The good news is that Activision's fourth quarter and calendar year 2011 earnings report shows that Blizzard's action-RPG PC game Diablo 3 is still set for a 2012 release despite recent reports of changes to the core systems. The bad news is that it's no longer set to hit store shelves this quarter, but sometime in 2Q12 at the earliest.
"The company's first quarter 2012 outlook does not incorporate a new release from Blizzard Entertainment, but its calendar year 2012 outlook anticipates two releases from Blizzard Entertainment," Actvision reports.
The report also states that, in March 2012, Activision Publishing expects to release the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection, a compilation of content previously released to Call of Duty Elite premium members, on the Xbox 360. Also on the company's to-do list for 2012 is a new Call of Duty game, to grow Activision's Call of Duty Elite online service, and launch Skylanders Giants, a new title.
"Our extraordinary employees around the world are focused on making 2012 another great year for our audience and stakeholders," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
In addition to the Diablo 3 delay, Activision revealed that another 100,000 subscribers bailed out on World of Warcraft, leaving 10.2 million active subscribers still grinding through Blizzard's #1 subscription-based MMORPG. Could this drop have anything to do with the December 2011 launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic? It might. Activision Blizzard may even see a rise in numbers this quarter now that many defectors are coming out of their free month of TOR and heading back to Azeroth.
As previously stated, Blizzard looks to release two games this year. The second release will likely be StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.