The company blamed the loss on charges related to its merger.
Without those charges, the company earned 7 cents a share while analysts expected 4 cents. Adjusted revenue was $717 million, crushing the company's guidance of $620 million.
The company also affirmed its full-year guidance and authorised a $1 billion stock buyback.
As well as noting the stunning success of Guitar Hero, Activision noted strong sales of games based Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Star Wars, and executives expressed enthusiasm for upcoming games based on such movies as Transformers, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Monsters vs. Aliens.
According to Reuters, Activision Blizzard shares soared 11 per cent to $12.14 in after-hours trading when third-quarter results were announced.