Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s World of Warcraft Back in the News


One of the most glorifying aspects of the 21st century was the yearning of the digital world to cross over into our world and vice versa. Video games became the vessel, and since then barriers between reality and hyper reality have been thinning. One such game is Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) World of Warcraft that took the gaming world by a storm. The release of the franchise back in 2004 bagged 400,000 subscribers within a month and now it’s one of the most prolific video games in the industry.

However, ever since the game hit 12 million subscribers in 2010, its popularity started to wane. Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) stock wasn’t influenced by the company’s magnificent earnings. The company’s growth in the digital area, great sales of core titles and new game launches brought the company a 9 percent increase in GAAP revenue, taking the company to 753 million. Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) performance improved in geographical areas all around, increasing by 30 percent.

The big news of the quarter was that the World of Warcraft has started to regain subscribers; so for all those who though the World of Warcraft would just be hailed as a legend, it’s not dead yet. In fact, there is another title in the making that would probably regenerate the game’s popularity. World of Warcraft is a game that requires time and patience and for that expansion packs are released to make the gaming experience more rich.

The game started losing subscribers when competition beefed up in the RPG domain. But Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) isn’t giving up on the game that easily; it sees much potential for expansion in the series. World of Warcraft has been a gold mine for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), accumulating billions for the company in the process. Even though Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) has released many high profile games and is one of those companies that produce one blockbuster game every year, World Of Warcraft has become its trademark game over the years.

World of War craft gained 7.4 million subscribers in September, with 1.3 million pre-orders for the 5th expansion pack. We can’t be quite sure whether the rise in subscribers is actually a permanent sign of a revival because the previous expansion pack fared well for a short term, only for it to decline later on. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)  must have thought about this; the last expansion sold 2.7 million copies in initial days of release but the figure started to decline with the passage of time and dropped down to 32 percent in 2 years.

The resurgence of World Of Warcraft would be great for Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI), that is to say, if it really is a resurgence and not just short term bubble growth. Considering the fans of this series, we don’t think World Of Warcraft will ever be out of the picture; Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) will continuously persist with it because it has been a real money maker for the company. But if it starts to become the source of dwindling sales, Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) will be forced to shelve it forever.