Thursday, August 1, 2013
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 21:30 UTC
You can listen to the event yourselves, by going here and signing up in case you haven't already.
I won't initially feature the event on the front page, but I will watch the conference attentively and will report there on any Titan info that might come out.
Also, I will constantly update this post with news about the event and, on August 1, with real-time info and pictures from the conference.
This one will be quite interesting, even if we can't possibly hope for anything to be revealed. The big question though I think is whether Project Titan will still be mentioned in the upcoming section, along side All-Stars.
If they'll still keep it there, then we'll get a bit of confirmation that the project is still active and with a deadline. If not, well, that would definitely not be a good sign. I think and hope we shouldn't have any nasty surprises, but we'll have to see.
As for Blizzard's other games, we already know that WoW arrived at 7.7M subs on June 30, so we probably won't get much more on that front. It would be nice to hear how HotS has been doing, but it's not something we can really expect.
A beta announcement for HS would also be awesome. Since they re-confirmed just a few days ago that they still plan on starting the beta phase this summer, this leaves August as the only possible month. I could see MM say something like "expect beta to start in a few weeks", if he won't give a more precise date.
01.08.2013 - Created an album where you'll find the slides shown during the event.
As usual, Full press release (PDF) already available, 20 minutes before the start of the conference. Highlights:
- For the first six months of 2013, Activision Blizzard was the #1 third-party publisher in North America and Europe combined.
- As of July 31, 2013, the Skylanders franchise has generated, life-to-date, more than $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales.
- As of June 30, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft® remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 7.7 million subscribers.
- On July 2, 2013, Activision Publishing released Call of Duty: Black Ops II Vengeance, a downloadable map pack for the Xbox 360® video game system from Microsoft. The company expects to release Call of Duty: Black Ops II Vengeance on other platforms later in the third
quarter of 2013.
On September 3, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment expects to release Diablo® III for Sony’s PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game system from Microsoft.
For the quarter ended June 30, 2013, Activision Blizzard’s GAAP net revenues were $1.05 billion, as compared with $1.08 billion for the second quarter of 2012. On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s net revenues were $608 million, as compared with $1.05 billion for the second quarter of 2012. For the second quarter, GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $387 million and represented 37% of the company’s total revenues. On a non-GAAP basis, net revenues from digital channels were $383 million and represented a record 63% of the company’s total revenues.
On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced that it reached an agreement under which the company will acquire approximately 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi, in exchange for approximately $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share acquired before taking into account any future benefit from these tax attributes.
In a related transaction, ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle led by CEO Bobby Kotick and Activision Blizzard Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, will purchase approximately 172 million company shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. Following the completion of the transactions, which are expected to close by the end of September 2013, Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder, but will retain a stake of approximately 83 million shares, or approximately 12%
- Better than expected Q2 results, although revenue year-over-year was lower, since D3 launched during this period in 2012. Their main revenue sources for this quarter were Skylanders, CoD and WoW. No mention of SC2: HotS..
- A more challenging back half of the year, mostly because the console transition and higher competition.
- Some very unintelligible post-transaction simulations for the Q3 outlook. I've saved the pic in the gallery for those interested in such figures.
- Activision Highlights now. They were number one in Q2 2013, thanks to Skylanders and Call of Duty. Some really impressive Skylanders stats.
- Call of Duty also grew "strongly" in Q2. Pre-orders are much lower though, compared to last year, but their studies show that this is because of the console transition (customers dont know yet which console to choose).
- Destiny on track to set a pre-order record for a new IP. They believe it will easily become their 3rd $1B+ franchise.
- Mike Morhaime now. WoW subs loss was split evenly between West and East.
- In the process of selecting a new direction for Project Titan. "Unlikely to be a subscription based MMORPG". Commitment to quality is at the core of Blizzard values. They've shifted some of the resources from the Titan team to their other projects. More details
- A lot of focus on Blizzard All-Stars. They've reached a significant milestone, with wide internal testing going on, and they'll announce details on the game later this year.
- HearthStone will be Blizzard's first game on iPad and the first game they announced and launched in the same year.
- Blizzard is broadening their gaming portfolio. Just 3 years ago they had a single active game. Now they have 3, on multiple platforms, with different business models.
- Interesting question (that's a first): If WoW keeps falling in subs, will Blizzard focus on profitability or on subs number growth initiatives? MM's answer: their priority is delivering great content to players. They believe WoW is still the top option in this space and that it has a long life ahead of itself. They will also focus on making it easy to come back to the game.