Diablo III Longevity, Record-Breaking Sales Highlight Activision Blizzard Financial Conference
Diablo III is divisive. That said, there is one facet of the title which is not up for debate: its success; since launching on May 15, the long-awaited sequel to Diablo II has sold more than 10 million units on its way to becoming the fastest selling PC game of all time, a fact that headlined Activision Blizzard’s Q2 2012 Financial Conference as it helped the publisher to its best quarter ever in regards to revenue.
Since launching, though, the game has been the subject of much criticism for its longevity when compared to other similar titles on the market and in the franchise’s past. Activision Blizzard emphasized the impending release of PVP Arenas, a competitive mode that looks to give the title depth beyond the routine loot gathering that it has become notorious for. In the same breath, the publisher batted around the term “end-game rewards” as if another alternative to item hunting was in the works.
Another area of criticism was that Diablo III launched on May 15 but was not playable by many until much later. Activison Blizzard noted that the game has seen little of these problems outside of the first few weeks and will likely not see them crop up any time soon. Also unavailable on the game’s street date was the Real Money Auction House, a feature that has since been implemented and has since been criticized as one of the game’s most troubling inclusions both for its mechanical and monetary implications. As expected, support for the controversial digital marketplace will continue uninhibited in the future despite the complaints of many fans and analysts.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was the other popular title at the center of this quarter’s Financial Conference. Though the amount of subscribers for World of Warcraft recently dropped to 9.1 million, Activision Blizzard expects for that number to rebound on September 25 when the expansion ultimately launches; reception to the game in its beta-testing phase has been strong and they expect for that excitement to carry over just as it has for every previous iteration on the online role-playing game.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm saw much less time in the spotlight at the Financial Conference, but Activision Blizzard did announce that a beta will be coming soon; that and “other great games” are what the prominent publisher promised to be in the works for the years to come.