A few days ago Blizzard published their fourth-quarter earnings. After what has been a particularly rocky year, with their terrible apology for Hong Kong, staff layoffs, the hilarious "don't you have mobile phones" and awful release of Warcraft III: Reforged, I'm surprised their income isn't actually worse than it is. 

Despite WoW Classic dragging the long-standing MMO's subscription numbers up, with 32 million monthly active users, it's still down on 2018's 38 million. Here's the total active users for World of Warcraft, across both Retail and Classic, and not neccesarily subscribers.

  • 38M in Q1 2018
  • 37M in Q2 2018
  • 37M in Q3 2018 (Battle For Azeroth)
  • 35M in Q4 2018 (Layoffs)
  • 32M in Q1 2019
  • 32M in Q2 2019
  • 33M in Q3 2019 (WoW Classic)
  • 32M in Q4 2019 

What's also frustrating here, is that we don't actually know what the number of paid subscriber numbers are, especially considering Blizzard intentionally merge them, and fail to stipulate. Either way, revenues were - overall - down a fair bit. For the quarter ended December 31, 2019, net revenues were $1.99 billion, compared with $2.38 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Other information in the call includes:

  • World of Warcraft® exited 2019 with an active player community3 more than twice the size of its Q2-ending level.
  • Hearthstone® launched the Descent of DragonsTM expansion and rolled out the new Battlegrounds game mode in the fourth quarter, which drove sequential growth in engagement. Net bookingsB also grew sequentially for the franchise.
  • Overwatch®launched on the Nintendo Switch, further expanding a community that has surpassed 50 million players globally since launch.
  • In February, the Overwatch LeagueTM will return with 20 established teams from around the world competing in a homestand format with matches broadcast live on YouTube.

What's your thoughts on Blizzard and why they aren't quite gaining traction at the moment? 

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Last Updated: Feb 10, 2020

About The Author

Lewis is a long standing journalist, who freelances to a variety of outlets.