Diablo 4 is Blizzard's fastest-selling game of all time

Diablo 4's Lilith
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

In case there was any doubt (and I'm pretty sure there wasn't, but just in case), Activision Blizzard said in its latest financial report that Diablo 4 is Blizzard's fastest-selling game of all time, and helped the company reach $1 billion in net bookings (that's total sales, basically) in a single quarter for the first time ever.

Revenues earned by Blizzard grew by more than 160% year-over-year in the second quarter thanks to the release of Diablo 4, Activision Blizzard said, while its operating income more than tripled. Diablo 4 has also sold more copies than any previous Blizzard game at the equivalent stage of release. 

More than 10 million people played Diablo 4 in June, adding up to more than 700 million hours of playtime. Activision expects that commitment to the game will continue well into the future. 

"The launch of Diablo 4 marks the start of a live service plan designed to deeply engage the Diablo community and create opportunities for continued player investment," Activision Blizzard said. "July 20 sees the release of Diablo 4's first quarterly season, Season of the Malignant, bringing new themes, content, and fresh gameplay to the community. Blizzard’s teams are also making strong progress on expansions that will deliver major new features and continue the game’s acclaimed narrative for many years to come."

Diablo 4's launch was indeed a big moment. The servers were surprisingly stable, and for a few weeks it seemed like everyone you knew was playing. As more players have managed to finish the campaign, though, some of that enthusiasm has given way to frustration, disappointment, and, frankly, boredom. The prospect of Diablo 4's first season doesn't seem to be improving anyone's mood: A big pre-season update that arrived yesterday seems mainly to have unified the player base in unhappiness. The blowback was sudden and strong enough to prompt Blizzard to announce a "Fireside Chat"—a developer stream, in other words—"to talk about it" on July 21. In spite of all of that, though, Diablo 4 is—at least at this relatively early point—the biggest thing that Blizzard has ever done.

Interestingly, the success of Diablo 4 also appears to have had a positive impact on Diablo Immortal, the free-to-play mobile and PC game we got last year that was summarily rejected by longtime fans when it was announced in 2018. Activision said that after the launch of Diablo 4, Diablo Immortal's net bookings reached their highest level since January.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.