World of Warcraft subscriptions slip to 9.1 million

Activision Blizzard reports stronger-than-expected quarter thanks to 10 million Diablo III sales; WoW subs dip, profit down 44.7 percent year-to-year.

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Ten million sales of Diablo III pushed Activision Blizzard into a stronger financial situation than it had hoped, even as World of Warcraft subscriber numbers continued to dwindle. The company's financial results for the period ended June 30 published today showed a positive financial situation for the publisher, expected to improve moreso by the year's end with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Skylanders Giants.

Activision's doing pretty well for a company up for sale.
Activision's doing pretty well for a company up for sale.

Diablo III's PC-record-breaking sales, which Blizzard reported sold more than 3.5 million copies through digital and retail means within its first 24 hours, propelled Activision to $1.075 billion in revenue, surpassing its $950 million projection from the first quarter by more than $50 million. However, subscriptions to Blizzard's long-successful MMORPG World of Warcraft slipped to 9.1 million from the 10.2 million reported in February, a much more precipitous drop than from the 10.3 million figure published in September 2011. The company hopes to see improvement with the September release of expansion World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

Despite Diablo III's success, the second quarter of 2012 paled in comparison to that of 2011. Activision Blizzard brought in $185 million in net income for the second quarter this year, a 44.78 percent reduction from the $335 million brought in during the same period last year. Activision Blizzard's parent company Vivendi reportedly continues to seek to sell its stake in the company.

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