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Activision Blizzard loses 1.1 million WoW players since May, triples profits


Today's investor call with Activision Blizzard was a rollercoaster of news for MMO fans, with both good and bad news coming forth.

Starting with the bad -- everyone asks to start with the bad news, don't they? -- World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers are much lower than they were this past May. The company reports that subscriptions have dropped from 11.4 million in May to 11.1 million in June to 10.3 million, representing a loss of 10% of the playerbase. These numbers represent the total worldwide, and Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that most of the losses were suffered in the eastern market. No matter where the losses come from, this continues the downward trend of the title during the past year. Blizzard declined to provide a subscriber forecast for the next quarter.

The good news is that the company has whooped expectations by nearly tripling its profit for the quarter over this time last year. During this past quarter, Activision Blizzard raked in $627 million worth of sales, of which $148 million is pure profit. A majority of the revenue -- 62% -- comes from its digital sales.

The company expects 2012 to be even better, with titles like Diablo III and another Call of Duty in the works. CEO Bobby Kotick is nothing if not confident in the company's future: "I believe our unyielding commitment to excellence and our creative talent around the globe will continue to position Activision Blizzard as the leader in interactive entertainment."

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