The folks over at CVG picked up an interesting note on our Activision-Blizzard overlords' 2008 fiscals. According to Arvind Bhatia, World of Warcraft probably generated 30 cents out of each 60 cents per share of earnings. Put another way, that's about $400 million for shares at the end of the fiscal year ending this past December.
Now, this is kind of the best guess of Mr. Bhatia, who works under the firm Sterne Agee. (And they certainly have a reputation that says we could probably believe them.) But even without Sterne Agee's reputation, a little back-of-the-envelope math shows that his analysis probably bears fruit. We already know that WoW has 11.5 million subscribers. At $15 dollars a pop per month, you're already looking at $172 million each month. But we know that a lot of folks have discount plans, and the charge isn't the same across the globe. I can easily believe a $400 million yearly earning from subscriptions, and am actually surprised it's not higher.
Of course, Bhatia has recently lowered some of his other estimates for ATVI, and warns that the consensus estimates predicting $5.2 billion in revenue are probably too high. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, this does say that World of Warcraft is doing just fine. We can feel free to threaten to quit over the latest nerf, the lights're going to stay on while we're out the door.