Johnson: 2017 continues to be a record-setting year. We surpassed last year’s high watermark for year-to-date revenues, and earnings per share. We delivered record revenues in Q3, and we outperformed our guidance by more than $200 million on revenue, and by $0.13 on non-GAAP EPS.
Given this over-performance, and the confidence we have in our plans, we are raising our outlook again for the year. Our performance is made possible by our incredible teams whose commitment to delivering creative, and commercial excellence engages our communities, and enables our company to grow.
I want to highlight, in particular, that in Q3 our teams demonstrated two important aspects of our strategy: first, the ability to serve our communities with a broad range of experiences (large and small — across full games, expansions, content drops, features and services); and second, the ability to drive meaningful results from those investments.
We saw this from Activision and Bungie with the launch of Destiny 2 (a major new game for the franchise), which is now the biggest console release for the year in the US. We also saw see this from Blizzard with Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, built upon iconic characters and lore, which became a franchise’s best-performing expansion to-date.
Destiny 2 is off to a strong start, and after the PC launch is now ahead of Destiny 1 on total consumer spend, on time spent per player, attach rate to the expansion packs, and average revenue per user.
Destiny 2 also achieved a new high watermark in digital full-game downloads at over 50% of console sell-through; and last week, we introduced Destiny to PC gamers for the first time, opening up the franchise to new global audiences, and future growth opportunities.
We were thrilled to launch on Blizzard’s Battle.net platform where we have an end-to-end connection with the consumer, and can drive enhanced player experiences, better insights, and better company economics.
Blizzard also set a Q3 record for reach with 42 million MAUs driven by a steady stream of content, features, and service updates. This is now the 4th quarter in a row that Blizzard achieved record quarterly MAUs without a full game release, hiding again the strategy of continuous year-round content, and services to engage our audiences, and bring in new players. Notably MAUs grew year-over-year for both Overwatch, and Hearthstone; and the Overwatch community now has over 35 million registered players.
As Bobby mentioned, the company set a new milestone for daily time spent per user at over 50 minutes, placing us on par with Facebook’s time per day, which is over 50 minutes across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Blizzard’s driven engagement with compelling content updates across much of their portfolio: Overwatch introduced new content for seasonal events, including Summer Games in Q3; and Halloween Terror last month, driving participation, and customization items.
World of Warcraft released a large content update leading to stable MAUs versus prior quarter, and strong participation in value-added services; and Hearthstone saw time-spent rise by double-digit percentage year-over-year on the strength of the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. Blizzard also released a number of key updates on the Battle.net platform.
As mentioned, Battle.net welcomed its first non-Blizzard game: Destiny 2 on PC, and ahead of that launch, the Battle.net team released a new mobile app, and a strong collection of social features in a desktop app — enabling players to stay connected both inside, and outside their games, and across devices. Our groundbreaking efforts in eSports, drive engagement as well by celebrating our players, and recognizing their achievements in new ways.
As Bobby mentioned, we continue to make great progress on the Overwatch League. The 12 inaugural teams have now been unveiled. Their names, logos, and fans will soon be able to celebrate their favorite team and players through both: physical and digital merchandise.
The Overwatch team is hard at work on refining the spectator viewing experience to make the game even more fun to watch, including team jerseys for in-game heroes, and new camera angles to get a better view of gameplay. Pre-season competition begins next month at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles.
I was recently at the facility, and can say that the arena, and overall spectator experience are awesome. Over the past week, Blizzard hosted opening week competitions across a number of franchises for BlizzCon at the arena. We look forward to seeing some of you at the championship matches later this week in Anaheim.
Blizzard also had strong a quarter for player investment, not only in their live games, but also in re-imagined, and re-mastered experiences from the libraries, including Blizzard’s StarCraft: Remastered. This approach of continuing to provide content, and features for the community wherever they are playing, even years after the initial launch, opens up growth opportunities for years to come.
In summary, our record performance in the quarter, and our record performance year-to-date are the result of our team’s passionate dedication to serve the growing communities across our franchises. That dedication is now extending into new growth levers like eSports, consumer products, and advertising; and we are excited about our growth prospects ahead.