Activision revealed that their financials are in good order for the most recent quarter. It was one that saw one of their most anticipated releases in years out of Blizzard, with Diablo III. In the Blizzard camp, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a full expansion for World of Warcraft, and the few and far between content releases have forced many players to pack up and leave Aezeroth.
They didn’t make it far on their pilgrimage however, about as far as Sanctuary according to Blizzard. Blizzard admits that Diablo III canibalized some of the WoW player base in the most recent quarter, attributing to WoW subscribers falling to under 10 million for the first time in awhile.
“Historically we have seen usage decline towards the end of an expansion cycle. We saw a similar drop in subscribers in the months before Cataclysm, followed by a substantial return of players around the Cataclysm launch. We’re also seeing that a number of players took a break from WoW to play Diablo III,” Mike Morhaime explained to investors in the most recent financial conference call.
Diablo III put up record numbers for Blizzard, breaking new ground in the PC world. The launch was not without its problems and naysayers. The always online requirement came back to bite Blizz at release, shutting out many players for days as the company scrambled to make things right.