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Activision Earnings Call, Hearthstone Pop-Up Book, Mobile Titles for Blizzard IPs

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Activision Blizzard Q3 2018 Earnings Call
Activision Blizzard has their earnings call today.

  • Activision Blizzard had 345 million Monthly Active Users in the quarter.
  • Blizzard had 37 million MAU in the quarter. (Identical to last quarter)
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth set a new day-one franchise record with more than 3.4 million units sold-through.
  • World of Warcraft engagement grew strongly quarter-over-quarter.
  • Hearthstone recently surpassed the 100 million life-to-date registered player milestone
  • Players spent a record 52 minutes per day in Activision, Blizzard, and King games in the quarter.
  • Viewership of Activision Blizzard games was up substantially this quarter, and in the month of October, Activision Blizzard had seven of the top 20 most viewed games on the industry’s largest streaming platform
  • BlizzCon drew over 40,000 fans in person with millions more livestreaming from around the world
  • Overwatch League continues to build on the success of its inaugural season with the announcement of the sale of another six teams in September, again at a substantially higher valuation than the team prices in the first season.
  • The total Overwatch League roster is now at 20 teams, with nine teams outside the U.S


The Hearthstone Pop-Up Book Available on Amazon
The Hearthstone Pop-Up Book is now available for purchase on Amazon! This is a charming story told with the game's signature wit and whimsy, fully illustrated with center pops.

hearthstonepopup.jpg


Developers Working on Mobile Titles Across All Blizzard IPs
In a recent press conference for Diablo: Immortal at Blizzcon, executive producer Allen Adham stated that mobile games for other Blizzard IPs are currently in development. Here is a recap of the specifics from the press conference. Wyatt Cheng is also part of the press conference.


  • Many of Blizzard's best developers are now working on new mobile titles across all of Blizzard's IPs.
  • Some of them are with external partners, like Diablo: Immortal; but many of them are being developed internally only, and they'll have information to share on those in the future.
  • Blizzard's approach to mobile gaming comes from many people over the last few years shifting away from playing primarily on desktop to playing many hours on mobile.
  • Allen says that they have more new products in development today at Blizzard than they've ever had before and the future is very bright.
  • Diablo: Immortal is being designed with the intent that people of all ages can play it, and will not be a mature rated game.
  • This is an opportunity to introduce Diablo to a much wider audience around the world.
  • NetEase has been a partner of Blizzard for awhile and this partnership happened organically. There are developers here and in China working on this title.
  • Diablo: Immortal being mobile was decided because the fidelity of mobile phones is getting to the level of being almost equivalent to PCs.
  • Wyatt says that most of the criticism comes from being skeptical of the game, but many who have played it on the show floor started skeptical but thought it was awesome.
  • Blizzard is always trying to innovate and this is just one of the ways they are experimenting with new genres.
  • They do emphasize that they are working on multiple Diablo projects and the hard-core PC fans should take note of this.


WoW Subreddit Developer Interview
The WoW subreddit also interviewed Ion Hazzikostas during Blizzcon.

  • Story
    • The major story arc for an expansion is planned out months to years in advance.
    • The Alliance will learn of Saurfang's escape from a Horde hero in their midst and try to understand how a prisoner escaped from under their nose.
    • There's more to creating a story than just listening to the community's perspective. Stories must have highs and lows then invoke different emotional responses from many different people in order to be meaningful and that means sometimes having frustrating moments which may be upsetting to some fans.
    • There has to be a balance between highs and lows in a story.
    • The PTR is when they’re more likely to take feedback from confused players and change things. Ultimately they feel that they need to trust creative impulses within the team and be story-focused, but they do listen to feedback.
  • Warfronts
    • The team admits that lack of clarification for how Warfronts cycle was not done well this caused a lot of confusion that can be addressed with better communication by Blizzard.
    • Warfront cycles were created to give more content that ebbs and flows based on player activities.
    • The new Warfront will have a rotating set of actual daily turn in quests while the contribution window is open. Different materials will be needed everyday rather than 13 things for you to do on day 1 and then zero for the rest of it.
    • The team wants to focus on smaller chunks of world content available more often over larger chunks that are only available every couple of weeks so that there feels like there is more to do.
  • Azerite Armor
    • With Azerite Armor, they hoped to have a system where players are always building toward a more interesting upgrade - making new decisions on a regular basis, but they some of these iterations in Battle for Azeroth haven't translated as well as they had hoped.
    • Having one spec trait to choose from and one generic trait was a major folly of the system upfront and they hope that the new second outer ring will address this by having several choices tailored to your spec to choose from right away.
    • The hope is that adding an additional ring of traits will lessen the sense that there’s only one Azerite piece that you have to have for a given situation. The new currency system for targeting specific high-iLevel Azerite pieces should also help with that.
    • They are still listening, still open to making changes as needed and hope that players trust that they care deeply about the matter and aren’t ignoring feedback because they think everything is fine.
  • World Quests
    • They admit that world quests have a lot of repetition and are looking for ways to address this, but the system as a whole is a much better one than past expansions where you only visited specific hubs in the world for daily quests after leveling to cap.
    • They’d like to make world quests more varied and engaging than just “find the closest rare elites and kill them” to complete an emissary.
    • Incursions are essentially world quests but are way more story driven and meaningful because they incorporate the war.
  • Professions
    • The team believes that the quest system for professions in Legion was too heavy based on feedback.
    • Later patches plan to add small quest content that tries to give importance to the professions that you have chosen.
  • Legendaries
    • The devs are open to having legendary items where it makes sense.
    • They want to avoid past experiences of having players get lucky and being 20% stronger than anyone else because of it, guilds having bad luck and getting no legendary drops, or stacking players because they have legendaries.
  • Guilds
    • A lot can be done for the improvement both on the recruitment side and from a player looking to find a guild. That is something they're working on and will have some improvements to roll out later on in Battle for Azeroth.
    • They want to make sure guild identity matters, but past iterations of buffs and level systems caused newer guilds to struggle to keep up, which limits the diversity of options.
  • Crucible of Storms
    • There will be a quest chain for both Horde and Alliance to explain the events leading to the raid. It will differ slightly based on faction.
  • Sanguicells
    • Enchanters will have new recipes that will actually convert Sanguicell into Expulsom for personal use.
    • A universal cooking recipe will allow you to use Sanguicell in place of rare fish for the highest level of raid feasts.
  • Emissary Rewards
    • The team switched from random rewards to specific ones so that players could decide if they wanted to do the cache for the day.
    • The rewards were recently increased to make it more worthwhile to players to complete emissaries.
    • In retrospect, Paragon reputation should have been in Battle for Azeroth since launch to keep world quests and reputation more relevant.

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