Some good and bad news for Blizzard in its latest earnings report.
For Blizzard, the news that World of Warcraft seems to be dying would once have been devastating- not too many years ago, the company was entirely reliant on World of Warcraft, having released no other new product for almost half a decade. However, today, Blizzard has managed to return to some of its other classic franchises successfully, while also having launched some incredibly popular new IPs in Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.
So it makes sense that in spite of World of Warcraft’s subscriber numbers having reached their lowest point in a decade – we are now at 5.6 million subscribers, in spite of the launch of Warlords of Draenor less than a year ago – Blizzard still had a strong showing, with revenues being up year on year.
A lot of this has to do with Diablo 3, which has now sold over 30 million units worldwide- for a game that was panned as widely as Diablo 3 was at launch, that is a hell of a comeback. The launch of the Reaper of Souls expansion was surely crucial in staging the turnaround for this game.
Meanwhile, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm are doing great for Blizzard too, and when Overwatch launches later this year in beta, that is sure to join Blizzard’s growing list of successful products as well.