Thanks in large part to the tremendous success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Activision Blizzard posted record revenues for 2011 of $4.76 billion and $1.08 billion in profits, up 61% from 2010's total profit of $418 million.
Sales figures for Modern Warfare 3 were not released by the publisher, but considering the 7 million users of the game have signed up for the Call of Duty Elite service, 1.5 million of those on the premium tier, Modern Warfare 3 did a very nice job of lining the pockets of those invested in the company. While sales figures are nice for investors and shareholders though, gamers look at the games themselves, and Activision Blizzard threw out some very disappointing news yesterday regarding the long-in-development Diablo 3.
Rumors and speculation have abound regarding the Diablo 3 release date, initially believed to be sometime in 2011. However, Blizzard CEO Thomas Tippl put that rumors to rest, and gamers were left to speculate once again. Last September, Blizzard gave the industry an "early 2012" time frame for launch. Of course, there was the infamous Best Buy snafu that said the game was launching February 1, 2012, but Blizzard quickly shut down that rumors as well, with Q1 2012 still looking like a reasonable timeframe.
What we have now is the next "confirmation" from Blizzard, this time with the launch further pushed back and scheduled to be released sometime between April and June of 2012. On top of that, Activision Blizzard also noted only one other game will launch in 2012 with Diablo 3. The company has many projects in the works -- including Heart of the Swarm and Mists of Pandaria. One (or both) of the projects will not launch at all this year.
The Diablo 3 news is the most discouraging for fans of the franchise however. It's hard to read this news and not be a tiny bit skeptical that they'll even meet the new deadline, considering all that has happened in the past few months: systems in the game being redesigned yet again, key employees leaving the company, BlizzCon 2012 being canceled, etc. Our own Andrew Dyce was completely fed up with the ridiculousness of it all and let his voice be known in a previous Game Ranter Banter.
Blizzard is known for its delays, and they typically put out a very good product when its released. But as gamers' dollars are stretched thinner and thinner, are players going to continue to give Blizzard a free pass? It's high time that Diablo 3 wrap up production before it makes it on Game Rant's most anticipated games of 2013 list.
Ranters, what is your take on the further delay of Diablo 3? Still waiting patiently?
Diablo 3 is now slated to launch sometime between April and June of 2012 for the PC, Mac, and presumably consoles as well.
Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1