Diablo 3 most pre-ordered Blizzard game ever, reports Q1 profits

By on May 10, 2012, 5:30 PM

In a quarterly earnings report by Activision Blizzard, the company reveals that Diablo III has become the most anticipated Blizzard game ever. Although no specific pre-order figures were given, better than expected Diablo III pre-sales are expected to lend themselves to a record setting Q2 for the game publisher. Diablo III is set to launch on May 15.

First quarter earnings were better than expected, although revenue was down by 106 percent when compared to last year's numbers. Additionally, profit is down by 86 percent when you consider last year's net income for the company. Of course, wildly fluctuating figures are not unusual for game studios and publishers though since revenue tends to coincide with game releases.

In the report, parent company Activision's sales were driven by strong sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Activision boasted 40 million active, monthly users for the franchise with over 1.6 billion hours of gameplay logged in MW3 alone.

Despite World of Warcraft's gruesome subscriber blood-letting from last year, it seems Blizzard has managed to cauterize the wound. WoW subscriptions remained flat at roughly 10 million subscribers -- a number that still makes World of Warcraft the single largest MMORPG out there. As a point of reference, BioWare's hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Old Republic hovers around 1.3 million subscribers. That's actually down from 1.7 million from February, but that's another issue for another article.

Two games from Activision Blizzard also enjoyed the top-ten spot during Q1 2012 -- Modern Warfare 3 and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. 

The company is projecting sales figures as high as $4.53 billion for 2012.




User Comments: 40

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think Blizzard is the last developer of "how to do it right" in the gaming community. Their games are always top-notch, the highest quality and sell like hot cakes.

There was a time when Ubisoft put out non-stop, quality games, but they went to hell in a hand basket with some real duds as well as their over-the-top DRM. Crytek was another who couldn't miss until they came out with that very below average Crysis 2. And then the last was BioWare with Dragon Age II and completely screwing up Mass Effect 3 with the horrible ending.

Wish more developers would follow Blizzard's lead...

Guest said:

Yeah this article is pretty nice, This comment goes to my friend Andres G, he is a dumb a s s that wont buy diablo 3, my brother and I will buy it but Andres cant cuz he got no money and prefers battlefield 3. Gg thats all tody

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Wish more developers would follow Blizzard's lead...

Yes........ the always online DRM that Blizzard implemented is just awesome.... [/endSarcasm]

Anyways, I will probably wait until the price drops for this one as I WILL NOT pay full price for such a ridiculous DRM (Did the same for SC2).

I am saddened to hear this news as a lot of gamers are screwing everyone over in the long run by "supporting" these DRM's...

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

I think Blizzard is the last developer of "how to do it right" in the gaming community. Their games are always top-notch, the highest quality and sell like hot cakes.

There was a time when Ubisoft put out non-stop, quality games, but they went to hell in a hand basket with some real duds as well as their over-the-top DRM. Crytek was another who couldn't miss until they came out with that very below average Crysis 2. And then the last was BioWare with Dragon Age II and completely screwing up Mass Effect 3 with the horrible ending.

Wish more developers would follow Blizzard's lead...

I think the other "how to do it right" developer is CD Projekt. They've been doing an outstanding job with Witcher 2. And the free GOG copy was a gift to remmber

Guest said:

Another good company that does it right also worked on diablo 2 and diablo before leaving blizzard, guild wars 2!

Guest said:

Seriously people! Stop supporting greedy publisher and lazy developer (worst looking graphic engine ever).

treetops treetops said:

Hope it has a chat channel on release, it really killed a great deal of the sc2 launch excitement not being able to chat in a channel. Love blizzard 5 more days until chaos!

ramonsterns said:

It's worse than I feared. BlizzardActivision brainwashing is more effective than EA's.

Help us, Gaben.

Guest said:

I have never pre-ordered a game before now. Diablo III's lure is strong, even if it does have draconian drm (and this is from someone who has refused to buy any new EA or unbisoft titles until they clean up their acts.)

Also, I can't believe I paid $60. I haven't paid more then 20 for a game since I've started using steam.

Guest said:

Diablo 3 not containing an offline mode has nothing to do with piracy and clearly is not a form of DRM. It is for securing and maintaining the integrity of the online experience from being easily exploited; which is especially important now that there is a RMAH. Besides, most players have absolutely no interest in offline play anyway since it has no meaningful interaction with other players.

treeski treeski said:

I used to looooove D2... but I'm not a fan of the company anymore, so I skip out on its products.

ramonsterns said:

I have never pre-ordered a game before now. Diablo III's lure is strong, even if it does have draconian drm (and this is from someone who has refused to buy any new EA or unbisoft titles until they clean up their acts.)

Also, I can't believe I paid $60. I haven't paid more then 20 for a game since I've started using steam.

Isn't that being a bit hypocritical?

Guest said:

Diablo 3 isn't even made by the same people that made Diablo 1 and 2. Blizzard North shut down, Diablo 3 was developed by Activision and the creators of World of Warcraft. They successfully created a brainless teen game with the Diablo name and story. If you were a Diablo addict looking for that thrill again, it's not Diablo 3. Look up some of the "Diablo clones". - Grim Dawn, Path of Exile, Torchlight 2...

Torchlight 2 while being more cartoonish than Diablo 3, it is actually made by the developers of Diablo 1 and 2. Check out Runic Games. You can now prepurchase for $20!

Path of Exile for many captures the thrill that you felt playing Diablo 1 and 2. It also has updated realistic graphics, not the drawn artsy graphics we see in Diablo 3. These realistic graphics really help you feel submerged in the game. Path of Exile Open Beta is expected to begin in June, however you can buy into the Beta right now for $10.

Grim Dawn is another ARPG to look forward to. Created by 2 of the lead developers for Titans Quest. They currently have a KickStarter going where you can prepurchase the game for $18 or pay a little more and prepurchase alpha/beta access. This game looks really promising. No DRM, offline, or co-op. Check it out.

If you were addicted to Diablo 1 or 2, or both, Diablo 3 probably doesn't do it for you. But Blizzard and Activision don't care. They think you'll buy Diablo 3 just because it is "Diablo", so they're basically saying "**** you, you're already sold, lets focus on everyone else and dumb down an already simple game, lets remove consequences, lets make this game attractive to the WoW crowd."

Anyways, if you don't agree with my ranting, that's fine. If you actually like Diablo 3, good. I'm not saying it's a bad game, it's just not true to it's predecessors, not true to what made Diablo such a great game. Don't forget, there will be no PVP at launch, and after there will only be Arena PVP - lol. Also there is no longer 8 person co-op, only 4 person co-op.

The game is clearly designed to be console friendly, after all where can Activision make the most money? It hasn't been announced, but it's clear as day. Why do you think you no longer add stats or why skills can be changed anytime. No consequences for your decisions takes the fun out of the game. I played Diablo 2 for years, not just for the loot, but for creating the perfect character, and being able to PVP randomly with a friend who you were just playing co-op with. Remember, screw the quest, lets fight.

I'm not looking for Diablo 2.5, I'm looking for Diablo 3. This game they made should have used a new story and called it Demon Slayer or something. I would not have been expecting Diablo. I mean look at the changes from Diablo 1 to Diablo 2. They were huge, yet most fans of Diablo 1 welcomed the changes as they didn't destroy what Diablo 1 was, they expanded upon the game. Diablo 3 is an entirely new game, yes it's still a hack and slash, but it's really not "Diablo".

Anyways, enough with my rant. Take it or leave. If you like Diablo 3, then by all means, enjoy it. If you're feeling like me, then take a look at Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, and Grim Dawn, maybe one of them will capture that nostalgia feeling you're looking for. Actually, even if you like Diablo 3, check out those games. :)

Guest said:

That is my precisely my point--the wait for this game has been so long that it's making many people go shut up and take my money regardless of their viewpoint on the drm. That and the fact that every child of the '90s will be playing this on launch.

Guest said:

One problem with torchlight 2 grim dawn etc.... none of them have release dates. D3 is out in 4 days. But, when torchlight 2 comes out I will certainly be playing that as well.

yRaz yRaz said:

People think Blizzard is a good developer? I think too many people have forgotten...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

m4a4 "Yes........ the always online DRM that Blizzard implemented is just awesome.... [/endSarcasm]"

Get used to it dude, it's what's going to happen from here on out. It's the sole source mechanism to prevent stealing (piracy). And if you can download the game via internet, but are bitching about the constant internet connection then I think you have issues that no game can solve.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

People think Blizzard is a good developer? I think too many people have forgotten...

Pandas.

Diablo 3 is fun, we buy games because they are fun and engaging. Oh and I actually played it then many who have only assumptions from watching videos.

Nuff said.

ramonsterns said:

People think Blizzard is a good developer? I think too many people have forgotten...

Pandas.

Diablo 3 is fun, we buy games because they are fun and engaging. Oh and I actually played it then many who have only assumptions from watching videos.

Nuff said.

I'm sure you had fun, and so did the people who bent over for $60 games and DLC.

yRaz yRaz said:

Pandas.

Diablo 3 is fun, we buy games because they are fun and engaging. Oh and I actually played it then many who have only assumptions from watching videos.

Nuff said.

Blizzard is a bad developer with worse business practices. They stopped making good games in the late 90s. D1 was great, D2 was overrated, D3 is over hyped. I would like to point out I never said anything about Diablo 3 initially, so where did your comment come from?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Do these pre-order numbers include the 'Free' copies given out for people who ordered the World of Warcraft annual pass? (If you paid for a year of WoW they gave you a free copy of D3). That might skew these numbers a bit.

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Blizzard needs to ditch Activision fast.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well I played the Open Beta weekend and liked the game. It did get a little repetitive after my 3rd play through of the same quest line back to back with different classes. but still fun.

I think it will be a good game. Maybe not quite the nostalgia people think it will be, but still fun.

I have it pre-ordered digitally, have it d/l and ready to install, and I'm taking Tuesday off work :P. Hoping its not a terrible game.

Guest said:

I'll just wait for Lineage Eternal if I want to play this style of game again.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Blizzard is a bad developer with worse business practices. They stopped making good games in the late 90s. D1 was great, D2 was overrated, D3 is over hyped. I would like to point out I never said anything about Diablo 3 initially, so where did your comment come from?

Pandas was a response to your comment. Should of added the other for the other poster but did not since I replied through the front page.

PS:

Panda a memo which implies MoP is going to be "terrible".

Raswan Raswan said:

I think Blizzard is the last developer of "how to do it right" in the gaming community. Their games are always top-notch, the highest quality and sell like hot cakes.

There was a time when Ubisoft put out non-stop, quality games, but they went to hell in a hand basket with some real duds as well as their over-the-top DRM. Crytek was another who couldn't miss until they came out with that very below average Crysis 2. And then the last was BioWare with Dragon Age II and completely screwing up Mass Effect 3 with the horrible ending.

Wish more developers would follow Blizzard's lead...

Completely agree. Also, when can we stop talking about WoW's subscriber loss as a news story, followed by the remark "Of course, it's still the largest MMORPG out there." WoW has dominated the MMO world for as long as WoW has been out? The fact that the next closest competitor has less than one-fifth of the subscriber-base (and on a game that just came out 6 months ago) is laughable. Can't we just agree now that WoW will inevitably continue to lose subscribers as it nears it's tenth year, for christ sakes, especially since it will take no one--especially the people at Blizzard--with more than half a brain to predict this?

yRaz yRaz said:

Pandas was a response to your comment. Should of added the other for the other poster but did not since I replied through the front page.

PS:

Panda a memo which implies MoP is going to be "terrible".

You take such great offence to me not liking Blizzard. What exactly is your point? Pandas? games should be fun and engaging? We enjoy overpaying for bad games that have nothing more to offer than nostalgia? It's bad enough they want to be able to sell in game items for real money. So it's kind of like those free to play games that are actually "pay to win." That catch is you have to pay $60 AND THEN pay to win. I could go on but I don't want you to respond with "sloths" or "wombats."

PS: I have no idea what MoP is or what pandas really means so try again.

Guest said:

@yRaz: Check out Path of Exile, maybe you'll like that. It's free to play, but NOT pay to win. It's highly polished with realistic graphics, and definitely feels more like Diablo than Diablo 3 does. They will sell items in the cash shop, however they will be convenience and cosmetic items. Things like special visual effects for spells, auras for characters, extra stash tabs, etc... Right now the game is in closed beta, but you can buy spend $10 on points towards the cash shop and you'll receive access to the beta. Otherwise, the open beta is set to begin in June.

And of course Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn are worth checking out. Torchlight 2 expected to be released this summer, while Grim Dawn is only expected 2013.

benken2202001 said:

I actually am thankful for keeping the always online "DRM" that they used with starcraft 2. It essentially does away with cheating that can really destroy a game to me (I.e. diablo 2 "map hack" or "super speed" and "insta-gib"

I prefer them to wait on PVP rather than have it pieced together and shoved out. That is just not blizzard's usual MO.

As far as overpaying for Diablo 3, I don't really think $60 bucks is that much for entertainment for a few months. Think about the average 3D IMAX movie ticket, or Ticket to Six Flags. How much do you pay "per hour" of entertainment. I imagine I've played much more than 30 hours of Starcraft 2, but if that was all, then that's only $2 an hour for enjoyable gameplay, not really that bad. I imagine I'll play much more than 30 hours of Diablo 3.

Lastly, I can probably make most of that $60 back with RWAH sales, I might even make more than what I payed. Granted it may take some time and effort, but that's all fun too. Its an interesting strategy by Blizzard, by granting the users the ability to earn real money, they too are earning real money with game sales and a percentage of the cut (Win-Win in my book).

I suppose the real draw will have to come from the game itself, will it be enjoyable? I haven't played it yet. But with my experience of Warcraft, SC, WC3, WoW+, and SC2, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and give it a try before I Knock it.

ramonsterns said:

I actually am thankful for keeping the always online "DRM" that they used with starcraft 2. It essentially does away with cheating that can really destroy a game to me (I.e. diablo 2 "map hack" or "super speed" and "insta-gib"

So, instead of holding Blizzard to a standard and forcing them to actually work on some form of anti-cheat, you'd rather bend over and take it dry so they can save up on money and time?

It really is true what they say about gamers being the stupidest consumers around.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Pandas was a response to your comment. Should of added the other for the other poster but did not since I replied through the front page.

PS:

Panda a memo which implies MoP is going to be "terrible".

You take such great offence to me not liking Blizzard. What exactly is your point? Pandas? games should be fun and engaging? We enjoy overpaying for bad games that have nothing more to offer than nostalgia? It's bad enough they want to be able to sell in game items for real money. So it's kind of like those free to play games that are actually "pay to win." That catch is you have to pay $60 AND THEN pay to win. I could go on but I don't want you to respond with "sloths" or "wombats."

PS: I have no idea what MoP is or what pandas really means so try again.

How em I getting such a great offence. I think you simply dislike the fact that I have different opinion then you, oh yeah it is just that but its ok. We, or at least I play games because they are fun and engaging pronto presto ese? Diablo 3 is one of those games. This "pay to win" (oh god love some of the logic here /sarcasm) has been in D2 as well and it still to this day. The difference now is that D3 has a legit RMHA to prevent scammers and on top of that Blizzard is going to make little extra buck for each item sold (you put out an item, someone buys it and you make little extra money on the side while Blizzard takes a cut, though I am unsure of the %). Oh and you don't have to pay, what is this "pay $60 and then need to pay to win" shenanigans all about?

''PLAYER LOOT and PLAYER LOOT ONLY will go on the pay AH, therefore it will not unbalance the game because you can acquire the same loot without paying dollars.'' In the sense you can still say its "pay to win" depending on your definition of "pay to win". Do you mean getting "BIS" gear and clearing Inferno, yes goodluck with that.

Personally I don't care, I am going to play the game and enjoy it and that's all it matters. No game is perfect and there never was a "perfect" game.

''The entire Diablo franchise has been "pay to win". D3 or it's real money AH won't change that. The only difference is instead of going to Ebay people will buy it from the ingame AH.''

[link]

At the end of the day, non of the opinions matter and its up to you to decide whether the game is going to be worth your money or not. You can ***** all you want and so can I, its agree to disagree.

yRaz yRaz said:

Jeez, you really were offended. "Pay to win" came from the fact that people can and will just buy items. I don't want someone to be better than me just because they can buy the best stuff while I have to work for it. A lot of the fun in these games is killing stuff, saving up gold, and working for the best stuff. It what makes games fun for me.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

m4a4 "Yes........ the always online DRM that Blizzard implemented is just awesome.... [/endSarcasm]"

Get used to it dude, it's what's going to happen from here on out. It's the sole source mechanism to prevent stealing (piracy). And if you can download the game via internet, but are bitching about the constant internet connection then I think you have issues that no game can solve.

I am fine with the normal DRM, not the Blizzard DRM. No true gamer should be supporting such a ridiculous DRM because they think they can't stop it (or because a game with a big title is coming out). As I said, a lot of gamers are screwing everyone over by voting with their wallets that they "like" the DRM, but I will not.

Oh, you want to know something funny? I am currently up north where I only have 500mbs of data. Guess what type of game I wouldn't be able to play? That's right! The online only DRM games because they would use that up in no time!!

So I do not have issues, the developers that force the DRM's on customers have issues thinking that people always have internet and screwing over the people that don't.

treetops treetops said:

So many comments ^^. I wonder why all these great hack n slash games are coming out in 2012-2013. Seems like more are going to be released in the next year then have been released in the last 10 years. So far I like the graphics in grim dawn the most. Its nice having options in case d3 flops. With 4 players only per game I am def going to be eye balling other hack and slashes.

p.s. I don't know of any popular game thats not cracked and ready to download, I really have no clue why they want you to always be connected to the internet. People will pirate so they can play offline, now thats funny. Btw sc2 has single player offline mode and I bet d3 will too. Of course you cannot play with that character online.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Jeez, you really were offended. "Pay to win" came from the fact that people can and will just buy items. I don't want someone to be better than me just because they can buy the best stuff while I have to work for it. A lot of the fun in these games is killing stuff, saving up gold, and working for the best stuff. It what makes games fun for me.

See it goes both ways, you really are offended by my reply to your ranting ey?

Buying items from other players has been there since D2 if not D1 but alot of the times scamming was a risk, which now isn't due to RMAH.

Paying to win occurs in any game where you can buy BOE items (items which can be traded). That said, there is no such a thing as pay to win, sure the items boost your throughout-put but if you are a noob, you will always be one regardless of gear that you payed to win. If you are good you can still obtain the gear the harder way and still be competitive. You can get boosted in WoW, buy gold and BOE items yet you are still noob and you will be destroyed when you step into the arena or doing HC10/25. The biggest bottleneck is the player.

You say alot of the fun in these games is killing stuff and saving up gold and I agree, but what halts you from doing that? This isn't an e-sport game and most of the time you work as a team. In PvP when it enters D3 later this year, you will still be destroyed if you are terrible player regardless of the gear unless the gear-gap is huge which in that case its an obvious loss due to being undergeared.

You have a point, I agree with it but it has been around in most online RPGs for a very long time and its nothing knew. Online RPGs are simply not for you.

We can keep going around circles. Gear does not make YOU better, it just gives you a boost. You are the still same old noob (not directed at you).

Edit:

RMAH - Blizzard's cut is big. Direct trading will be just as popular as it was in D2.Oh and Hardcore mode does not have RMAH as its not available there.

PS:

When talking about MoP (Mists of Pandaria) people simply reply with (lol pandas) which implies its going to be a joke of an expansion. Its kind of a meme thing, not everyone gets it, its just you got very "touche" on the matter.

With 4 players only per game I am def going to be eye balling other hack and slashes.

Yes it really sucks, but many have said that this is because of WoW and Blizzard wants to keep players subbed to WoW rather then making D3 open up more players which would drive more subs off WoW into D3 (no subs in D3 = money lost for Blizzard). This is pure marketing, typical Blizzard.

yRaz yRaz said:

Artix, I think the length of our replies shows who's jimmies are most rustled. If a nything, you're the one ranting, your entire post is nonsensical. I wouldn't say we're going in circles, you're more or less chasing your own tail.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Artix, I think the length of our replies shows who's jimmies are most rustled. If a nything, you're the one ranting, your entire post is nonsensical. I wouldn't say we're going in circles, you're more or less chasing your own tail.

I am replying to your post, I am only "defending" my point of view and how is my post "nonsensical" Iv pretty much replied to your "pay to win" argument. Is it hard to follow, lack of reading comprehension skills?. Its agree to disagree, I had plenty of experience with people which rant all over the place with the "pay to win" argument from F2P games in WoW and now in D3.

I don't care if you don't agree, we differ in opinions but I am only telling you how it is. I am out of this rather then continue this pointless bickering, don't like the game then don't buy it. If you have an issue with P2W I am sure MMO-Champ or Blizzard forums will love you to share your opinion there, but careful might need flame shield as you will get annihilated.

PS:

Yes I do reply in lengths, I feel that to get a point across in just a paragraph isn't enough for some people.

Hope I am not too hostile encase "someone" gets offended.

[link]

yRaz yRaz said:

IPS:

Yes I do reply in lengths, I feel that to get a point across in just a paragraph isn't enough for some people.

Hope I am not too hostile encase "someone" gets offended.

I find that people who "reply at length" have a hard time expressing themselves. Try to get your point across in as few words as possible. In my previous post I had not mentioned ANYTHING about D3, but your reply to mine was about D3. Heck, before that it was just about the pay to win model, not so much D3 at all. Are you just trying to argue about D3? I'm not going to play it anyway, what do you hope to get out of this?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I find that people who "reply at length" have a hard time expressing themselves. Try to get your point across in as few words as possible. In my previous post I had not mentioned ANYTHING about D3, but your reply to mine was about D3. Heck, before that it was just about the pay to win model, not so much D3 at all. Are you just trying to argue about D3? I'm not going to play it anyway, what do you hope to get out of this?

I find that many have trouble understanding what the other is trying to say due to the lack of reading comprehension skills. Yes it was about D3, that was the discussion we had prior. What are you going trying to get out of this, just the pure sheer excitement of arguing, I guess so.

Oh and I do have trouble trying to get my point across at times due to English being my 4th Language, its not easy at times. Sometimes its also needed to nail the point of what you are trying to the viewers head.

There is not point in discussing anything with you, Iv said my view about D3 and that's that. Its beating on a dead horse.

Guest said:

blizzard isn't the company that makes good games anymore. They are just a company that knows how to get you hooked and to stay. Just because a game is popular, doesn't make it good. You know what else popular? McDonalds, but its no where near good.

I won't be buying any more Blizzard related items. Wow is dead and what they did to Diablo 3 is tragic, and because you all support such badness, bad video games will keep being created.

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