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Activision Blizzard Q4 2019 Earnings Call: Diablo Immortal Testing in Mid-2020, WoW Sub Growth

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46774-q3-earnings-call-classic-drives-bi

Blizzard has had 32 million monthly active users in Q4 2019 (down from 33 million in Q3 2019). Diablo Immortal will be available for testing in the middle of 2020, and WoW exited 2019 with more than twice the size of its Q2-ending level subscriptions.

Q4 2019 Highlights

  • In the fourth quarter of 2019, World of Warcraft had twice the size of its Q2-ending level subs.
  • Blizzard has a rapid cadence of follow-on content planned for Classic, and the Shadowlands expansion planned in the second half of 2020.
  • Battlegrounds in Hearthstone drove sequential growth in engagement.
  • The testing of Diablo Immortal is planned for mid-2020.
  • Revenue growth from World of Warcraft and Overwatch is offset by declines in Hearthstone and Diablo.
  • The operating margin is significantly higher Y/Y due to mix and lower costs.

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21 minutes ago, dlhak said:

*Twice the size of its Q2 ending.

Also, we don't know the size of Q2 ending.

LoL Blizz

this just means that classic has more players than retail !

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33 minutes ago, blackstar128 said:

this just means that classic has more players than retail !

How...exactly...do you arrive at that conclusion!?

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I think it means classic has at least as many players. With the way people have been jumping ship on BFA, if there are twice as many as Q2, before classic released, I would bet classic has more too.

Edited by Sharknad0

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The numbers on classic are VERY misleading though. Yes, there was a MASSIVE spike in Q3 when classic drops, but the numbers on classic are dwindling quickly. With how long the subs last, if you buy two 3 month or a 6 month package, it's about to run out. A lot of those have been dropping after Q4 ended, so their Q1 is not going to be anywhere near as rosy.

Even major servers like Herod are starting to see the economy drop as people simply raid-log. We'll see come next week when BWL drops on if this continues, but I know personally +/- half our guild of 700 people have quit since the start of classic "end game" as people have hit 60. We have at least 100 people at level 60 that haven't been on in months, not even to raid log. People held on until Q4 because that's when PVP dropped, but it's no where NEAR what most people remember, and I'd say 60-70% of the population doesn't enjoy it.

Classic is slowly dying, and the numbers ending Q1 will likely show that.

Edited by Laragon

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10 hours ago, Calysia said:

How...exactly...do you arrive at that conclusion!?

they got twice as many subscribes after classic compared to before. add that MANY retail players basically left bfa for classic, its simple math. you can argue that people have returned for 8.2 but i HIGHLY doubt that (cmon you have been in game).

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On 2/7/2020 at 6:41 PM, blackstar128 said:

they got twice as many subscribes after classic compared to before. add that MANY retail players basically left bfa for classic, its simple math. you can argue that people have returned for 8.2 but i HIGHLY doubt that (cmon you have been in game).

241 retail servers to 33 classic servers. I highly doubt that those 241 servers are so barren that a meagre 33 servers would out-populate them.

And Laragon's post supports that:

Quote

The numbers on classic are VERY misleading though. Yes, there was a MASSIVE spike in Q3 when classic drops, but the numbers on classic are dwindling quickly. With how long the subs last, if you buy two 3 month or a 6 month package, it's about to run out. A lot of those have been dropping after Q4 ended, so their Q1 is not going to be anywhere near as rosy.

Even major servers like Herod are starting to see the economy drop as people simply raid-log. We'll see come next week when BWL drops on if this continues, but I know personally +/- half our guild of 700 people have quit since the start of classic "end game" as people have hit 60. We have at least 100 people at level 60 that haven't been on in months, not even to raid log. People held on until Q4 because that's when PVP dropped, but it's no where NEAR what most people remember, and I'd say 60-70% of the population doesn't enjoy it.

Classic is slowly dying, and the numbers ending Q1 will likely show that.

 

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10 hours ago, Calysia said:

241 retail servers to 33 classic servers. I highly doubt that those 241 servers are so barren that a meagre 33 servers would out-populate them.

And Laragon's post supports that:

 

It's blizzard confirmed information, and laragon doesn't contradict it just says it will not remain so for long .

again wow subs doubled when the only real thing that happened was classic. we cant know for sure and i don't think even blizzard can really differentiate it in a very precise manner since both share a subscription but yeah since the classic release at least i felt that bfa is more deserted than ever and classic is very active so this information is not surprising to me.

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On 2/9/2020 at 9:05 PM, blackstar128 said:

It's blizzard confirmed information, and laragon doesn't contradict it just says it will not remain so for long .

again wow subs doubled when the only real thing that happened was classic. we cant know for sure and i don't think even blizzard can really differentiate it in a very precise manner since both share a subscription but yeah since the classic release at least i felt that bfa is more deserted than ever and classic is very active so this information is not surprising to me.

Blizzard has access to live realm statistics, and while the new server equipment and layering feature allow for far higher population density per realm than before, if active players were equal to or greater than BFA, they would still be opening new servers and offering free transfers off of servers still experiencing queues during prime time (Incendius, Faerlina, Mankrik, Bigglesworth, Fairbanks, Herod, etc). Since we're not seeing that action taken by Blizzard, and many are experiencing anecdotal evidence of login decline in Classic (as well as seeing people come back from Classic now that Nyalotha is live), there is little circumstantial evidence to support your claims that Classic is now sustaining BFA.

A month ago, the realm status page would have shown far more realms listed as Full rather than High during the middle of the day, as of checking a few minutes ago, exactly two are listed as Full: Incendius, and Whitemane. Once paid transfers stabilize, you'll see free transfers offered off of those two servers over to medium to low servers like Skeram and Kurinaxx. If Classic were sustaining BFA, you'd see them opening two new servers instead and offering free transfers to them after 30-90 days to prevent immediate economic and faction imbalance.

Edited by SidonisAntares
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