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Diablo 3 Expansion Plans, StarCraft 2 Update

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Blizzard is pushing to release Heart of the Swarm in the first half of 2013.

On Wednesday Activision Blizzard released better-than-expected third quarter 2012 financial results (pdf), reporting that the company delivered record GAAP net revenues of $841 million, as compared with $754 million for the third quarter of 2011. Even more, net revenues from digital channels represented 51-percent (GAAP) and 57-percent (non-GAAP) of the company's net revenues in that quarter alone.

"Our performance was driven by the launch of Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and continued sales of its top-selling PC game, Diablo III, as well as Activision Publishing’s new entertainment property, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, and sales of titles in the Call of Duty franchise," said Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick.

Kotick said that based on digital and retail sales in North America and Europe, Diablo III has become the top-selling game overall, selling in excess of 10 million copies. But he also added that the company will be cautious about 2013 given "a continuingly challenged global economy, the ongoing console transition and very difficult year-over-year comparables due to Blizzard’s record-shattering Diablo III sales in 2012."

Later during a conference call Wednesday afternoon, CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed that an expansion pack for the popular action-RPG PC game is in the works, but he wouldn't provide an expected release window. It's quite possible that the company is shooting for a summer release in order to keep the revenue equal or better than 2012's numbers, but that may be pushed back until the second installment of StarCraft II is released.

On that note, Blizzard head Mike Morhaime told investors during the conference call that the the company is pushing to release the second installment to StarCraft II, Heart of the Swarm, during the first half of 2013. This new addition will reportedly add new social features, multiplayer progression, and several other improvements.

"We expect that over the long-term, we will maintain our leadership position as the world’s leading interactive entertainment company and continue to provide strong returns to our shareholders by delivering great games to audiences around the world," Kotick added.

During the financial results, Kotick also revealed that Mists of Pandaria sold through approximately 2.7 million copies in its first week of availability. The number of World of Warcraft subscribers has also (naturally) increased to more than ten million, up from the 9.1 million reported at the end of 2Q12 in August.

 

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  • 19 Hide
    revered , November 8, 2012 4:57 PM
    I bought Starcraft 2, enjoyed the campaign immensely and played multiplayer as a diamond-level zerg for for many months until I got bored with it. I bought Diablo 3 with some of the highest personal expectations for a video game I've ever had and came away with one of the greatest disappointments in gaming I've ever experienced due to the core gameplay design and integration with an auction house system that ruined longevity for me.

    I wont be buying either expansion and I have a feeling I'm not alone; particularly concerning Diablo 3.
  • 12 Hide
    PseudopsiaKite , November 8, 2012 5:41 PM
    Blizzard needs to fix D3 before I'll even consider buying the expansion.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    SinisterSalad , November 8, 2012 4:33 PM
    People still waste their time with this game?
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , November 8, 2012 4:37 PM
    i would like a chart showing how many people even tried the expansion.. i cant see it being above 30%...
  • 4 Hide
    bigdaddyjosh , November 8, 2012 4:52 PM
    Yes people still play D3. Now that the legendary drop rate has been increased and the quality of them increased. Add to that the infernal machine event, there are more than 500 MP games going a night.
  • -2 Hide
    osamabinrobot , November 8, 2012 4:55 PM
    oh are we going to have to pay to get PVP now?
  • 5 Hide
    whiteodian , November 8, 2012 4:56 PM
    Activision is behind the Skylanders games... Makes sense. They sell these figures for $10-$15 that unlock an in-game character. What a rip-off. If the figures were even able to be played with as a toy, I would understand, but they don't move at all. They are like a statue. Shame on you Activision for milking those little kids' parents out of money. Shame on you.
  • 19 Hide
    revered , November 8, 2012 4:57 PM
    I bought Starcraft 2, enjoyed the campaign immensely and played multiplayer as a diamond-level zerg for for many months until I got bored with it. I bought Diablo 3 with some of the highest personal expectations for a video game I've ever had and came away with one of the greatest disappointments in gaming I've ever experienced due to the core gameplay design and integration with an auction house system that ruined longevity for me.

    I wont be buying either expansion and I have a feeling I'm not alone; particularly concerning Diablo 3.
  • 6 Hide
    COLGeek , November 8, 2012 5:23 PM
    I have enjoyed D3 and am currently working my way through Inferno mode. New content would indeed be welcome as long as it is reasonable. Free would be even better.
  • 12 Hide
    PseudopsiaKite , November 8, 2012 5:41 PM
    Blizzard needs to fix D3 before I'll even consider buying the expansion.
  • 1 Hide
    dontcrosthestreams , November 8, 2012 5:42 PM
    Diablo 3 needs to make playing with others a better experience than playing alone. An expansion sounds great. Maybe jewels can be added so having emeralds or rubies in everything can be changed. Another act and new characters are a give in.
  • 4 Hide
    xero141 , November 8, 2012 6:14 PM
    Blizzard and no confirmed release window.. We all know what that means..
  • 3 Hide
    jn77 , November 8, 2012 6:16 PM
    When I heard DIII was an "online" game, I was expecting a Guild Wars 1 type deal, then I got DIII and was like WTF. Now I play Guild Wars 2......They would have to pay me to play DIII again and pay me $500 to install the expansion.
  • 4 Hide
    balister , November 8, 2012 6:19 PM
    bigdaddyjoshYes people still play D3. Now that the legendary drop rate has been increased and the quality of them increased. Add to that the infernal machine event, there are more than 500 MP games going a night.


    That's fairly bad however. 500 MP games means 2000 people in a game at any given time. If they sold 10 Million copies, this means they're running only 2 hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of their total sales and the way D3 was setup, they were s'posed to be making revenues from the RMAH. If only 2k people are playing at any given time, that's pretty damn lackluster.

    And lets face it, Bretik wasn't far off the mark when he said that the present Blizzard people would end up failing. If only 0.02% of the total sales are still playing regularly after 6 months, and you compare that to the number of people that played Diablo and Diablo 2 up till recently, that's abyssmal with what the new team has done compared to the old team (that are now all over the place between Arena Net for GW and GW 2, Runic for TL and TL2, and even those that created Hellgate: London which ultimately failed as well).
  • 5 Hide
    maxinexus , November 8, 2012 7:09 PM
    bigdaddyjoshYes people still play D3. Now that the legendary drop rate has been increased and the quality of them increased. Add to that the infernal machine event, there are more than 500 MP games going a night.


    I want to know where do you get that "better" drop because I'm getting &hity drop all the time every-time even with the NV at 5...I think that finishing D3 22 times and not getting a single set item or items that I can actually use is ridiculous. All the items I have I had to buy and that is the major issue with D3. Enough said.

    SC2 is great and I still play it today since release. Cant wait for the swam.
  • -5 Hide
    bllue , November 8, 2012 7:16 PM
    Garbage games. These games are a shadow of what the franchises once were.
  • 0 Hide
    inthere , November 8, 2012 7:33 PM
    xero141Blizzard and no confirmed release window.. We all know what that means..


    It means the expansion will be out by next summer. The old excellence-1st regime is gone, replaced by greedy corporate types that won't tolerate a late release. These guys are all in for their stockholders......look for another release next May-June that players will pay to beta test AGAIN.
  • -1 Hide
    worldcut , November 8, 2012 7:34 PM
    I played D3 from its release until about a month ago. I made over $1000 selling items on the real money auction house. I admit, I spent a good portion of that on items for myself. Overall, the experience was great. Now, I am playing GW2. I already have a level 80 Engineer. I plan on returning to D3 soon, but will keep playing both games if Halo 4 doesn't take up all of my time.
  • 3 Hide
    Rur , November 8, 2012 9:27 PM
    balisterThat's fairly bad however. 500 MP games means 2000 people in a game at any given time. If they sold 10 Million copies, this means they're running only 2 hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of their total sales and the way D3 was setup, they were s'posed to be making revenues from the RMAH. If only 2k people are playing at any given time, that's pretty damn lackluster.And lets face it, Bretik wasn't far off the mark when he said that the present Blizzard people would end up failing. If only 0.02% of the total sales are still playing regularly after 6 months, and you compare that to the number of people that played Diablo and Diablo 2 up till recently, that's abyssmal with what the new team has done compared to the old team (that are now all over the place between Arena Net for GW and GW 2, Runic for TL and TL2, and even those that created Hellgate: London which ultimately failed as well).


    The number he's referring to indicates how many open games there are, games with less than 4 players in them. Once a game reaches 4 players, it's removed from the count. Considering whenever I open a game to the public it fills about instantly, 500 open games seems like it means a whole lot of people are playing the game. Also, that number only shows open games for your current region.

    That's only taking public games into account, the vast majority of players play solo or with friends.
  • 0 Hide
    frombehind , November 8, 2012 11:37 PM
    whiteodianActivision is behind the Skylanders games... Makes sense. They sell these figures for $10-$15 that unlock an in-game character. What a rip-off. If the figures were even able to be played with as a toy, I would understand, but they don't move at all. They are like a statue. Shame on you Activision for milking those little kids' parents out of money. Shame on you.

    Shame on a for-profit company for making money? Ha Ha Ha Ha... funniest thing i read all week. Thanks Bro, you just made my day :D  I needed it.
  • 3 Hide
    farka , November 9, 2012 2:39 AM
    D3, the client in my pc haven't been launch after playing GW2.
  • 1 Hide
    Benihana , November 9, 2012 3:21 AM
    Haven't played D3 in a long while. To be fair though, I did recently acquire a motorcycle. Probably still cheaper in the long run this way too!
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