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Acti Q1: Diablo III beta Q3, new CoD shown in “weeks”

Monday, 9 May 2011 21:17 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Activision Blizzard has announced a large increase in calendar 2011 Q1 profits, as well as making new announcements related to Call of Duty and confirming a Q3 2011 beta for Diablo III.

Acti Blizz Q1 highlights

This year’s Call of Duty game to be announced in “weeks”.

Diablo III public beta aimed at Q3 2011.

Black Ops Escalation map pack out on PS3 “later this quarter”.

Escalation sold 1.4 million on 360 within 24 hours.

World of Warcraft now has more than 11.4 million subscribers worldwide.

Micro-transaction Call of Duty game confirmed for China.

Profit up 76 percent to $503 million year-on-year.

Digitally-delivered content accounted for 50 percent of total Q1 revenue.

No Blizzard game this year, but “at least” two from the arm in 2012.

Acti boss Bobby Kotick confirmed the 2011 Call of Duty game is about to be announced.

“This year’s Call of Duty has a very high bar to exceed,” he said. “We believe this year’s Call of Duty initiatives will result in the best Call of Duty experiences we have created to date.”

He added that more details on this year’s game will be announced in the coming weeks, and customers will be excited over the “creative excellence and sheer scale of the game we are making. The game will also be surrounded by the biggest marketing campaign the company has ever delivered.

“The unprecedented online universe that will accompany it will reset the bar for this genre, giving players a new level of immersion, connectivity, community and, of course, epic action,” added publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “The game has exceeded every internal milestone and we look forward to sharing it with you soon.”

The company said in its financial release that it’s making “robust investment in forthcoming Call of Duty titles, including a micro-transaction game for China,” the first mention of the game, and also reconfirmed its “best-in-class digital platform surrounding the Call of Duty franchise,” which was shown in New York last week.

The new CoD game is being developed specifically for China.

Call of Duty: Black Ops became the best-selling game of all time in dollars across 360, PS3 and PC in both the US and Europe for the quarter, and was also the top-selling game in both territories for the period, the firm said.

Digital downloads of Black Ops’ First Strike map pack were more than 20 percent higher than those for Modern Warfare 2′s Stimulus Pack during the comparable period in 2010.

Diablo III beta confirmed for Q3

Escalation was downloaded 1.4 million times on 360 in its first 24 hours of availability. The pack will release “later in the quarter” for PS3, and no mention was made of a PC version.

Activision’s much-mentioned Call of Duty online system – developed by Beachhead – will feature “in-game integration” and will bring together console and PC play “for the first time”, with no mention of Modern Warfare 3, nor whether Raven and Sledgehammer and its new logo are actually working on the game with Infinity Ward.

More on Modern Warfare 3 is expected sometime soon, possibly before E3.

“On our last call, I told you that we had formed a wholly-owned development studio called Beachhead to lead the creation of an all new connected digital universe to the Call of Duty franchise,” said Kotick.

“This platform will include a suite of services and content plans that will unite and ignite the community like never before. The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time.

“It’s been in development for almost 2 years and we’re very excited about this increased value and excitement we can bring to our community through this platform.”

“It is the response to the passion people have for the game, the amount that people want to engage one another in a connected way,” said Hirshberg. “We want to create an experience that was amplifying enough to be able to be monetized.

The system will be an “integral part” of this year’s Call of Duty game. The Activision execs on the investor call clearly stressed that online play would not become a premium service with the new game.

“We are not attempting to monetize or take any experience away that currently counts as part of the value proposition of buying the game,” said the firm, with Kotick adding that “a lot of new capabilities and services [will be] provided free of charge to our customers.”

CFO Thomas Tippl said he didn’t expect a Blizzard game to release in 2011, but pointed to “at least” two games from the arm in calendar 2012.

Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime said that World of Warcraft now has more than 11.4 million subscribers worldwide.

The Diablo III beta test is aimed at the third quarter of 2011, Morhaime said. Internal testing started last week.

Black Ops “ftw”

Net income for the quarter stood at $503 million, an increase of 76 percent from $381 million in the previous year.

Revenue for the period, ended March 31, was up from $1.31 billion in 2010 to $1.45 billion this year.

PC revenue rose steeply in the quarter, from $49 million to $129 million, accounting for 9 percent of taken cash compared to 4 percent in Q1 2010.

As EA did last week, Activision boss Bobby Kotick said that, while 50 percent of revenue had come digitally delivered content in the quarter, the company has only “scratched the surface” in terms of downloadable opportunity.

The digital distribution business is the fastest sector in games, the company said.

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15 Comments

  1. razvan2you

    Diablo III Diablo III Diablo III Diablo III news…..

    #1 4 years ago
  2. M337ING

    So basically, the PC was responsible for most of their profit gain? That’s pretty surprising considering this doesn’t count World of Warcraft subscribers.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Razor

    Gizza million, Bobby

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Edo

    How about investing some of those millions in new game engine,or am I asking for too much!?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @4

    What? And ruin those yearly COD releases??! Naaaaw

    If people didn’t continue throwing money at the franchise they probably would consider it so until their profits dip they won’t. Thats the art of Milking.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Johnny Cullen

    Q3 window for Diablo III beta confirmed in there.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Edo

    #6 Yay,thank you kind sir!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    Gosh, i sure hope that Activision will be fucked by Battlefield 3, but thats not going to happen.

    Different games. To battle Call Of duty you need to make something like that, even better with some awesome marketing campaign.

    DIABLO 3 BETA. YESH! :D

    #8 4 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    @erthazus, I think B3 may just take a large chunk out of the COD audience. Those vids are turning a lot of heads…

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @9, only by graphics and technology.

    The thing is, there is a huge difference in what Call Of Duty represents. Call Of duty trailers is all about stupid conspiracy theories for kiddy grade level with “Explosions, explosions and explosions + badass specnaz or U.S. military”.

    Battlefield 3 does not have that, they have only explosions which they try to show with the engine. It’s impressive from a Gamers perspective (Us gamers on VG247 and other sites), but for the average fratboy it’s not impressive at all.
    As long as you can shoot shit and do it in the easiest arcadish fashion it’s always going to be better.

    Battlefield 3 will always have it’s niche and nothing can help it to take CoD’s chunk except for marketing campaign. But knowing EA’s marketing campaign they lost already.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    Have a little faith Erz, I have COD junkie fanboy friends who are eyeing B3 up like a guy who only went for blondes eyes up the sultry new brunette.

    I tell them the ads run on a top end pc, that the gameplay focuses on teamplay & that a game could last 20+ mins… They do not care.

    Remember the look in jaded MOH players eyes when they saw COD4? My friends have that look when they talk about B3.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Hunam

    CoD has to peak eventually I guess. I thought MW2 was going to be the peak but then Black Ops when and did loads better. Kinda made me a bit sheepish about calling it a day on CoD because they know if they make a modern(ish) shooter the fans will always follow.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    @OB, thats until Call Of duty:MW3 trailer.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. G1GAHURTZ

    I think you should put your “faith” elsewhere, OrbitMonkey.

    Nothing’s going to topple CoD except something similar to it, and BF is nothing like it.

    BF is the same BF as it was years ago.

    CoD is the same CoD it was years ago.

    They’ve gone in different directions and so have the people who play them.

    CoD players will always want something new, but BF hasn’t provided it so far, and I can’t see that changing any time soon.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Deacon

    Would someone care to point out to me the differences between CoD and BF? Singleplayer that is.

    I’m actually genuinely curious.

    The only thing I can gather, IMO, is that BF3 seems a bit more realistic in its narrative and set pieces.

    #15 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]