Activision and Blizzard Entertainment have finished their quarterly financial results for Quarter 3 of 2015. And there’s some big news coming out of the communication: the numbers for all franchises, World of Warcraft subscription numbers ending, and acquisition of King Digital Entertainment.
World of Warcraft® subscriptions remained relatively stable, ending the quarter at 5.5 million subscribers. Players are excited about the upcoming expansion, Legion™, which will feature a new class, customizable Artifact weapons, class order halls, and much more. World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription based MMORPG in the world.
On August 24, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment launched The Grand Tournament™, the second expansion for Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, with over 130 new cards. As a result of this new content, continued strength on mobile, and continued strength across geographies, key engagement metrics grew 77% year-over-year and set a new quarterly revenue record for the franchise.
Blizzard Entertainment brought new players into Heroes of the Storm™ with the release of The Eternal Conflict, a series of content and hero additions based on the Diablo® universe. Blizzard also held the Heroes of the Storm regional championships as part of its Road to BlizzCon® esports series, including the Americas Championship in Las Vegas and the Europe Championship in Prague.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III continued to bring in new players in Q3, and in China, the game passed the 2-million-unit milestone.
Blizzard Entertainment began closed beta testing for Overwatch™ on October 27, 2015, with over 7 million players signed-up to participate, not including China.
Yes, World of Warcraft has lost another 100,000 subscribers since Quarter 2, bringing the total since Warlords of Draenor launched to a net loss of 1.6 million subscribers. This loss of subscribers is mild compared to the end of Quarter 2. But soon, players won’t know what the subscription numbers will be in the future.
According to GameSpot, Blizzard Entertainment will no longer be updating with the subscription number for World of Warcraft.
“Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers,” the company said. “There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.”
Instead, Activision Blizzard will use other unspecified “engagement” metrics to talk about the health of Warcraft. These were not detailed during the earnings call where the announcement was made on November 3.
It’s possible that instead of using a subscription number, Blizzard Entertainment will look at the amount of time players put playing into Warcraft. Already Activision Blizzard records over 3.5 billion hours of gameplay with all their franchises, not including time spent spectating. More details will be revealed during Quarter 4.
In a chance to solidify their position as world leaders in interactive entertainment, Activision Blizzard, Inc. purchases Candy Crush Saga maker King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion. With the buyout, the company will be able to work on its biggest weakness in mobile entertainment. Activision Blizzard expects the mobile gaming space to generate more than $36 billion in revenue by the end of 2015, and grow cumulatively by more than 50% from 2015 to 2019.
But what does this mean for King Digital Entertainment? Well, the company will continue to operate as an independent unit of Activision Blizzard. The company will still be lead by CEO Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson, and Chief Operating Officer Stephane Kurgan. The deal will be final by Spring 2016.
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