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Activision Blizzard posts big sales, but Call of Duty fails to connect with fans

In its latest financial earnings release, Activision Blizzard announced record-breaking revenues despite Activision's biggest shooter stumbling on the sales front.

In its latest financial earnings release, Activision Blizzard announced record-breaking revenues despite Activision's biggest shooter stumbling on the sales front.

Blizzard's class-based multiplayer hero shooter Overwatch, which reached 25 million players globally over 2016, was a major highlight for Activision Blizzard's year, helping drive revenues to a record $6.61 billion for the year ended December 31.

Those sales are up 42 percent compared to 2015, with Candy Crush-maker King, which Activision acquired during the year to flesh out its mobile game strategy, contributing to that growth.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick noted the strong performance of Blizzard's Overwatch, and said mobile advertising tests through its King mobile division show potential for further revenue growth.

Activision Publishing's massive Call of Duty franchise had a less-than-stellar performance. 2016's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare wasn't specifically mentioned in Activision Blizzard's earnings press release, but in a conference call, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirschberg conceded that the latest entry failed to resonate with players.

Earnings for the year were $1.28 per share, up from $1.19 in the previous year.

For the quarter ended December 31, revenues were $2.01 billion, up from $1.35 billion for the same quarter a year prior. Earnings for the quarter were 33 cents per share, up from 21 cents.

As the company becomes increasingly focused on digital strategies and games as a service, Activision Blizzard highlighted its 447 million monthly active users during the quarter, driven by its mobile unit King.

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