Activision had their Q1 2011 earnings call today and it didn't paint an amazing picture for World of Warcraft. They posted $357 million in revenue and $170 million in operating income, an increase from last year. However, with a lack of Cataclysm in China they are down to 11.4 million subs, down from October of last year when they announced 12 million. Combine this with the lack of new raid content and the people that are burned out from playing for so long and you can see why they took a small hit. The results from the quarter after Cataclysm's release in China may tell a different story. Take a look at the not updated yet chart below from MMOData.

On the plus side, he does mention "increased player engagement and higher daily concurrency" and the availability of the various microtransactions in China. The losses may also be due to loss of players to other new MMOs, Kotick saying "It isn't the first time though that we have strong competitors into the MMO market. What we have seen in the past is, we tend to see our players leave for some period of time, try out the new MMOs and then good percentage of them historically have returned to World of Warcraft. So, so far I haven't seen anything to indicate this will be different.".

As always, he wouldn't comment on player churn in Cataclysm, but he did say that players are going through content faster than ever before, indicating that churn is not where they would like it to be. Morhaime gave a nod to Facebook when talking about games coming to the consoles, saying "I think Facebook has done an exceptionally good job of introducing interactive entertainment to customers, who in the past never actually engaged in game playing of any kind".

Hopefully the population stabilizes after the influx of players that came back for Cataclysm or got the game for Christmas. The full transcript can be found on MorningStar.

Kungen "Retires"

It appears Kungen has finally quit, he accomplished a good deal of raiding when he played, and the community is mostly sorry to see him go. The full story is on Manaflask.

Fake Tilt Shift

Someone over on Reddit posted some nice attempts at making WoW Screenshots look like the popular Tilt Shifted pictures, take a look!

Written by Michael 'chaud'
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