Last night, Blizzard announced shocking revenue growth with strength across its product lineup (except WoW). Activision Blizzard stock is up over 13% today. Congratulations to everyone who didn’t sell the stock recently like this stupid kitty.
Here are some highlights from the Blizzard earnings release for the second quarter of 2015:
- On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s net revenues were $759 million, as compared with $658 million for the second quarter of 2014.
- “Our audience size and the total amount of time people spend with our franchises continue to grow. In the second quarter, our monthly active usersB grew by 35% year-over-year, and the time our communities spent playing our games grew by 25% year-over-year”. – Bobby Kotick
- Destiny now has over 2 billion hours of gameplay since launch, which amounts to an average 100 hours of gameplay for each of Destiny’s over 20 million registered players.
- On April 2, 2015, Blizzard Entertainment launched Blackrock Mountain(TM), the second Adventure for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The release of Hearthstone on iOS and Android smartphones followed on April 14, 2015. Key engagement metrics, which were already very strong, nearly doubled year over year, largely on account of the new content and new platforms.
Yesterday I watched the Microsoft presentation at Gamescom. Here are some of the highlights:
- XBOX One will be updated with Windows 10 in November.
- Microsoft Cloud has 20x the computing power to stream a game than an XBOX One.
- XBOX One will also receive DVR capability, so you can record shows from TV and store on an external hard drive. You can schedule on the go, and all shows on this DVR can then be streamed to any of your Windows 10 devices. This is coming in 2016.
- Microsoft showed a DirectX12 demonstration. DirectX12 is just one of the ways Win10 was built for gaming. In Windows 10 you can record and share your favorite clips with a built-in game DVR, no special hardware or software.
- Built-in XBOX app in Windows 10. Voice and text chat, PC to console. Start game on one device, continue on another. Cross-buy feature. Anything you purchase can also cross-play. You can play on either Windows or XBOX platform, stream from PC to anywhere in home network.
- Scalebound. A new action RPG, on foot or on the back of a dragon. You play as a guy with draconic powers in search of a dangerous artifact. You play with a companion, except your companion is a ridable dragon that fights and talks with the main character. I’ve recently lamented the fact that dragons are too often just plain big monsters in video games, so this is a nice-looking change.
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A new side scroller with heavy RPG elements. Simultaneous release on XBOX One and Windows 10, and gamers on both platforms can can play together.