More Hearthstone Revenue Speculation

Because two posts aren’t enough!

Actually, the real reason is because during the comment back-n-forth with Syncaine, Wilhelm mentioned something I had never realized before: Blizzard actually does post revenue numbers for just World of Warcraft. You can follow along at home by navigating to the Activision Blizzard Investor page and the Q4 2014 Excel document entitled 12-Quarter Financial Model. On the Rev Mix by Platform tab, you get the following (edited) table:

Numbers.

Numbers.

The asterisk indicates that “Online” revenue solely has to do with WoW related subscriptions and services. So for 2014 WoW raked in $1.035 billion. Interestingly enough, this point of reference allows us to flip back to the NR and OI by Segment tab, which breaks down total revenue for just Blizzard (again, chart edited):

More numbers.

More numbers.

Apparently you can get a much easier summation of the above information from this PDF, which I only realized after the fact.

So, for 2014 Blizzard made $685m in non-WoW revenue. For the curious, those non-WoW figures were $319m in 2013 and $538m in 2012. As far as I know, only the Diablo 3 expansion and Hearthstone were notable releases in 2014, although obviously there is X amount of revenue coming in from incidental sales of D3, Starcraft, and such.

I was unable to find exact figures of total Reaper of Souls sales other than 2.7 million copies in the first week. Assuming $40 apiece, that lowers Hearthstone’s possible share by another $108m at a minimum. If the opening paragraphs of D3’s Wikipedia page can be believed, the original game has sold 15 million copies. Combined with news that D3 + expac sold 20 million altogether as of August 2014, that pushes the Diablo portion to $200m, minimum.

Going back to what we know, the Hearthstone revenue formulas are thus:

  • [Hearthstone] = $850m – [$500m+ Destiny], or
  • [Hearthstone] = $685m – [$200m+ non-WoW]

Incidentally, most of the Destiny reporting says it achieved $500m in revenue on Day 1. That’s not actually true – there was $500m in shipped product, but only $325m in actually-sold games in the first five days of release. Or about 5 million units, physical and digital. There are two near-as-we-can-tell figures that incorporate all of 2014: VGChartz’s 9.3 million units and 13 million unique players as of Christmas. Depending on how charitable you wish to be, that range is either $558m to $780m (@$60/copy), or $604.5m to $845m (@$65 average/copy). Which means Hearthstone is anywhere from $292m to… er, $5m.

I think I heard Syncaine fall off his chair from here.

All told, I still feel it’s entirely possible that Hearthstone made at least $100m in 2014, if not $200m. That’s a quite a reduction from my earlier post vis-a-vis $350m for Hearthstone, of course. And I’m fine with that in light of this new information; if I’m factually incorrect, then I will acknowledge it and move on. My only real horse in this fight is the ridiculously specious argument that A) Hearthstone is a mobile port, and B) it’s not that successful. Not only does current reality defy A, in terms of B it’s entirely possible Hearthstone (eventually?) outstrips Magic: the Gathering in yearly revenue.

Either way, not bad for a card game that came out of nowhere.

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Posted on February 11, 2015, in Hearthstone and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Isn’t there another way? If non-WoW was 538m in 2012 and 685m in 2014, then that means hearthstone has to be at least 150m. Otherwise, you’d be left concluding that Reaper is actually more revenue than original D3, which is impossible. In reality, even if original D3 is all that 538m in 2012, Reaper is going to be somewhat less (auction house shutdown impacts it even more) which makes Hearthstone’s share larger.

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  1. Pingback: Hearthstone is Blizzard’s first non-hit, that’s important | Hardcore Casual

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