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Diablo III to sell 5 million in its first year, says analyst

Friday, 16th March 2012 10:16 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Diablo III will sell 5 million units in its first year on sale, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz has predicted following the announcement of the game’s worldwide release in May yesterday.

“Our street-high FY12 EPS estimate of $1.05 assumes first year unit sell-through of 5MM for Diablo III, and assumes that over 1MM of the units incorporate the World of Warcraft ‘annual pass’ deal which allows WoW players who commit to a one-year subscription to receive Diablo III for free,” he said in a general Activision note, published by CVG.

Blizzard confirmed a May 15 global release for the long-in-development RPG yesterday.

Cruetz also predicted a 2013 launch for the next big thing from Bungie a 2014 Titan launch from Blizzard.

“We expect three Blizzard titles to ship over the next twelve months (Diablo III, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria); we expect the new Bungie title to ship in 2013; and we expect Blizzard’s new MMO to ship in 2014.

“We also expect Call of Duty to maintain its dominating FPS leadership position, and we believe that the company has a great opportunity to build on its initial success of its Skylanders franchise. Finally, World of Warcraft Western subs continue to appear to be stable vs. year-end levels. We think ATVI shares can outperform the market by 20% over the next 12 months.”

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14 Comments

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  1. Judicas

    He’s wrong about diablo 3 I think based on the annual pass to WoW. Some stores here in New Zealand who always open at midnight for Blizzard games were going to open for diablo but currently are unsure due to he amount of cancelled preorders due to getting the game free with the annual pass. They had enough preorders to justify opening at midnight, but not anymore.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. viralshag

    I think if it reviews well it will hit that target by the end of a year. I imagine it will sell close to 3 million within the first 6 months to be honest. A minimum of about 2 million at launch.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    I’m not sure reviews are going to do a lot. Most reviewers will probably be just as hyped as the players, so they aren’t going to slam it.

    And certainly for me, even if it gets slammed, I still have that “Blizzard reverence” which means I simply have to pick it up – And if people say it’s shit, then I’ll still have to see it to believe it.

    I really doubt that it’s going to be though. I wasn’t blown away by the beta itself, but it does seem to have some very sound fundamentals and a lot of imagination put into the gameplay. I’d be surprised if it sucked.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Oh yeah, I mean this (and GW2 imo) are too hyped to review badly. I’m sure we’ll get the token 7.5 or 8 from someone, whereas all the rest will be 9s and 10s.

    I still think stella review scores will help boost the sales for all the people that aren’t the day one D3-fanatics.

    It’s a sure-buy for me regardless of the review scores too.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. El_MUERkO

    It’s given to everyone who has a WoW account and 2 is massively popular, I think they’re underestimating a bit.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. deathgaze

    Hello analyst-that’s-not-Pachter. I think it’s fashionable right now to be bullish on Blizzard.

    The thing that really blows me away about Diablo 3 is not how much fun it is — but make no mistake, I think it’s hella fun. What blows me away is the staying power demonstrated by the beta. I’ve played every class to level 12 two or three times already and the game is still fun as hell. Every time I pick it up there’s a new weapon find or new skill combination to try out.

    People will be playing this game for years. I am sure it will get a very warm reception at launch and have no doubt that the success of this game will be measured in millions.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    It probably will sell by the shed-load despite ActiBlizz no doubt pumping a ridiculously inflated price on the product.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @5

    It is only given to those that are doing the year contract not very every single subscriber.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    Im not going to buy this for the same reason I never bought Mass Effect 3, I don’t agree with some of the decisions made on the industry side so im refusing to purchase.

    Im sure it will be great, im sure Mass Effect 3 was great. Just not great enough.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    Mreh. Still not interested in this.

    I mean… it’s essentially being developed by a bunch of unknowns, which in and of itself is an unknown quantity. Before the Blizzard fans reply with fan rage (as we all know they will, sigh), keep in mind that Diablo was never developed by Blizzard.

    Hold your finger, bucko. Don’t hit reply.

    It was developed by Blizzard North, a separate dev studio from Blizzard. It would sort of be like Bethesda parting ways with ZeniMax, and then ZeniMax making a new Elder Scrolls game. It’s a bit like that. Blizzard North shared a name with Blizzard, but that was it.

    They were a completely separate studio, and when they parted ways with Blizzard, Diablo died. Pretty much dead. See, a work is related to the people who were responsible for it. Once you bring in a new group of people to work on something, it’s rarely ever as good.

    Anyone remember ArcaniA: Gothic IV? Yeah.

    But here’s the interesting thing: Blizzard North left because Blizzard was becoming too commercial, they had too much publisher pressure to make things in exacting ways rather than being able to do their own thing. After that point, Blizzard North split up into two groups.

    These are names you may just be familiar with:

    Runic Games
    ArenaNet

    That’s right. The people behind Diablo now work at those developers. One of them is working on Guild Wars 2 (which is looking incredible) and the other is working on Torchlight II (which is also looking pretty damned nifty). To be honest, Torchlight II thus far seems much more true to Diablo than Diablo III does.

    Diablo III pretty much seems like single-player WoW from my time with it.

    Torchlight II however?

    Yeah, my money’s on Torchlight II for being the better game.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Maximum Payne

    @10 Agree but Torchlight still look cartoon-ish and even Diablo 3 is more ”dark” then that.Good none the less

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    @10

    You do know that when WOW success was just hitting its stride that Blizzard was just about to buy up Blizzard North and Blizzard North in all of its entirety was going to become Blizzard but Blizzard dropped them like a hot tamale. I am talking the paper work all drawn up and everything and Blizzard didn’t follow through and sign their part.That’s when Blizzard North split up to do their own thing Arenanet and Runic. Don’t romanticize that they didn’t want to be commercial it just Blizzard had left them like an unwanted step child.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    And, the Diablo III team has Jay Wilson (lead designer on Dawn of War) and Leon Boyarsky (art director and designer on the original Fallouts and Troika Games).

    They’re not exactly retards.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Edo

    Yeah,let’see how will the auction house and online even for single player work out,not to mention the fact that you can’t pause the game(da faq)!

    #14 2 years ago