Blizz Form 10-K Annual Report Filed 2/22/13

87 Gnome Warlock
8510
Posted by Zarhym
The WoW development team has more members now than ever before! :)


This has proven true, same goes with the staff who work in game, every ticket i have ever made has always been replied to no later than 2 hour wait time
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
4920
Lets resolve this and lets do it simple.
Stop playing World Of Warcraft, if you don't like aspects about it and it isn't fun.

There are many games out there to play, in all genres and types.
If any game stops becoming fun and or you don't agree with the business model, you are free to quit.

MMOs are something that evolve and you can always come back and check out patches and expansions (though business model won't likely change) and see if you end up liking it better.

One of the negatives about this hobby, you are going to buy bad games, invest in bad games or disappointing games once in awhile and most of the time you won't get your money back.

I bought Aliens Colonial Marines, hated the game felt like they ripped me off and showed screen shots and videos that offered different graphics and gameplay.

Instead of raging about it (nobody cares anyway and it changes nothing), I accepted it as bad judgment on my part, figured out how to prevent things like this in the future (like never buying from that publisher again) and I moved on.

You should too.

Consider something else, Blizzard's profits are up but subscriptions are down, which means most of their profit comes from services race, faction and server change.

Why would a business change something that is profitable?
Edited by Aestinthos on 4/8/2013 4:45 PM PDT
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90 Troll Warlock
16400
04/08/2013 12:04 PMPosted by Aberzombie


You are correct. That said it was not all that long ago they were at 12 million subscribers.

The rate of decline is pretty staggering.
Blizzard (specifically WoW) as obviously reached it point of "market saturation". The "above average" peak was the ~12-mil around last of BC, early Wrath. This happens. Normalization takes its own time. From zero to 12 million took ~5 years, whereas the dip from 12-mil to 9.6 mil is only, what 2.5 to 3? That's not "staggering" rate of decline at all. And... as the #'s seem to have stabilized from Cata somewhere in the 9-mil to 10-mil area it's not really a decline but merely one leg of a very typical (and reather predictable) market fluctuation of highs and lows that is part and parcel of any business's life.


Not sure I agree. Has anyone actually plotted up normalized statistics of "typical MMO subscribers" compared to "WoW subscribers"? I seriously bet you'd find WoW to be a major statistical outlier, probably at 2 sigma level or more.

You're also forgetting a couple of key variables, economics being the major one. I argued in an analogous post on the MMO Champion forums that Blizzard's peak WoW subscriber rates coincide almost exactly to the nadir of the economic recession, and particularly to the maximum unemployment and underemployment rates. This makes sense when you consider the average WoW player is around 26 and has some college education, placing them in the single hardest-hit (and "most underemployed") demographic.
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89 Blood Elf Hunter
5925
I wish people that don't know what they're talking about didn't post...
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100 Draenei Death Knight
6715
It is declining. The rate of decline though is outpacing new subscribers. The problem also is how Activision defines a subscriber. MAny bought the i year sub with diablo. Those expired and they did not renew. Also many people have a sub but no loner play the game. Many keep it out of addiction or for other various reasons but no longer play the game. I would hazzard a guess that the REAL subscriber number, those currenntly active in the game and play regularly is much less then 8 million. Probably more like 4 million. If that. Look at all the dead and dying realms in NA and EU, along with Asia.

Talking to a lot of my friends who were enthusiastic about MOP, Most got bored around Dec and left the game. Many more are just logging on, doing some farming or just chatting to friends., no real playing of the game. This Expansion while having some nice innovation, just didnt keep a lot of people interested. The "villian" is meh. I personally could care less about the Pandarean lore. Hopefully the next exp will bring back the real wow factor. Have some new things like flying pvp mount, areal attacks, and bring the war back to warcraft.
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100 Human Rogue
8935
04/08/2013 03:23 PMPosted by Mirs
The WoW development team has more members now than ever before! :)


That doesn't fill me with as much confidence as you would think.
10 guys working well together in a tight knit group is preferable to 100 people stepping on each other's toes simply because there's too many people.

More isn't always better, quite often it's the opposite.


<Rolls eyes>
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90 Dwarf Rogue
15000
The way the bait glistened on that strange, pointy object was so enticing!


Damnit Z, you're giving me very bad ideas for my Pathfinder campaign.

We have a gnome that enjoys shooting icicles at every mirror we come across. We're in Irrisen, after all, and mirrors are used for communication.

I want to see him baited into shooting one and then have it backfire. With strange pointy objects.
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90 Dwarf Rogue
15000
Oh, so it's the players fault that they ruined the game by transferring, yet Blizzard is still selling transfers?

Lol.


So you want to force people that are playing on a dead realm to stay there?

Wait what?
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96 Human Paladin
13345
04/08/2013 11:54 AMPosted by Barkloud
Aaaaand?


The first 90 days of MOP Blizzard had a net loss of 600,000 subscribers (9/30/12 10.2 million subscribers and 12/31/12 that subscriber number was down to 9.6 million).

That is a staggeringly large net loss during the first 3 months of a brand new expansion. I can only imagine what the quarterly report will say in April/May.


It's less than the loss in the first quarter after Cataclysm's release, when you take into account that Cata released in China in Q3 2011 (and promptly lost more than 400K active accounts there.)
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100 Blood Elf Rogue
7360
This has to do with Blizzard's profits and is not related to the game World of Warcraft. The forums are to discuss Warcraft. Not put blizz on blast. That's just annoying.


how is this thread " putting blizz on blast" they release all that information for the public to see anyways.
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
10400
One thing to blame it on...mop..

WoTLK was the good days
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90 Night Elf Druid
14495

The WoW development team has more members now than ever before! :)

You're seeing less time between content cycles as we continue to grow and essentially restructure our production pipeline, so that some designers within each WoW development team can focus on alternating patches. Mind you, there's no black-and-white divide in the team -- everyone's contributing in some way to each patch and expansion -- but we can have members from each team focused sharply on 5.3, while others are already working hard on 5.4 and beyond.

This fact alone leaves me very curious to hear exactly what argument the OP has here...



My point to what you highlighted is that Blizzard employees are paid to make sure they maintain their player base as long as possible. What business doesn't?

That said, I do not understand how MOP went live stranding subscribers on PVP servers. How is it a good idea to force all 90's to small areas, so the weaker faction can constantly be slaughtered.

Prior to MOP, I was a huge fan of Blizzard. I read all the books, bought all the expansions, read the forums, etc.

I have been unable to see any story line in MOP because it is behind the dailies, which largely remain undoable due to horde presence.

Customer service, who are really nice, pretty much says I need to reroll or pay $25.

I would rather post here every day until you ban me or pick a 90 and put them on any other server you want that allows me the opportunity to quest without having 5 other horde 90's killing me every 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Not that it matters i have played WOW since the beginning. In fact, i played Warcraft since the beginning. Back in the day of LAN garage parties.


So Tich had a sudden influx of horde only due to MoP, since you enjoyed all your time there during vanilla, wrath and Cata?

I'm on a PVP server, and had zero issues clearing all the main story content even with being outnumbered by horde.

Whats your real excuse behind not seeing the story? You haven't even completed the story lines in some of the zones from normal questing. That isn't gated.
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90 Draenei Shaman
9515
Blizzard (specifically WoW) as obviously reached it point of "market saturation". The "above average" peak was the ~12-mil around last of BC, early Wrath. This happens. Normalization takes its own time. From zero to 12 million took ~5 years, whereas the dip from 12-mil to 9.6 mil is only, what 2.5 to 3? That's not "staggering" rate of decline at all. And... as the #'s seem to have stabilized from Cata somewhere in the 9-mil to 10-mil area it's not really a decline but merely one leg of a very typical (and reather predictable) market fluctuation of highs and lows that is part and parcel of any business's life.


Not sure I agree. Has anyone actually plotted up normalized statistics of "typical MMO subscribers" compared to "WoW subscribers"? I seriously bet you'd find WoW to be a major statistical outlier, probably at 2 sigma level or more.

You're also forgetting a couple of key variables, economics being the major one. I argued in an analogous post on the MMO Champion forums that Blizzard's peak WoW subscriber rates coincide almost exactly to the nadir of the economic recession, and particularly to the maximum unemployment and underemployment rates. This makes sense when you consider the average WoW player is around 26 and has some college education, placing them in the single hardest-hit (and "most underemployed") demographic.
There aren't enough MMOs to get a 2-sigma confidence level about nearly anything on a macro scale.

Warcraft's demographic keeps aging. Remember that most players have played the game for an extremely long time. 26 sounds far too law, but that's probably a nitpick anyway.

The biggest issue is that WoW actually hasn't tracked the economy. And if you remove Warcraft from the space, against subscriptions compared to the genre as a whole shows WoW in a slight decline. The 'end of WoW' march is overplayed, but the game reached its zenith over three years ago and shows no real high probability chance of getting back to that size ever again.

What I find curious is the assertion by any Blizzard employee that the development team for Warcraft is larger than ever. That doesn't make sense from a finance perspective. I would cut staff down (slightly) rather than ramp up at this stage. And then use the Warcraft player base to attract customers to the Next Big Thing, ala D3. THAT looked like a strong and smart financial move.

For example, I predict the next Annual Pass will be offered as a hook to get people to play test Titan, and will overlap with its release date, to get double subscriptions, rather than cannibalization. Just my $0.02.
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90 Gnome Death Knight
5445
04/08/2013 03:23 PMPosted by Mirs
The WoW development team has more members now than ever before! :)


That doesn't fill me with as much confidence as you would think.
10 guys working well together in a tight knit group is preferable to 100 people stepping on each other's toes simply because there's too many people.

More isn't always better, quite often it's the opposite.


WoW Forums: where pitch forks are grabbed when Blizz does not hire b/c obv they just hate humanity; where tomatoes are tossed when Blizz hires lots of people because they are "too big."
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