World of Warcraft Loses 800,000 Subscribers in Three Months

MMO now has 6.8 million subscribers; Diablo III sales reach 20 million copies, as Activision Blizzard sees revenue climb year-over-year.

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World of Warcraft lost 800,000 subscribers during the April-June quarter, publisher Activision Blizzard announced today as part of its latest earnings report. As of June 30, the game had 6.8 million subscribers, which is down from the 7.6 million subscribers as of March 31.

Activision says the downturn in subscribers came mostly in the East. The company called the decline "seasonal" and pointed out that the dip in subscribers was similar to what we saw in the second quarter of 2012, ahead of the release of World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria.

The next World of Warcraft expansion is Warlords of Draenor, which launches this fall for PC. The expansion's release date will be announced during a special event next week in Los Angeles. Though the expansion isn't out yet, it has already sold 1.5 million units in pre-purchases, Activision Blizzard said today.

Though World of Warcraft's subscriber count is down, revenue from the game is up, Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime said. He did not provide a specific revenue figure, and Actvision Blizzard does not share this information publicly.

Activision Blizzard also announced today that Diablo III has now sold more than 20 million copies. This figure includes sales of Diablo III itself and the expansion Reaper of Souls, which was the top PC game during the quarter in terms of dollars in both North America and Europe, Activision Blizzard said. Diablo III originally launched as a PC-exclusive, but is now available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will be released this month as the Ultimate Evil Edition.

Overall, Activision Blizzard posted better-than-expected earnings results for the quarter. Revenue was $658 million compared to $608 million this time last year. Net income, on the other hand, stood at $45 million, just half of the $90 million the company posted last year during the same quarter. On the bright side, Activision Blizzard reported that a record 73 percent of the company's total revenue came from digital sales.

"Today, we have more opportunities to create great content using new platforms and business models while also expanding into new geographies, and are embracing all of these growth opportunities with the same commitment to excellence that we have demonstrated over the past 23 years," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. "As the world's largest and most profitable independent interactive entertainment company, we remain focused on creating the most compelling, engaging games for our dedicated audiences and providing superior returns for our shareholders."

Activision Blizzard is currently holding an earnings call to discuss these results and answer investor and media questions. Check back later for more.

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