[Activision Blizzard 1st Quarter Investors Call]: Hearthstone’s Rise of Shadows engagement higher than the previous 2 expansions

hearthstone 4 - [Activision Blizzard 1st Quarter Investors Call]: Hearthstone's Rise of Shadows engagement higher than the previous 2 expansions

Just skipped through Activisions-Blizzards quarterly inverstor call

Some interesting tidbits:

  • Rise of Shadows drove engagement above the previous two expansions (implicit year to year decline)

  • No mention of yearly or quarterly revenue growth (which in the world of bullish financial reports indicates stagnation or decline.)

  • 32 million monthly active users across all Blizzard franchises (down from 35m last quarter). Average daily time spent is 50 min (up year to year)

  • They reiterated that they're increasing resources for both upfront content and live operations (+20% developers across the various franchises including Hearthstone). Still early into that strategy.

  • "Increasing the flow and frequency of compelling in game content and upfront releases is the number one goal set by the new Blizzard leadership."

  • One Hearthstone question in the Q&A:

Q (35:30): Thank you so much for the question. I just have one on Hearthstone. Teams like debts property (?) where bookings may have been declining for several quarters now. Is there anything specific to point to that's been driving that weakness wether that's competition in digital collectible cards or just the normal revenue curve for a game that's been very succesful over 5 years. Are you assuming any inflection in the Hearthstones trajectory following the launch of Rise of Shadows in April?


J. Allen Brack: Hearthstone is a great franchise for us. The game launched a little over 5 years ago and it's got over a hundred million players. We also feel really proud that the game has such a large, global appeal. You know for engagement in the game, it's moved around from year to year depending on the meta of the game, how the latest expansion is landing and resonating with the community and what the new features are that have been introduced into the game.

We DO think that Hearthstone can be larger in the future. We have a lot of confidence in the team, in the leadership of the team and in the kind of direction they're taking the game. We're adding more developpers into Hearthstone to create more of the content that the community really wants and we also have some ideas around innovation that we want to accelerate.

You mentioned Rise of Shadows, we launched that in April and we're really happy that it drove engagement above the previous two expansions. Throughout the rest of the year you'll contintue to see different things that we'll add to the game. The next thing up is our highly replayable solo adventure that's gonna come out this month and it's gonna have substantially more content than we've released in any previous PVE experience.

So overall we feel great about the surprises that the team has and the (unintelligible) hearthstone community.

PS: King's (Candy Crush) numbers are just insane (3 times the profits of Blizzards, 9 times the playerbase, still growing). No wonder Activision Blizzard is expanding into mobile (Call of Duty mobile later this year).

Overwatch Mobile when?

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