Activision Blizzard 2016 Q3 Financial Conference Transcript

The Activision Blizzard 2016 Q3 financial conference call was held on November 3 (the day before BlizzCon started), and for the second time in a row it didn’t feature a roundup by Mike Morhaime. Thomas Tippl discussed the progress and status of Blizzard games, with some highlights by Bob Kotick. Mike Morhaime was present during the conference, however. He participated in the Q&A at the end.

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Kotick: We delivered another record quarter, and we continue to focus on building enduring franchises for our nearly 500 million monthly players around the world. Continuous innovation within existing franchises, and the creation of new franchises (like Overwatch) helps broaden our audiences, deepen engagement, and increase player investment.

We believe gaming is the most engaging form of media, and players spend tens of billions of hours a year with our franchises. In fact, this quarter alone, our players spent over 10 billion hours playing our games. This strong engagement and the social experiences that are such an important part of gameplaying have been the catalyst for our new opportunities in enhanced game monetization, expansion of our franchises into linear media and consumer products, and greater involvement in advertising supported spectator gaming like we have with MLG.

It is estimated that as many as 225 million people are now watching organized gaming competitions. Competition between videogame players is becoming as thrilling to watch as traditional professional sports. With the launch of professional global leagues, we believe games spectating will grow significantly as an opportunity for us and for our players. The increased popularity of spectator gaming will enable us to celebrate and reward our players, and recognize their accomplishments. Professional gamers will eventually be as celebrated, honored, and recognized as professional athletes.

Professional gamers will be the role models and goodwill ambassadors of the digital generation, and we believe great new business opportunities are emerging throughout the esports ecosystem, which we helped pioneer more than a decade ago with games like StarCraft.

In May, Blizzard released Overwatch, which in about four months has already eclipsed 20 million registered players making it Blizzard’s fastest, new intellectual property to reach that mark; and Overwatch was specifically designed to be a definitive competitive game.

We are uniquely positioned to realize the full potential of esports. We have some of the most successful iconic franchises in gaming, and direct relationships with nearly half a billion monthly active users. A powerful combination that distinguishes us from the rest of our competitors; and we have unmatched commercial capabilities that have served our shareholders extremely well over the last 25 years.

Before I hand off the call, I want to take this opportunity to thank the talented people who drive the success at our company every day. They are our greatest asset, inspiring play, competition and community by creating the most engaging entertainment in the world.

 

BlizzCon 2016 – Songhammer Releases LEGION: EPIC Warcraft Inspired Rock Video

Songhammer announced BlizzCon 2016 exclusive launch of their latest LEGION: Epic Warcraft inspired rock video featuring 15 professional cosplayers, and great special effects. Songhammer will be performing live at BlizzCon, at the main stage on Friday, November 4, 2016 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. PDT.

The good news is that you don’t need a BlizzCon ticket to witness their performance. Their play will happen in open space between Marriott and Hilton — outside BlizzCon!

Are you ready to fight the Burning Legion with the mighty Songhammer? Then check out this amazing new video by Blizzard Entertainment’s favorite cosplay rock band! This EPIC adventure features 15 professional cosplayers including BlizzCon Cosplay Competition winners. Indie film award winning director, Randy Van Dyke (Non-Stop To Comic-Con, 31 awards won) both directed and created all the amazing VFX in this Wold of Warcraft inspired song and video. Songhammer will be premiering this song at BlizzCon 2016 for Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. You Are NOT Prepared… for this much AWESOMENESS!!!

For a FREE download of Songhammer’s new single, LEGION go to http://www.songhammer.com and click on the FREE MUSIC link.

 

 

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected and Record Third Quarter 2016 Financial Results

Activision Blizzard announced better-than-expected and Record 2016 Q3 financial results with nearly 1 billion in revenue from in-game content.

 

AUDIENCE REACH

Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history, with 42 million MAUsA, up 25% quarter-over-quarter and 50% year-over-year. This reflects the continued success of Overwatch® and the launch of World of Warcraft®: Legion™. Blizzard has more than doubled its MAUsA in just two years.

On August 30, 2016 , Blizzard launched World of Warcraft: Legion, which sold-through 3.3 million copies on day one, matching all-time records achieved by previous expansions, and ranking amongst the fastest-selling PC games ever. The new expansion grew franchise MAUsA by nearly 30% quarter-over-quarter.

Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest game ever to reach over 20 million players globally, with a roughly even player base split between east and west. Overwatch also held the number one position in share of play time in Korean Internet Game Rooms from launch all the way through the third-quarter.

Blizzard’s Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™ had record quarterly MAUsA, which grew a double-digit percentage year-over-year.

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Illidan Stormrage Polyresin Statue Coming November 3

illidan-stormrage-polyresin-statue-1Blizzard Entertainment announced they will have the Illidan Stormrage Polyresin Statue available for pre-orders on November 3rd at the Gear.Blizzard.com website.

The video below shows the step-by-step history of how the Illidan Stormrage statue was designed, modeled in a computer, then some parts were 3D printed, moving on to hand-crafting with a razor, a welding gadget, and other tools; and then hand-painted until a masterpiece is born.

Get your wallet ready, and your keyboard-thumb ready to press the order button, because this baby is going to get out of stock before you can even finish to say out of stock. Just see how quick BlizzCon tickets get sold out in under 5 minutes as an example of how ruthless some collectible fans are when it comes to snatching home a beauty like this statue.

 

Illidan Stormrage Polyresin Statue

Standing 24 inches tall and made of polyresin, this colorful sculpture of Illidan will make the perfect addition to your collection. The piece is sculpted by Blizzard Senior Sculptor Brian Fay and features original paint by Senior Illustrator Laurel D. Austin.

Supplies of this highly detailed sculpture are limited — so head over to the Blizzard Gear Store beginning November 3 to get yours before it’s too late!

 

Tom Chilton Leaves World of Warcraft Team for Unannounced Game?

Tom ChiltonTom Chilton announced he is no longer game director of the World of Warcraft team. However, he is not leaving Blizzard Entertainment. The fact he didn’t identify to which team he has been moved to direct spells it is a Unannounced Game. Either Tom Chilton is leading the Diablo III Team filling in the position left empty with the departure of Josh Mosqueira, or there is a brand-new game in the works.

At this point, whatever Tom Chilton is working on might be:

  • Diablo III: The New Expansion
  • Warcraft IV
  • New IP

Only time will tell.

Chilton: “My personal journey working on WoW as Game Director is at an end, but my journey with Blizzard isn’t. I’ll still be here, but will be focusing on another project within the company. However, it’s with great pleasure that I announce Ion Hazzikostas will be taking my place as Game Director for World of Warcraft.”

NYCC 2016 – Scholastic Giving Free Excerpt Copies of World of Warcraft: Traveler

The World of Warcraft: Traveler is nigh on our hands. While exploring NYCC 2016, I found the Scholastic room 1E03 at the basement level of the Javits Center (beneath the South Concourse). After going downstairs, turn to your left (behind the stairs) and keep going (in the direction where the 34th street would be if you were outside) until you find ROOM 1E03.

The staff told me you can grab a FREE excerpt copy of WORLD OF WARCRAFT: TRAVELER from the table.

 

NYCC 2016 Book Signing – World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook

The World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook has landed at the New York Comic Con (NYCC 2016). Head over to the Insight Editions Booth #1536 this Saturday, Oct 8 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm to buy an early copy of World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook (Order Online). Author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel will be there to sign your copies. Come to say hi and to ask questions.

Otherwise, you can pre-order a copy online. The book is slated to ship on October 18th, 2016.

During my visit to NYCC (Thurs), I managed to take photos of the List of Contents, and another photo (sampling for you) how each recipe is organized.

NOTE: Full Size photo — Press the Right-Button on the photo. Choose: “Open in New Tab.”

 

world-of-warcraft-the-official-cookbookPrepare a feast fit for a warchief with World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook, a delicious compendium of recipes inspired by the hit online game from Blizzard Entertainment.

Prepare a feast fit for a warchief with World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook, a compendium of sweet and savory recipes inspired by the hit game from Blizzard Entertainment. Presenting delicacies favored by the Horde and the Alliance alike, this authorized cookbook teaches apprentice chefs how to conjure up a menu of food and drink from across the realm of Azeroth.

Featuring food pairings for each dish, ideas for creating your own Azerothian feasts, and tips on adapting meals to specific diets, this otherworldly culinary guide offers something for everyone. The aromatic Spiced Blossom Soup is perfect for plant-loving druids, and orcs will go berserk for the fall-off-the-bone Beer-Basted Boar Ribs. With alternatives to the more obscure ingredients—just in case you don’t have Chimaerok Chops lying around—this comprehensive cookbook will ensure that you have no trouble staying Well Fed.

Each chapter features dishes at a variety of skill levels for a total of more than one hundred easy-to-follow recipes for food and brews, including:

• Ancient Pandaren Spices
• Fel Eggs and Ham
• Mulgore Spice Bread
• Dragonbreath Chili
• Graccu’s Homemade Meat Pie
• Bloodberry Tart
• Greatfather’s Winter Ale

Whether you’re cooking for two or revitalizing your raid group for a late-night dungeon run, World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook brings the flavors of Azeroth to life like never before.

 

 

Our NYCC 2016 Coverage

Glenn Rane
Timothy Zahn (StarCraft: Evolution)
World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook
World of Warcraft: Traveler (Excerpt)
Christie Golden Signings: Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization

 

New York Comic Con 2016 – Blizzard Licensed Partners

The NYCC 2016 schedule might help you visit some points of interest. Blizzard Entertainment has no official attendance in terms of the usual Blizzard Publishing Panel. However, you can visit known Blizzard Licensed Product partners. Some of them might have something new to show.

There is at least one Blizzard artist coming to New York Comic Con. Glenn Rane can be found in the Artists Alley at table U9. Bring your stuff for a autograph.

If you are attending the NYCC, I have gotta alert you to rush toward the TITAN BOOKS booth for a NYCC Exclusive item. Titan Books only have 30 copies of the WARCRAFT: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION (MAGE EDITION) signed by DUNCAN JONES. First come, first served – while supplies last. CHRISTIE GOLDEN is coming to New York Comic Con to sign copies of it, and the WARCRAFT: DUROTAN (movie prequel) novel. Make sure to come to booth #2142 from 10-11am, on Friday, OCT 7th!

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BLIZZARD LICENSED PARTNERS

NECA — Booth 426
Funko — Booth 722
Insight Editions — Booth 1536
Dark Horse Comics — Booth 1636
Sideshow Collectibles — Booth 1946
Penguin Random House — Booth 2106
Titan Books — 2142

 

ROUNDUP

There is no certainty, but I know some of these licensed partners are currently developing products slated for late 2016, and some for Spring-Summer 2017. It might be possible to see some sort of info or product showcase at their booth. Approach a clerk and ask.

NECA is developing the NECA 7″ Heroes of the Storm Series 3 Action Figures which include Jim Raynor and Sylvanas Windrunner. Slated to ship on January 2017.

FUNKO is shipping on October 2016 the new line of OVERWATCH POP! Vinyl Figures: Tracer and Winston.

Insight Editions shipped today (Oct 4) a new reprint of Diablo: Book of Cain and Diablo: Book of Tyrael.

Dark Horse Comics will ship the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel on April 18, 2017. The Digital version is coming earlier this November 2016. I reached out to Dark Horse two weeks ago, but haven’t gotten a response whether they would showcase it at NYCC. I’ll update on Thursday afternoon after I visit their booth. In addition, Dark Horse will ship the World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 2 on March 14, 2017. I’ll update if they showcase it at NYCC.

Random House recently shipped the World of Warcraft: Illidan; and the StarCraft: Evolution by Timothy Zahn is slated to ship November 8, 2016. It might be possible Random House showcases it. Check us back on Thursday for confirmation.

The Terrible Truth Behind the Pillars of Creation and Expansion 7

The God of the Deep writhes in his prison, breaking free ever so slowly. You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan… there are greater battles yet to fight.

-Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire

Since the moment this quote was first discovered in the World of Warcraft: Legion alpha, I haven’t been able to get the idea that Blizzard might already be teasing expansion seven out of my head. While N’Zoth has been built up as a threat for quite awhile, and is one of the last pre-existing big-name villains we have yet to face, nothing else like the above quote appeared. Until now.

With the release of the Emerald Nightmare raid on live servers yesterday, we’ve seen the full dialogue for the Il’gynoth boss fight. After looking through Il’gynoth’s quotes, not only am I confident in the old Xal’tath whisper as being a hint towards something greater, but I’m starting to think we may know how Legion will end and the next expansion might begin.