Blizzard 2010

Yesterday was Activision Blizzard‘s Second Quarter Calendar 2010 Results Conference Call, and during it Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard Entertainment, said that 2010 “the single most exciting year in Blizzard Entertainment history.”

Morhaime went over numbers showing Starcraft 2 had a record breaking launch and stated that Blizzard games dominated PC sales at the end of July:

“Star Craft II is currently one of the highlights of our year with the game launching across five different continents and in 11 languages. The response by both players and press from around the world has been outstanding. As a matter fact, Metacritic’s currently rate StarCraft II a 94 out of a possible 100, making it one of the top scoring games of all time.

Preliminary sales numbers have begun to roll in, and I’m pleased to say that StarCraft II is already the fastest-selling strategy game of all time. We sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide in the first two days of release, making StarCraft II the best-selling PC game so far this year.

What’s more, the excitement over StarCraft II has actually driven consumer interest in our other games. Amazon’s North American PC sales data for the week of July 29 shows that the top five was a clean sweep for Blizzard: StarCraft II, StarCraft II Collector’s Edition, StarCraft I Battle Chest, World of Warcraft Burning Crusade [World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade] and World of Warcraft occupied the entire top of the Amazon PC sales chart for North America that week.”

Morhaime also discussed sales in Korea for StarCraft 2 saying:

StarCraft II is currently in a free open beta period in Taiwan and Korea. This is a standard practice for game launches in Asia to allow players to play the game for free for a short period of time before moving into commercial launch. Since players in Korea and Taiwan can play StarCraft II for free right now, sales numbers from those regions are not meaningful yet.”

Morhaime also mentioned the Korean Air StarCraft 2 Jets as part of the Asian marketing strategy.

StarCraft 2 Korean Air

World of Warcraft was also responsible for a large revenue boost for Activision.  Thomas Tipple, Activision’s  CFO, stated:

“During the quarter, sales from online channels grew 120% year-over-year, to reach an all-time high and for the first time, accounted for the majority of sales for the quarter.”

Shareholders worries that the release of StarCraft 2 would dilute World of Warcraft subscriptions were put to rest as Morhaime stated:

“We’ve been watching World of Warcraft usage since the StarCraft launch and really haven’t seen a big impact to the World of Warcraft usage, which is a great sign.”

Morhaime covered the key points of the upcoming Cataclysm Release saying:

“Excitement around Cataclysm continues to build as players are eager to revisit the altered landscape of Azeroth.

Also I’d like to point the release of Cataclysm being our best expansion yet for World of Warcraft. Although an exact release date has not yet been announced, we are on track to launch the expansion by the end of the year. As with all Blizzard games though, we won’t release until it’s ready.”

With talk of the Remote Auction House, Blizzcon, and DirectTV Blizzcon coverage, Morhaime ended the conference call with excitement over Activision Blizzard‘ success – and future success – in 2010.

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