September 9, 2012
World of Warcraft is Activision Blizzard's crown jewel. The game brings in recurring sales and has a huge user base. However, since 2010 the company has seen a rapid deterioration in that user base, as it has slipped from 12 million to around 9 million today.
In the following video, Senior Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker looks at the region driving most of the losses: China. While Activision receives less revenue per user in that region, as the billing model is different and the game is licensed through NetEase, the sheer number of users makes the region very important.
One potential catalyst for stemming the high level of defecting Warcraft players in the region is the release of the newest expansion, Mists of Pandaria. While the Chinese government had held up past expansions because of "objectionable content," Mists of Pandaria already has approval. With the game's U.S. release date of Sept. 25, the approval from the Chinese government should pave the way for a release in the country near the same time. To see Eric's full thoughts on Activision and World of Warcraft, watch the following video.
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