West and East.
  • Reach in October remained well above pre-Classic levels, with deep engagement across Classic and Modern World of Warcraft.
  • There was significant growth in the size of the World of Warcraft audience.
  • Blizzard had 33 million MAUs
  • The Overwatch League™ season Two average minute audience grew 18% year-over-year.
  • The team is prioritizing reach and engagement over short term results for Hearthstone.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Earnings Call - WoW Classic: Biggest Quarterly Increase in Subs in History started by chaud View original post
Comments 222 Comments
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pltr View Post
    I don't even know who posts here and what. I barely read mmoc nowadays. I do know myself and why I resubscribed just for classic and I know many other people who did and why very few of us are actually interested in retail wow. There's a bloody reason why I haven't played it for years, don't you think? If I were interested in playing retail wow I would've played it without classic.
    It's included with the same subscription for a reason. Your moral repulsion or retail is anecdotal at best. "Everybody in my Discord channel, RETAIL IZ 4 NOOBZ, agrees that retail sucks," is hardly useful conjecture.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    Well yeah. But its deceptive because reach means nothing if people are "exposed to the brand" but decide not to engage with it. It could just mean blizzard tripled their marketing budget so people saw more ads, but still ignored it for all we know. They are really digging deep in the barrel if they have to use "reach" as a bullet point.
    And players like you are really reaching (heh) to spin a positive statement in a way that it aligns with the typical anti-Blizzard cynicism you see around here.
  1. Deadite's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dekkers View Post
    What was that... no one wants Classic I thought?

    dummies.
    Yon 'You think you do but you don't....' guy must be rethinking that stance.
  1. jellmoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    Sorry, I suppose I should have been clearer: It doesn't matter in the way you think it matters. And for what it's worth, they did exactly what you're saying they didn't. They told us further Legacy is an option and Classic+ will never, ever happen. We'll likely hear more about Classic as it rolls through phases but for now this earnings call simply confirms what everybody already knew.
    Ah, I think I should have been clearer as well: They didn't have an exclusive panel for Classic at Blizzcon, despite the fact that it is their hottest current property. And it has a bunch of giant question marks for the future around it, and having a dedicated discussion even if they don't have the answers yet would have been a good idea. Offhanded remarks about the possibility of TBC or WotLK servers isn't quite what I'm talking about. Also, I don't recall anything about them categorically denying the possibility og Classic+.
  1. Varitok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyasandre View Post
    World of Warcraft Classic is to thank for that, Blizzard should really learn more from it just like they said and bring more of it into retail!
    Nah, Classic is fun but retail is it's own beast. It wouldn't work and they tried it with WoD and it failed spectacularly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by glowpipe View Post
    no it doesn't.. Servers are already starting to become barren wastelands. If it had kept growing, Why was there said like 2 lines about it on blizzcon and nothing more ?
    I don't think it will grow but your absolute denial over classics continued success is just staggeringly funny.
  1. Redroniksre's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    It's included with the same subscription for a reason. Your moral repulsion or retail is anecdotal at best. "Everybody in my Discord channel, RETAIL IZ 4 NOOBZ, agrees that retail sucks," is hardly useful conjecture.

    - - - Updated - - -



    And players like you are really reaching (heh) to spin a positive statement in a way that it aligns with the typical anti-Blizzard cynicism you see around here.
    Right? Everybody in my friends list (save for 1 person) that had started playing Classic have all quit by now. But they also didn't come back to retail either, they just quit all together. Everyone should of known Classic will retain at least a decent population that is for sure, though now with Shadowlands announcement i doubt it will be higher, but who knows it doesnt really matter anyways.
  1. anon5123's Avatar
    World of Warcraft Classic drove the biggest quarterly increase to subscription plans in franchise history
    And yet, so many people on this forum were absolutely sure that Classic is "just nostalgia" and "dead in 2 weeks"

  1. horbindr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by keldarepewpew View Post
    The earnings call Qand A says otherwise. im sure you are privy to activions blizzards internal numbers.
    MAUs can stay the same but servers can still become empty. you only have to log in once a month to be a MAU.

    just about everybody i know doesn't log into classic _every day_ anymore. and most that still play regularly, play with guildies/friends and don't use LFGchat much. so if you are just standing around in a city, i can totally understand there being the appearance of a player drop.
  1. xGLxAnubis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    if this lasts another qauter, then well i think we can label classic an outstanding success.
    If they made net money off of the returning subscriptions, Classic is a success. Period. The moment the made more money than they spent, Classic was a success. Everything beyond that is bonus.

    The largest recorded quarterly increase is roughly 2.6 million (Q3 to Q4 '14); so we know that Classic was MORE than 1 Million increase in subs. That's at minimum, an extra 39 million dollars assuming worst case scenario (Only 2.6 million extra subs, not a single sub resubbed, none of the subs were for 6 months). I would be surprised if the development cost was even that high. (For 2 years of development, 39 million would mean roughly a team of 130 in salary, which is MASSIVE and highly unlikely the team was anywhere near this size)

    So given the worst case scenario seems to have already netter profit, it doesn't matter how Classic does beyond. It's definitively a success.
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jellmoo View Post
    Ah, I think I should have been clearer as well: They didn't have an exclusive panel for Classic at Blizzcon, despite the fact that it is their hottest current property. And it has a bunch of giant question marks for the future around it, and having a dedicated discussion even if they don't have the answers yet would have been a good idea. Offhanded remarks about the possibility of TBC or WotLK servers isn't quite what I'm talking about. Also, I don't recall anything about them categorically denying the possibility og Classic+.
    Again, it's not a property. It's a player retention mechanism. A museum roller coaster that people pay $15/mo to ride. But if Classic is a roller coaster, retail is the rest of the theme park. You can choose to stay in Classic if you want but the real deal is, and always will be, the retail version of the game. And that's why BlizzCon is about retail, regardless of how ostensibly successful Classic is.
  1. Svisalith's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xGLxAnubis View Post
    The largest recorded quarterly increase is roughly 1 million (Q3 to Q4 '06); so we know that Classic was MORE than 1 Million increase in subs.
    The MOP end to WOD start quarter gained 3.1 million subs.
  1. glowpipe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varitok View Post
    Nah, Classic is fun but retail is it's own beast. It wouldn't work and they tried it with WoD and it failed spectacularly.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I don't think it will grow but your absolute denial over classics continued success is just staggeringly funny.
    what denial ? did i say it wasn't successful ? He said it keeps growing, i said its not, as evident by the current server population and its decline
  1. Alcsaar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Too bad we got no new playable class which doesn't bode well for Q1 in 2020's numbers.
    ???

    Has nothing to do with Q1 in 2020. New class wouldn't be playable until likely the 4th quarter of 2020 regardless.
  1. xGLxAnubis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Svisalith View Post
    The MOP end to WOD start quarter gained 3.1 million subs.
    I'm seeing 2.6 million, but thanks, I missed that one!
  1. tratra's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zentail View Post
    Remember, it was obvious Classic would result in a massive influx on players--there was no question there. The answers we haven't got that I am interested in are:

    - How is Classic doing now (servers are becoming lower pops)?
    - How it Retail doing now (servers are becoming higher pops, but leveled out and haven't changed for a few weeks now)?
    - Obviously tons of players tried Classic and ended up on Retail. Similarly, plenty of Retail players went to Classic. How many of those first-classic players are not playing anymore and how many players from Classic ended up staying on retail and those who went to classic, how many went back to retail?
    imho classic is doing relatively well. The only issue that it has is that its endgame is relatively easy for the current playerbase that has been trained on that game for 15 years. I am hoping that blizzard will take on classic and continue its content after naxx with more challenges, that will go through the roof.
  1. jellmoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    Again, it's not a property. It's a player retention mechanism. A museum roller coaster that people pay $15/mo to ride. But if Classic is a roller coaster, retail is the rest of the theme park. You can choose to stay in Classic if you want but the real deal is, and always will be, the retail version of the game. And that's why BlizzCon is about retail, regardless of how ostensibly successful Classic is.
    Except Blizzard will always be driven by revenue, which they can measure as metric by what subscribers are playing. Having the largest bump in subs ever really is significant. If they see that Classic remains the driving force, as in way more people are active in it than in retail (I'm not saying this is the case, mind you), I guarantee we will see a shift of resource and focus.
  1. Chromell's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by davidcryix View Post
    New classes are fun but what are we really missing at this point after having twelve of them? Demon hunters are cool but warlocks were pretty unhappy losing ome of their kit to that class. I can't see how they could add another one that wouldn't take away from an existing class in the same way.

    Call me an optimist, but i really believe that streamlining the leveling experience, significantly increasing the character customization available, and adding DK to all races including allied races will be more useful and more fun than a new class at this point. If you've never played a rogue before and now its 50% easier to get one to max level well...it's new to you, right?

    To ride this wave of optimism a little further, if they finish out BfA with some new choices like night elf worgen, lightforged undead, night elf undead, or Sethrak then I think that'd go a long way towards making up for no new class.
    Bringing a new class at this point is unnecessary, imo. Better to polish what we have and, when everything is running smoothly, they can consider adding something new to the roster. A new class now would be nothing more than a smokescreen to cover the flaws of others in disarray.
  1. Capultro's Avatar
    classic?i cant believe this.with this old models...xdd
  1. det's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Demon Hunter seemed pretty popular.
    Sure is with me ....https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ters-by-class/ still least played class, even after monks.

    But that was just a quick google and the first result I pulled, not a deep research...so I don't know.
  1. Redroniksre's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jellmoo View Post
    Except Blizzard will always be driven by revenue, which they can measure as metric by what subscribers are playing. Having the largest bump in subs ever really is significant. If they see that Classic remains the driving force, as in way more people are active in it than in retail (I'm not saying this is the case, mind you), I guarantee we will see a shift of resource and focus.
    No you won't, because that is a terrible can of worms that they would rather not open. What about when people start demanding 1.12 again after the move forward? What about if people like the next patch, but not the one after?

    What will happen if the interest shows to be greater than an average one is that retail will start to pull back to some of the old philosophies. That is all, not a Classic+. I mean hell they said they still need to figure out how to do TBC/WotLK right, and those are much easier to manage than a Classic+.
  1. TJ's Avatar
    Hey, I'm J Allen Brack. YOU THINK YOU DO, BUT YOU DON'T.What a pleb.

    Classic made WoW relevant again, hopefully it carries on for a looong time. Nice to actually have a good, fun game to play.

Site Navigation