World of Warcraft subscribers slide, as Activision Blizzard sees profit fall 35 percent

Aging MMO sees subscribers fall from 7.8 million to 7.6 million, as total profit dips dramatically to $293 million.

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Activision today reported earnings for the quarter ended March 31, revealing that World of Warcraft subscribers fell modestly while total profit took a substantial hit, dipping 35 percent from $456 million to $293 million.

Overall, Activision Blizzard net revenue was $772 million for the quarter, down from $804 million this time last year. A bright spot on Activision Blizzard's earnings sheet for the quarter was its digital revenue, which made up a whopping 68 percent of total revenue. That's a quarterly record.

Other highlights from Activision Blizzard's earnings release today include:

  • Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition launching for "console" later this year. It's been confirmed for PS4, but not Xbox One.
  • World of Warcraft subscribers have fallen from 7.8 million to 7.6 million.
  • Gamers have already pre-purchased more than 1 million copies of World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor.
  • Warlords of Draenor is expected to launch in the "back half" of 2014.
  • Destiny preorders are close to setting records for a new IP.
  • Activision believes "shared-world" shooter will become a major new genre, led by Destiny.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said he's optimistic about the company's outlook in the upcoming year, thanks in part to Bungie's $500 million game, Destiny.

"We have a strong product pipeline for the balance of the year, beginning with the September 9th planned launch of Destiny, which we believe could become our next billion dollar franchise and the largest new videogame IP launch in history," he said.

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

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