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Activision Raises Outlook On CoD, WoW Success

Activision Blizzard has announced "better-than-expected financial results" for the quarter ended March, with $981 million in revenue and $189 million in profits, once again led by brands such as Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft.
Activision Blizzard has announced "better-than-expected financial results" for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, with $981 million in revenue and $189 million in profits, once again led by brands such as Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft. The results, which significantly outpaced analyst estimates, had an alternate version, taking into account financial deferrals for online games such as World Of Warcraft. But these calculations were still positive, with $724 million in revenue and $111 million in profit. According to the company, Call of Duty and Guitar Hero remained two of the top-five best-selling franchises in the U.S. and Europe. In particular, Guitar Hero World Tour was the #1 best-selling third-party title in the U.S. across all platforms in dollars, according to The NPD Group. In the U.S. and Europe, Guitar Hero World Tour was the #1 best-selling third-party title in dollars for the Nintendo Wii and the only third-party game to rank as a top-five best seller for the platform, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk. The company is positioning its three aforementioned franchises as the key ones to its continued growth. Activision's Robert Kotick commented, following the positive results: "During the remainder of the year, we plan to release our strongest video game slate, based on some of the industry's most profitable franchises." He added: "We are raising our calendar year 2009 financial outlook. Additionally, we expect to deliver record calendar year non-GAAP operating margins of 25%." For the quarter ending June 30th, Activision Publishing expects to release three games inspired by theatrical motion pictures, X-Men Origins, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, as well as Prototype, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, and Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits for the Nintendo DS. For calendar 2009, Activision Blizzard is raising its financial outlook by $100 million for both online revenue-deferred and regular revenue numbers, up to $4.3 billion and $4.8 billion respectively. Gamasutra will have more information from Activision Blizzard's financial earnings call in the near future.

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