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. roboscorcher's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Halfaheart View Post
    I've been playing on a wrath server off and on since cataclysm released on retail and It always has close to 20k online. I can say without a doubt that the more archived servers they release the higher the sub count will be. I tried out classic and it wasn't for me. But I know I'd jump to a wrath server and never look back if Blizzard released one
    Yeah I'd love to have server for every expansion. Sometimes I just want to play an older version of a class.
  1. Nestoras's Avatar
    I don't need a toy, a pet, an xp boost waiting for me in my mail for world of warcraft 15th year anniversary.

    I had my present early on this year, and its Classic. The biggest present ever in my years in world of Warcraft!

    And for the first time in many years, a "thank you Blizzard" is in order for this wonderful gift!

    Keep it clean and it will be the place to be for the years to come!
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeula View Post
    I really hope Classic’s success doesn’t change modern WoW too much. I can’t stand Classic or it’s gameplay loop.
    It already has. The level squish and bringing back meaningful skills and talents with each level in Shadowlands both seem to echo Classic. That said, I don't see them removing QoL features like the LFR and the LFG anytime soon so if that's your concern I can say with a fair amount of certainty you have absolutely nothing to worry about on that front.
  1. Ulfric Trumpcloak's Avatar
    "cLaSsIc wOw HaS nOt BeEn SuCcEsSfUlL" - Random haters on mmo champion a couple of weeks ago...

    I wish that mod hadn't closed the thread so i could rub it in their faces. Bunch of idiots!
  1. Aeula's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    It already has. The level squish and bringing back meaningful skills and talents with each level in Shadowlands both seem to echo Classic. That said, I don't see them removing QoL features like the LFR and the LFG anytime soon so if that's your concern I can say with a fair amount of certainty you have absolutely nothing to worry about on that front.
    I’m more concerned with how far they’ll take ‘class fantasy’ and the types of content they’ll produce going forward. I don’t really use LFR/LFD.
  1. kail's Avatar
    Well not a single person could claim that Classic isn't a success. The pop could fall like a rock, it still made profit for Blizzard to implement. People who wanted Classic are happy and retail players can benefit from the money that Classic players are giving to Blizz.
  1. tuxedobob'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.
    Oh, shut the fuck up. The game doesn't need more bloat.
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MoanaLisa View Post
    I'm happy that the Warcraft IP is doing well and Classic deserves all the credit for bringing people back to the game. On the report there's a little footnote (#2 in the slide that I saw) that mentions subscriptions are both monthly and long-term. It would be interesting to know how many of those subscriptions that account for the increase are still active now. I think that might be a bit more meaningful. I'll grant you the truth of the first sentence in the quote. I'm less certain about the second.
    Whelp, looking at the stock price, the investors seem unconvinced. They didn't abandon it, but they're not buying either. Which is the point of the thread, not "NO U CLASSIC IS DA SUCESS YOU DUMM DUMM HEAD".

    I'm not going to even go into that whole thing - both sides of it are beyond idiotic at this point. And they're not going to listen, and keep slapping each other in their sandbox, so I'm checking out of the whole thing.

    And that concludes this quarters investors report, that nobody read, but argue based on the myth that they did. See you in January!
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    Whelp, looking at the stock price, the investors seem unconvinced. They didn't abandon it, but they're not buying either. Which is the point of the thread, not "NO U CLASSIC IS DA SUCESS YOU DUMM DUMM HEAD".

    I'm not going to even go into that whole thing - both sides of it are beyond idiotic at this point. And they're not going to listen, and keep slapping each other in their sandbox, so I'm checking out of the whole thing.

    And that concludes this quarters investors report, that nobody read, but argue based on the myth that they did. See you in January!
    Yeah, there are tribes everywhere and it never helps to get to the truth of anything.
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxedobob View Post
    Oh, shut the fuck up. The game doesn't need more bloat.
    Speak when spoken to, @tuxedobob!
  1. jellmoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tuxedobob View Post
    Oh, shut the fuck up. The game doesn't need more bloat.
    Have we really reached the point where player options is considered "bloat"? Seriously?
  1. Queen of Hamsters's Avatar
    I take 3 positives from these reports:

    1) There's been no drop-off in Live. Probably in part thanks to tourists coming in and moving over from Classic after a while.
    2) With that, classic also pulled attention to the Live game AKA the Franchise as a whole
    3) Classic has been wildly profitable which equals more money towards development, even if a lot will inevitably end up in profit payouts.

    Added positive: TBC and WOTLK servers...?

    But I'm surprised, because the 33 Million MAU is not vastly higher than what it at the end of the previous quarter? So perhaps it's been off-set by a massive drop in MAUs for other titles of theirs.

    The full report + the stocks results tells me that investors aren't dancing on roses just yet though... If they ever do.

    Either way, happy to see some positives for WoW specifically that I hardly think even the perpetual haters can twist into a negative... But I wouldn't be surprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    It already has. The level squish and bringing back meaningful skills and talents with each level in Shadowlands both seem to echo Classic. That said, I don't see them removing QoL features like the LFR and the LFG anytime soon so if that's your concern I can say with a fair amount of certainty you have absolutely nothing to worry about on that front.
    The level squish = they sent out the survey for it loong before they had any results from Classic, and yes, they floated the idea of 60 being the new cap.
    The Meaningful leveling = that thing that players have been providing feedback on for ages, especially since their last failed attempt at changing up the leveling process. The Shadowlands leveling will not be like Classic leveling, not even in the most positive (or negative, depending on how one feels) light possible.

    I'm sure they'll use data from Classic, if they get it over time, to impact their overall decisions. But those things specifically were conceptualized long before Classic and certainly long before they'd seen the total retention power of the game.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by kail View Post
    Well not a single person could claim that Classic isn't a success. The pop could fall like a rock, it still made profit for Blizzard to implement. People who wanted Classic are happy and retail players can benefit from the money that Classic players are giving to Blizz.
    Indeed.

    If this means TBC and WOTLK servers (rather than the horribad idea of Classic+), it's even more positive. Classic is Classic, now imagine the potential pull to the franchise that far more popular iterations could have.

    I used to worry about the idea of spreading the playerbase, but... actually, I'mma hold off on that change of heart until we've seen long-term what statistics look like for the legacy servers idea.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tuxedobob View Post
    Oh, shut the fuck up. The game doesn't need more bloat.
    It's not bloat, and the game will inevitably have another class and will be richer for it.

    But, as of right now when the highest criticism seems to be how current classes play, they 100% should focus on repairing the damage before bringing out and hyping new classes.

    And that's what's happening. And in the end, unlike what that person you quoted says, a new class or even a new race does jack shit for retention in the long run. That comes from fun gameplay and new content being brought out. Content for more than just the few percent that usually bother maining a new class.
  1. unbound's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Hamsters View Post
    3) Classic has been wildly profitable which equals more money towards development, even if a lot will inevitably end up in profit payouts.
    Sigh. No, please stop with that nonsense.

    Profits do not ever mean more anything gets created. If a company sees an opportunity that will make them good profit, they will fund it by whatever means necessary...including begging or borrowing. If a company sees an opportunity that will not make them good profit, it does not matter in the slightest whether they have extra money sitting around.

    I have never ever hired anyone because we made more money on one of my projects. I have never gone after an opportunity simply because I have extra money available. Everyone I've hired is because of a need to fill a role to make more money. Every opportunity I've gone after is one that I expect to capitalize on.

    Do you know what actually happens to extra money when we have a good year? A few bonuses...mostly for upper management.

    If you want better from Blizz, you need to stop believing in this ridiculous nonsense. Threaten to stop giving them money, and then they might give you more. Be clear on what you expect from a game that you are willing to drop serious money on, and then they will definitely give you more. Giving them money even when they don't do things very well simply encourages them to see if they can cut corners a bit more and still get away with you giving them money.
  1. Queen of Hamsters's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unbound View Post
    Sigh.*snip*
    Thanks for the preach, but I'm good.

    I don't "threaten", I actually act. If what they're serving me ain't to my taste, I take my money elsewhere, as I currently have.
    Seems quite a few on these forums, could benefit from doing the same.

    And regardless of what you say here, I'll believe that increased profits from this franchise will lead to them seeing a reason to keep it running and take lessons from when it's at its most profitable/growth. Which is a good thing because I do love this franchise and want the 25th anniversary CE on my shelf.
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Hamsters View Post
    The level squish = they sent out the survey for it loong before they had any results from Classic, and yes, they floated the idea of 60 being the new cap.
    The Meaningful leveling = that thing that players have been providing feedback on for ages, especially since their last failed attempt at changing up the leveling process. The Shadowlands leveling will not be like Classic leveling, not even in the most positive (or negative, depending on how one feels) light possible.

    I'm sure they'll use data from Classic, if they get it over time, to impact their overall decisions. But those things specifically were conceptualized long before Classic and certainly long before they'd seen the total retention power of the game.
    Level squish was hardly surprising and I'm well aware players have been asking for meaningful level rewards ages. I've been one of them. I didn't mean to frame it to seem like Classic's success somehow invented these ideas because they've been around forever. Classic doing well, however, has almost certainly given the devs a clear signal that there is merit in some "older" design paradigms modern WoW has evolved from.
  1. Queen of Hamsters's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    Level squish was hardly surprising and I'm well aware players have been asking for meaningful level rewards ages. I've been one of them. I didn't mean to frame it to seem like Classic's success somehow invented these ideas because they've been around forever. Classic doing well, however, has almost certainly given the devs a clear signal that there is merit in some "older" design paradigms modern WoW has evolved from.
    Oh for sure, if they see a continued retention that's strong for Classic, they might (and should) consider what it is that's making players stick with it in the face of no new content being added.
  1. Nomads'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.
    Just quoting you now, so I can mock you incessantly when you are proven wrong. Nay sayers have been eating their words for months now... learn, would you?

    The "I told you so's" are extremely sweet though.
  1. ElDoorO's Avatar
    Wasn't Classic supposed to be dead in a week or two? Or a month? Huh.
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nomads View Post
    Just quoting you now, so I can mock you incessantly when you are proven wrong. Nay sayers have been eating their words for months now... learn, would you?

    The "I told you so's" are extremely sweet though.
    Proven wrong about what?
  1. Eugenik'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.
    L O fucking L. The theme park of reliving half fought fights for a welfare mount? Youre out of touch with reality..

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