Activision Blizzard 2016 Q4 Conference Call Transcript

Activision Blizzard held its financial conference call to reveal details of its business performance during the fourth quarter of 2016. The most striking highlight of the conference happened during the Q&A when it was revealed there are works to bring Overwatch linear media to expose Overwatch to new audiences.

This harkens back to the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios earlier last year which already launched Skylanders Academy Season 1 on Netflix. It is possible that Overwatch might debut in Netflix at some point in the future.

In October 2016, Stacey Sher revealed during an interview that Activision Blizzard Studios was considering to do something similar to Skylanders Academy (Netflix) for StarCraft and Overwatch.

Seems we are going to have an interesting BlizzCon announcement this year.

Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 447 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)A in the quarter.

  • Blizzard had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016 at 36 million, up 37% from 2015 and up 87% since 2014. Additionally, Blizzard achieved record fourth-quarter MAUsA of 41 million. Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest game ever to reach over 25 million players globally. The title broke the previous launch year record for unit sales set by Diablo® III in 2012 and received 55 “Game of the Year” awards. World of Warcraft® MAUsA grew 10% in 2016 and over 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter on the back of the successful third-quarter launch of the expansion, Legion™. Also, Hearthstone® had its highest annual MAUsA in 2016, growing more than 20%, in part due to the fourth-quarter expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan™.

  • Activision had the biggest online player community in its history in 2016, with annual MAUsA of 50 million for the year, up 3% from 2015 and up 23% since 2014. Fourth-quarter MAUsA were 51 million. Call of Duty® was the number one console franchise globally in 2016, and in North America for the 8th year in a row.1 Life-to-date on current-generation consoles, the Call of Duty franchise had 3 of the top 10 games.

  • On October 28, 2016 , Activision Blizzard Studios , in partnership with Netflix, debuted Skylanders™ Academy, a new TV series celebrating the beloved kids franchise. The second season will be delivered in 2017, and a third season has been ordered by Netflix.

If Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Existed in WoW

Ah Gadgetzan, the city of opportunity!

My favorite zone in World of Warcraft: Legion is without a doubt Suramar. Since Gilneas City in Cataclysm I’ve wanted a city as a questing zone rather than a just a place people stand around in to use to auction house or wait for LFG queues. Suramar City realized those dreams beautifully, and I’d love to see Blizzard do it again and expand on the idea. Then a few months after Legion‘s release Blizzard announced the newest Hearthstone expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. I was instantly in love with the lore behind the expansion, that following the flooding of eastern Tanaris during the Cataclysm, Gadgetzan had grown from a quaint desert trading post to a massive 1920’s New York-esque city, full of crime families and a wonderful blend of fantasy and anachronistic technology that’s always been one of my favorite parts of the Warcraft setting.

Besides that, the Hearthstone team had fleshed out the setting of this expanded Gadgetzan to an amazing degree for a game that has no story. I immediately started to imagine how this updated Gadgetzan could work in official Warcraft canon and in WoW itself (it wouldn’t be the first time lore created for Hearthstone made it into WoW). This would be the perfect setting to iterate and expand upon the same concept as Suramar City. Over the past few months I’ve been refining that idea, and much like my past two expansion concepts, I’m here to share how I would make Mean Streets of Gadgetzan inside of WoW.

Enter the Nighthold in World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.1.5

Blizzard Entertainment deployed patch 7.1.5, and recently sent out a newsletter inviting players to participate and enjoy all the features found in this new patch.

Patch 7.1.5 includes the following features:

  • New Raid: The Nighthold — Suramar palace opens on January 17
  • The Return of the Brawler’s Guild
  • Micro-Holidays — Call of the Scarab (Jan 21-23) and Hatching of the Hippogryphs (Feb 23)
  • Mists of Pandaria Timewalking

BlizzCon 2016 In-Game Cinematics: The Cutscenes of Legion Panel Transcript

This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2016 In-Game Cinematics: The Cutscenes of Legion Panel. Among the panelists were the following game developers:

  • Geordie Swainbank (senior machinima artist, lightning lead)
  • Yeon-Ho Lee (senior animation artist)
  • Jason Hill (associate project director)
  • Jessica Dru Johnson (Cinematics artist)
  • Chris Evans (Supervisor, Cinematics)
  • Sherman Ohms (Senior In-Game Artist, Cinematics)
  • Terran Gregory (Project Director, Cinematics)

Blizzard Legends Publishing Label Announced

IRVINE, Calif. — Blizzard Entertainment today announced the creation of a book-publishing label, Blizzard Publishing, dedicated to developing and releasing new Blizzard publications and reissuing out-of-print titles in the company’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® settings, directly and through ongoing global partnerships. Each of Blizzard’s game universes has been inhabited by millions of players worldwide, and Blizzard Publishing will help maintain the lore and legacy of the company’s earliest novels and manga while also providing a variety of new ways for people to engage with Blizzard’s rich worlds and characters. Several of Blizzard Publishing’s upcoming releases will be available in multiple formats, such as print, audiobook, and e-book.