Diablo III sets Blizzard preorder record

[UPDATE]: Dungeon-crawling RPG hits new highs, but Activision Blizzard's revenues and profits decline.

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Diablo III can lay claim to the title of Blizzard's most anticipated game ever, as the PC action role-playing game was today confirmed as the developer's most preordered title of all time. That news comes with a slight asterisk, as it includes copies of the game owed through the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, which gives a free copy to anyone who signs up for a full year of the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

A decade between games can help build anticipation.
A decade between games can help build anticipation.

The Diablo III news was announced as part of Activision Blizzard's earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, which also included some noteworthy stats for the Activision half of the company. The publisher confirmed that the Call of Duty Elite service has 10 million registered users now, with more than 2 million of them paying for the premium tier membership. The game-and-toy synergy of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure also continued to sell for the company, with more than 30 million toys sold through March. It has been doing so well that Activision's internal estimates have Skylanders toys outselling even Star Wars for the first three months of the year.

As for the company's actual financial figures, revenues and net profit both surpassed projections set in February, but fell short of the company's performance for the same quarter last year. For the quarter, Activision posted sales of $1.17 billion, down year-over-year from $1.45 billion. It also chalked up $384 million in net income, down from $503 million for the same period last year.

The results beat expectations sufficiently for Activision Blizzard to up its full-year forecast. The company now expects the calendar year 2012 to see it ring up $4.2 billion in sales (up from $4.15 billion) and earnings per share of $0.65, up from $0.63.

[CORRECTION]: This article previously stated that Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said Diablo III was one of two Blizzard titles set to launch in 2012. He actually said Diablo III was one of "at least" two Blizzard titles launching this year. GameSpot regrets the error.

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tritons

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Edited By tritons

You guys don't know how business work, a billon dollars in sales is not profit. Expenses still has to come out of all that, production costs, wages, advertising etc. Also there would be kick back deals to retailers and importers. $384 million in net income is the true figure of profit and then you have to pay all the taxes associated with the income as well. Then put that money back in to keep the company running and working on new projects also paying out dividends to share holders and the like. It is not so straight forward with one person getting all that income.

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Kjranu

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Edited By Kjranu

I'll be out tanning by the pool for the summer... not going to throw away the whole summer for one game. ;)

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beuneus12

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Edited By beuneus12

never played a diablo game be4. still waiting for sc2, heart of the swarm :)

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q_oats

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Edited By q_oats

can't wait for

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OdinssonThor

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Edited By OdinssonThor

There should be a limit on how much one person can own...once u reach let's say 100,000,000$ u are retired and should live of your profits...it's far far over the top than one man needs to live extremely well!

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OdinssonThor

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Edited By OdinssonThor

4.2 billion in sales and still fight piracy with constant internet connection and money pit auction house...4.600 employees...if only this years sales were to be divided amongst all employees evenly each would get almost 1,000,000 dollars...i wonder who are the greedy sobs... with billions...why in hell would one person need so much money for? terrible society we live in...

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reptar707

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Edited By reptar707

@OdinssonThor It's a terrible society we live in? When people that are successful get to enjoy what that success entitles, yea that sounds just terrible...

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gops90

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Edited By gops90

@OdinssonThor First of all 4.2 billion is sales, not profit. Acivision is also owned by a conglomerate which is owned by other companies that probably reinvest the money...

Stop complaining about companies that make millions and enjoy the quality games that they make. If there wasnt billions to be made no people out there would be working so hard to entertain all of us....

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conspirethis

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Edited By conspirethis

@gops90 Too bad they severely handicapt the potential of the quality of the games via their profit-minded perspecitive. It's not just millions, but hundreds of millions.

Taking out stuff that has always been in games (back in the 15 hour plus FPS days) and announcing it has DLC months before the game is even released.

I also highly doubt that the drive for making a great quality game only comes with the assurance that they will make billions. I would work hard to make a great quality game just for everybody to be completely astonished and blown away, and yes SOME profit for bill paying and recreational use.

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d_kell411

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Edited By d_kell411

@gops90 Agreed...for the most part. I take issue with Activision personally, which benefits greatly off their developers and, from what I've heard, Bobby Kotick is the worst boss on the planet. Look at what happened to Infinity Ward.

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MelyssSF

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Edited By MelyssSF

can't wait

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SomePlayaDude

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Edited By SomePlayaDude

Diablo is great. Played the 2nd game a lot and enjoyed it. Just wish it isn't that much of a money grubbing game with in game money transactions (Thanks Activision). Hopefully it won't go with standalone expansions "worth their money" (ala Starcraft 2).

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oskuuu

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Edited By oskuuu

http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-hCgs8pG/0/L/i-hCgs8pG-L.jpg

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s4dn3s5

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Edited By s4dn3s5

I'm not going to buy it 'cause I refuse to support this kind of DRM. Sadly, the game will sell millions.

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Richardthe3rd

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Edited By Richardthe3rd

Just 111 more hours to go people... stay strong.

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AzatiS

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Edited By AzatiS

@Hakkology

What are you talking about seriously?!!

They didnt make any profit?!! Billions of profits!! Because is slight less than previous year doesnt mean they didnt make any profit...

We talking about a "merge company" that sales millions of copies and have constantly income of more than 130million $$ per month from WoW subs alone...

If this company isnt making profits then noone is/ will ever .

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roleplayer2004

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Edited By roleplayer2004

Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

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DiscGuru101

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Edited By DiscGuru101

Got my preorder two days ago. Between this, Tribes Ascend, and The Secret World I'm all set for a power-nerdy summer. -And loving it.

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2x4b96123

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Edited By 2x4b96123

Take the 'Activision' out of the equation and profits would be rising

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Hakkology

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Edited By Hakkology

Well its logical that they make no profit considering they are working on three games "WoW: MoP, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2: HotS" . However, with the amount of preorders of Call of Duty and Diablo 3, its weird to see them not making profit.

Well they make quality product alright, but the amount you pay for the prevention/appraise phase of a product also decreases the chance of failure but you also may lose money because of it.

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FarBeyondThe

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Edited By FarBeyondThe

@Raeldor You are not missing anything.

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Swords1111

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Edited By Swords1111

Of course they broke records, the game has been on preorder for so long. In fact one of my friends forgot he had reserved it and did it twice.

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XboxGuy1537

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Edited By XboxGuy1537

They are LOSING profit and they have Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders? Pathetic.

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Puffinmuffin

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Edited By Puffinmuffin

Ah hell my cat just fell in the toilet again, sigh...

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RedLegZeff

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Edited By RedLegZeff

@Puffinmuffin Those portals to hell can be treacherous.

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Strydarr

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Edited By Strydarr

Looking forward to next week. For this and Max Payne 3.

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STrugglingFool

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Edited By STrugglingFool

Not gonna get it. Not to say it's bad, I just don't have the money for it. One thing I don't like is the real money auction house. Hope that those who buy enjoy it. TC

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alenth

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Edited By alenth

Let's see if the game can survive the hype. i can't wait for the drama after release:

"OMG this game is dumbed down as hell!!"

"where are those X/Y features from the first games?"

"this game is for COD kids"

"Greedy activision ruined blizzard"

etc, etc, etc.

I will get the game, let's hope it will be fun.

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RavenXavier

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Edited By RavenXavier

@alenth

I've been playing Diablo since the first game back in the day. I think if anyone still whines about the changes between 1,2, and now 3, it will be because they obviously didn't look at any of the pre-launch content, or pay attention to the game's forums, or other gaming sites that talk about the changes that they've said they made to the game. Still, there will always be some people who are unhappy with anything no matter what.

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RavenXavier

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Edited By RavenXavier

Just to add, I my-self am not very happy with needing a constant connection to play if I intend to only play it in single player mode. Still, it's Diablo so I'm putting up with it for now until I get tired of paying it. Normally I don't support draconian DRM measures in games and as such it's been a while since I played any Ubisoft games and games by a few other studios who use the same type of DRM. For Diablo though I make a very special exception.

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Ditto111

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Edited By Ditto111

@alenth Blizzard ruined Blizzard long before Activision got their money grubing paws on them.

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deactivated-58f15668ad6ad

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@alenth the drama you describe has been happening for a while

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RedLegZeff

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Edited By RedLegZeff

@RTHKI @alenth I've seen tons of it in forums and comments since the stress test, and that's when I started paying attention.

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emperiox

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Edited By emperiox

@alenth

Well, only an idiot would support Activision, but hey whatever floats your boat I guess.

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DragonRift

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Edited By DragonRift

@emperiox

Most people who buy Diablo III are fans of Blizzard, and not Activision. Just because there was a partnership between the two, doesn't mean they have to suddenly stop supporting one of the companies they happen to like.

Most of us hate Activision with a passion, but given the circumstances, we really don't have a choice... unless we want to forfeit playing Diablo III altogether. No thank you.

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RedLegZeff

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Edited By RedLegZeff

@emperiox @alenth Well I like to think of Activision and Blizz as east and west germany. Oh wait, Nazi germany and occupied france. VIVA LA RESISTANCE!!!!

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dashawnthl

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Edited By dashawnthl

Im going to be preordering my copy tommorow. Im going to be having a cool month of gaming with D3 and Max Panye 3.

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BLUECRASHUR

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Edited By BLUECRASHUR

CANT WAIT!!!! ;)

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