The Activision Blizzard Q3 2012 Financial Results conference call was held on November 7th at 4:30pm EST / 1:30pm PDT.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime talked briefly about the overall progress of Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. He estimates StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is coming out on the first-half of 2013 (January-June range). BlizzCon 2013 and a Diablo III expansion were officially confirmed by Mike Morhaime at this conference as well. Listen to the recording below.
For the first nine months, Activision Blizzard was the #1 PC publisher in the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, for the third quarter, Blizzard Entertainment had two of the top five PC games with Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
Since its release in May 2012, Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III was the #1 bestselling game in dollars and units on the PC in the U.S. and Europe.
On September 25, 2012, Blizzard Entertainment released World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and sold through approximately 2.7 million copies of the game as of its first week of release. Additionally, on October 2, 2012, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was released in China, marking what the company believes to be the first time any game has officially released in China as part of a global launch.
As of September 30, 2012, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with more than 10 million subscribers.
Diablo III has already sold an excess of 10 million copies.
Listen to the Conference Call
This recording captures only the portion where Mike Morhaime talks about Blizzard Entertainment’s results.
Mike Morhaime: The third quarter for Blizzard was a very successful one, thanks in large part to the launch of Mists of Pandaria at the end of September. As of the first week, more than 2.7 million copies sold through and subscribership had grown to over 10 million at the end of the quarter. We also launched the game in China just one week after the other regions, which as far as we are aware, is the first time any game has officially released in China as part of a global launch. Overall, it was a successful launch and we were very pleased with the reaction from players and critics.
The team worked hard to create a good variety of deeply engaged content for a wide range of players. The challenge mode and the new raids had been very appealing for hardcore players, while our other new features, such as the pet battle system have been popular with players across the board. This breadth of new content, combined with a vast amount of existing content in World of Warcraft, has resulted in the game that has a lot to offer for veterans, as well as newcomers to online gaming.
We’re looking forward to maintaining engagement by providing more frequent content updates. The first major update to Mists of Pandaria is already in public testing, with additional updates to follow. We have other initiatives planned for the holiday season that we hope will maintain momentum from the launch and continued growth in the community.
Moving on to Diablo III, the game continued to sell very well in the quarter, riding the momentum from its record-breaking launch in May. We’ve updated the game several times to add new features and these changes have been received well by the community. Next on the slate for Blizzard will be Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion to StarCraft II. With 6 million copies of Wings of Liberty sold to date, we have a large community of players eagerly awaiting the next installment of StarCraft.
Beta testing for Heart of the Swarm is well underway and the development team has been collecting great feedback from the community. Just last week, we made a major content update to the beta in order to test some important community features, which have been well-received by players. These features are designed to improve the social aspect, as well as the overall user experience for StarCraft players. We’re working hard towards a first-half 2013 launch for Heart of the Swarm.
We plan on closing out 2012 with one more major initiative, our Battle.net World Championship event, which will take place on November 17th and 18th in Shanghai, China. This event is the culmination of months of intense eSports competition, involving dozens of online tournaments and live events across five continents. The global finals will be very much like a World Cup of eSports with more than 60 top pro gamers in StarCraft II and World of Warcraft competing at the event. The sold out Battle.net World Championship will be broadcast online to a global audience. Live streams and information about the tournament can be found at http://www.battle.net/bwc.
In closing, we’re very pleased with the success of Mists of Pandaria and Diablo III continues to be a top seller on the PC chart. Heart of the Swarm is well on its way and we have other exciting projects in the pipeline. BlizzCon will be returning next year as well, adding to what will be a busy 2013 for Blizzard. We continue to build on our infrastructure for long-term growth and remain focused on creating high-quality content for all of our players around the world.
Douglas Creutz (Cowen and Company): You mentioned you’re at above 1 million peak concurrent users in China. I just wondered how that maybe compared to levels that you’ve hit after prior expansion launches. And then secondly, if you could just talk about where you are with DOTA All-Stars?
Morhaime: Let me start with the second one, which is Blizzard All-Stars is in development and we’re doing some great work. Some internal testing is underway. We’re doing a lot of things to experiment with gameplay and I don’t really have anything concrete to announce on this call, other than we’re very excited about the game. So with respect to China, I really don’t have anything to announce in terms of historical comparables. I think — other than to say that the engagement has increased with the launch of the expansion and we’re very happy with the reception.
Stephen Ju (Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division): The prior iterations of Diablo II expansion pack released about 1 year after the game itself came out. So wondering if you have anything you share in terms of whether or not you have a similar plan for Diablo III to keep your users engaged?
Morhaime: We do have a plan. An expansion planned for Diablo. I don’t have any timeline to talk about. I think that the most important thing for us always comes down to the quality of the expansion and the gameplay, and so that will be a big factor in terms of driving our schedule.
Starting tomorrow, Activision Blizzard will broadcast its third-quarter financial results conference call. Previous conference calls have been informative, while at other times not as much.
There is a slight chance that Mike Morhaime might announce or provide an approximate internal target for the official StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm release date. Again, it is a possibility. Not guaranteed.
Keep your eyes on Blizzplanet for images and details of whatever might come from the lips of Mike Morhaime. If you are able to listen to the broadcast on Wednesday, make sure to read the press release for further details. This news post will be updated tomorrow.
Activision Blizzard To Release Third Quarter 2012 Results On November 7, 2012
SANTA MONICA, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) intends to release its third quarter 2012 results after the close of the market on Wednesday, November 7 , 2012. In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the Internet.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
1:30 pm Pacific Time ( 4:30 pm Eastern Time )
FigurePrints announced Microsoft is shutting down the Xbox LIVE Avatar exporter service at the end of November.
This will prevent FigurePrints from creating more Xbox Live Avatar statues.
You have a few weeks to order your Custom Xbox LIVE Avatar Statues!. Act now while you can. If in October 12th you got the free Xbox LIVE Avatar Horde or Alliance logo T-shirt from the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria advertisement campaign, and didn’t get to order a statue, now is a good timing to do so, too.
For a long time since I built my EVGA X58 motherboard computer system (in 2008) I had wanted to get a better CPU cooler, especially with all the upgrades World of Warcraft has gotten from expansion to expansion and because intensive games like Crysis 2.
My i7-920 CPU was normally in the 78-82 degrees, with spikes of 85 — pretty bad, considering the motherboard auto-shuts at 86 degrees. During the periods of time I did not clean the interior of my computer I could probably be able to fry an egg in there.
I skipped getting another H100, because I needed to get a working computer ASAP, and didn’t want to run the risk of another RMA nor waste more delivery time. For something that costs $100, I’d expect it to work out of the box or to have been tested at the factory.
My next option was to get an EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler. Half cheaper than the Corsair H100 Extreme. The photos don’t make justice to this behemoth. It’s big and heavy.
The fan is actually 120 x 120mm (open your hand and extend your fingers wide and apart. That big is this CPU cooler.
After loading the EVGA e-Leet utility software to monitor my i7-920 CPU temperatures I was literally blown out of my shoes. I couldn’t believe the readings. Half the temperatures I always had with the previous CPU cooler.
It’s been 2-3 months since I installed this CPU cooler, and haven’t cleaned the case on purpose to take readings of a dusty computer interior. Not something safe to do, but for your benefit here we go.
These are my current CPU temperature readings with a dusty computer case: between 43-47 degrees. At the moment of these readings I have World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria set at Ultra settings for over 8 hours and Adobe Photoshop open. I’m amazed.
Of course, it’s recommended to clean your computer case at least once a month. I personally use the Metro Vacuum ED500 Electric Duster to clean up my computer. It certainly beats wasting money on compressed air cans that don’t do a great job. **Thanks to the fan who suggested that electric duster. I love it.
Chris Metzen (Diablo III, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II) and Flint Dille (Diablo III, Transformers, GI Joe) are conducting a panel titled “Geek Speaks” at the University of South California Annenberg (School for Communication and Journalism) this upcoming October 29th, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Presented by the Annenberg Innovation Lab, Geek Speaks goes beyond the lecture or the seminar to give you a close look at the creative process as seen by two of new media’s leading lights.
Chris Metzen (Diablo III, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II) and Flint Dille (Diablo III, Transformers, GI Joe) will sit for a one-on-one conversation about entertainment, culture and the creative process while sharing stories and experiences gained from working across mediums and genres.
To join this event, attendees must register free (RSVP) here.
Are you attending this event? Do you have a camera, digital video camera or voice recorder? Let us know here.
USCAnnenberg Auditorium (Annenberg Room G26), 7 p.m.
3502 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the success of the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria expansion in style creating their own version of Octoberfest — err, Brewfest.
Developers and employees joined together on the campus outdoors to drink champagne and literally get rained and splashed by it. Several photos made their way into Twitter to share with everyone their great time and pride to work at Blizzard Entertainment. No goblins, dwarves, rams, not even iron dwarves were harmed during this celebration. A [Community Manager of the Year] floating skull got his fire kinda too drenched, though. teehee!
Vaeflare: My other half took an eagle-eye video of the #Blizzard #MoP champagne toast from earlier. I love the screams of joy. 😉 – source
Nick Carpenter @FubarNick: Congratulations Blizzard/MoP!!! Champagne-soaked celebration. Lol… I need a shower now 😉 @Warcraft @Blizzplanet – source
@TheLyns: Congrats to everyone for all your hard work on Mists of Pandaria!! Now let’s get douced in champagne!! #warcraft pic.twitter.com/S4cEFPfB
@Bashiok: I think we’re ready.
@Vaeflare: The calm before the #Blizzard champagne storm… A bunch of people I know started working at #Blizzard during #MoP and this is their first toast. I am so proud of everyone’s hard work. 🙂 #MoP pic.twitter.com/5Lqs8ZT2
The developers reached alerted each other via Twitter to get a second set of clothes, knowing in advance how ugly things would get once the celebration officially started:
I think this large setup of champagne bottles might easily break a few Guinness records. Well, maybe … almost.
Medievaldragon: This one definitely deserves one of those The Daily Blink comics:
@CM_Zarhym: So @Daxxarri came from behind like a rogue, spraying champagne under my shades into my eye. That’s how young adults imbibe these days right? – source
Michael Chu: Congrats to everyone on the #Pandaria team! You guys rocked it. – source
@CM_Zarhym: @Bashiok But @mumper’s been waiting two years to take a champagne shower. Shouldn’t the world be yearning for pictures? (I’ll take them.)
@Olandgren: So incredibly happy we could deliver a world that our players could love and explore. – source
@Bashiok: Grats to the team on the awesome Mists of #Pandaria launch! #champagneissticky @mumper @Ghostcrawler @DaveKosak – source
@CM_Zarhym: Tom Chilton, @Ghostcrawler @mumper @DaveKosak & crew take a champagne shower. So honored to work with them! – source
@Veaflare: Whenever we celebrate the launch of a new title, we have a toast and raise a flag. Here’s #Diablo and #MoP. #BlizzFacts – source
Steve Parker @retailsails: Congrats to the Mists of Pandaria team on their champagne toast over at Blizz! #cheers – source
@Vaeflare: So many drenched #Blizzard employees everywhere… And loud music, smiles, and laughter. 🙂 I love this company.
Cory Stockton @Mumper: We are getting close! Almost time to celebrate! – source
The event was led by New York Times Best Selling Author Micky Neilson (Blizzard Publishing Lead), Dave Kosak (World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer) and Michael Stackpole (science fiction and fantasy author).
The upcoming World of Warcraft patch 5.1 will focus a lot on the book’s plot. Players will meet Vol’jin throughout Pandaria in patch 5.1. He wants to dispense indiscriminate justice against Garrosh. He’ll make sure to be behind his downfall. In the novel, Vol’jin will have few contemplative moments at a Pandaria monastery, learning wisdom from the Pandaren.
The novel’s main characters are Vol’jin and Chen Stormstout.
We were told Vol’jin will be featured on patch 5.2 too. The developers are hard at work on a new Vol’jin NPC model and new Zandalari troll models in patch 5.1.
Release Date: Q2 2013
This upcoming World of Warcraft novel focuses on Vol’jin, the courageous shadow hunter and leader of the Darkspear tribe whose guile and cunning have made him a staunch ally of the Warchief Thrall. Shadows of the Horde follows Vol’jin to the lost continent of Pandaria, where the troll chieftain’s loyalties are put to the ultimate test when a member of his own faction moves to assassinate him. . . .
Aided by the renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout, Vol’jin takes refuge in a remote mountain monastery to recover from his wounds. His time there, however, is far from peaceful, as intense visions of the past assault the Darkspear chieftain, and the ancient Zandalari tribe mounts a series of attacks on Pandaria. In his struggle to make sense of what’s happening, Vol’jin must ultimately decide where his allegiances lay—a choice that could save or doom his people . . . and forever alter the fate of the Horde.
The novel gets into the relationship between Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan through flashbacks, and the novel starts right away seconds after the cinematic ending of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty when Raynor is carrying Sarah on his arms, and bridges out the gap between Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm . We’ll find out what was Tychus’ outcome.
Micky was very mysterious on when Heart of the Swarm is coming out, but his voice tone hinted it’s not too far away. Take in mind Activision Blizzard Third Quarter Financial Results Conference Call is taking place on November 7th.
It’s possible the official announcement of Heart of the Swarm’s release date takes place prior to the conference call, or at the event itself. We will know sooner or later. Pre-order StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Nov 6).
World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects
A new eBook by Richard A. Knaak titled World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects. This eBook will be available in four parts. The first part will be available on January 15th, 2013.
The Dragon Aspects are mortal now, and going through a lot of changes. We’ll see these characters before they became Aspects, we’ll see Galakron and the Proto drakes. Readers will explore a lot of past history with this four-part eBook.
Format: Serialized eBook
Release Date: Starting January 15, 2013
Dawn of the Aspects is a four-part serial novel that highlights a lesser-known period of the Dragon Aspects’ history. Written by Richard A. Knaak (World of Warcraft: Stormrage, Warcraft: War of the Ancients trilogy), the mini-series follows the Aspects at a moment in time before they’d been granted their powers, when they were called upon to band together against the proto-dragon Galakrond.
Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls
Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls is an Anthology of five short stories from the Diablo III site, and two additional stories that aren’t focused on any specific class, aimed at expanding the Diablo III universe. This is a digital eBook to be available in Kindle.
Release Date: November 27, 2012
This eBook anthology collects five dark tales based on Diablo III’s character classes—the barbarian, demon hunter, monk, witch doctor, and wizard — which were originally published on the Diablo III website prior to the game’s release. This collection also includes two never-before-available short stories set in the Diablo universe that shed more light on the shadow-shrouded world of Sanctuary.
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel Video – Part 1
For more details about the panel and for details about other booths providing sneak peeks of upcoming Blizard licensed products go here for the schedules.
I arrived to the Javits Convention Center in the late afternoon to pick up my press badge, when the background noise caught my attention. I decided to give myself a tour throughout the halls.
I visited the Insight Editions Booth #1882 to pick up the Spring 2013 catalog. The Art of Blizzard Entertainment contains 352 pages. It’s a massive book measuring 9.25 x 12.75. I’ll post an individual article about this product during the weekend. You can pre-order it here.
The Art of Blizzard
Written by Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen
An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard Entertainment celebrates the studio’s genesis by examining the creative forces behind these games and showcasing their artistry through more than 700 pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches. Commentary on the art is provided by Blizzard Entertainment’s own Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen, who’ve each played important roles in shaping Blizzard’s game universes over the years.
Hardcover: $75.00 ISBN: 978-1-60887-027-1
The Limited Edition of the Art of Blizzard Entertainment comes in a die-cut slipcase, which houses an exclusive version of the book and a portfolio of four high-quality giclee prints of paintings by Blizzard’s most celebrated artists: Samwise Didier, Brom and Wei Wang. Limited to 3,000 copies. ($150) — ISBN: 978-1-60887-138-4
When I walked into the Simon & Schuster’s Booth #829, I was greeted by Associate Publicist Stephanie DeLuca who immediately offered her support to Blizzplanet. Ed Schlesinger (Gallery Books editor) recognized me from past events. That guy is so amazing. You can breath his passion for Blizzard Entertainment’s novels. I wanted to share with you guys a brief sneak peek into what to expect in StarCraft II: Flashpoint by Christie Golden.
The StarCraft: Flashpoint book was there at the booth. Attendees can pick it on their hands and browse through the pages. It came hot off the press barely a couple of days ago, and getting ready to ship on November 6th.
From what he told me with as little spoilers as possible, but enough to spark such an interest to geek me out (with the shivers and all that) — the novel starts off just a couple of seconds right after the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty’s cinematic ending, and they are in Planet Char. It’s packed with thrilling action as they try to retreat through hordes of Zerg taking with them their precious cargo: Sarah Kerrigan. Emphasis on “this is no longer the Queen of Blades”. I so want to read this N.O.W.!
Don’t worry. Simon & Schuster has Blizzplanet covered. A review copy will be arriving soon. Expect a review and an interview with Christie Golden in upcoming weeks.
Mega Bloks is showcasing the new line up of World of Warcraft sets expected the last quarter of 2012. They tweeted us to tell you this: “The first 100 at the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft Booth get a Chen “Jade” Stormstout Figure (Friday 4:30pm and Saturday).” Ask for yours, while supplies last.
Walk-in into their Booth #1206 to check out the upcoming line of Pandaren Monk sets and the Sha of Anger. Mega Bloks posted in Facebook some pictures a few days ago. These are the photos I took today:
You can find the massive Thrall weighing a ton near the electric stairs by the Javits convention center’s lobby. They have a huge version of the Zeppelin and the Frostmourne sword made of Mega Bloks.
Where to find the Blizzard Publishing Panel on Saturday?
I was not expecting to find the New York Comic Con open today, only went into exploration-mode to let you know where to find the Room 1A14 on Saturday at 2:45pm. The room where the Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel will take place at.
I recommend to open the door of the Javits Convention Center and follow the whole length of the lobby — takes about four minutes to do that. Walk down the non-mechanical stairs and continue following the long lobby. You will see the massive Mega Bloks World of Warcraft Thrall statue.
At the far end of the lobby you will see a huge banner of THE WALKING DEAD. Near that huge banner to your left you will see a Coca-Cola Drink Machine and next to it the mechanical-stairway (as seen in the photo below).
Go down to the lower floor. Don’t move left or right. Just keep walking forward as soon as you get out of the stairs all the way to the end. Room 1A14 is at the end. The door is to the left side of the hallway.
I entered the room. It’s pretty big with approximately 100 chairs. I’ll be there taking video on the first row.
New York Comic Con tickets are now sold out. All New York Comic Con attendees should read this schedule to get a sneak peek at upcoming Blizzard books and toys. Share with friends in social networks and forums.
Blizzplanet’s Medievaldragon will be attending Friday and Saturday to live blog. Stay tuned for photos and video. Note: Wear a hoodie, jacket, and gloves. Starting yesterday, temperature dropped at 43-50 in NYC.
Check out our New York Comic Con Floor Map
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing is holding a panel at the 2012 New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 13 between 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
This panel is taking place at Room 1A14. Learn what’s happening in the world of Blizzard books with panelists Michael Stackpole (science fiction and fantasy author), Micky Neilson (Blizzard Publishing Lead), and Dave Kosak (World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer).
They will be unveiling a brand new World of Warcraft novel in 2013. Get in-depth with the storylines and quests that continues to drive the largest MMO in the world! Plus, have a chance to chat with the creative minds behind the Blizzard publishing program.
Blizzard & UDON Panel
On Friday, October 12th between 7:45pm – 8:45pm — Blizzard and UDON will reveal details of an upcoming Blizzard-themed TRIBUTE art book and contest. Visit Room 1A06.
DC Entertainment – World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria Graphic Novel Signing
Micky Neilson and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway will be signing copies of the DC World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel.
Friday, October 12, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
DC Booth #1238
Blizzard Licensed Products Booths
Insight Editions: Get a sneak peek at The Art of Blizzard, an upcoming book which offers an exclusive look at the ideas and imagery that have defined over 20 years of Blizzard gaming. Booth #1882
Mega Bloks: NYCC attendees will be treated to an in-depth look at the making of the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft toys and a sneak peek at the winter line up! Mega Bloks will also be giving away a limited number of Chen Stormstout posters and Chen figures. Booth #1206
Simon & Schuster: Looking for more Blizzard universe lore? A library of World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft novels will be available for purchase at the Simon & Schuster booth. Booth #829
Alternative Booths/Artists Details
Legendary Entertainment – booth # 1620
Brom Art – booth # 2437
Mark Evans (World of Warcraft TCG artist) – table I12
Walter Simonson (DC Comics World of Warcraft) – table # S2
Ryan Benjamin & Sean “Cheeks” Galloway – Artists Alley (north pavillion) – table # G2
PAYPAL Booth #3033
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