A friend I cannot name works for a major Australian bank as an actuary and share-wrangler. One of his jobs is to collect financial info from international sources to track stock market trends. His most recent North Korea report made mention of the dent Diablo was creating in other companies. NCSoft (makers of City of Heroes, Guildwars and Aion MMOs, and Mount and Blade) had sales drop 8% when D3 went live, and added in their report:
In its second day of releases yesterday, Korea PCcafe rankings revealed that Diablo 3 market share surged to previously unseen levels of 26%, up from 16% on the first day. Based on our visits to PCcafes yesterday, we think the Diablo 3 phenomenon will continue in the next few weeks placing further negative sentiment on NCsoft, which is expected to release Blade & Soul on June 27.
Meanwhile, Activision dropped 3%, partly due to resolution of a lawsuit, but also because of Diablo 3 errors. And in a sign of possible desperation, Blizzard was offering a free copy of Diablo 3 to anyone who prepaid for World of Warcraft for a year. WoW is beginning the big decline.
Do the money people know the score? You decide.