Activision Blizzard has excelled expectations by posting revenues of $981 million for its first quarter in 2009, along with profits rising to $189 million, all driven by a strong slate lucrative franchises such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.
Those figures had smashed analyst expectations, as well as the group’s own revenues target of $860 million.
The publisher also provided figures which excluded revenue deferred from online-enabled games, such as monthly subscription income from World of Warcraft, yet even here the group saw Q1 revenues at $724 million and net profits at $111 million. Analysts expected $598.5 million for the quarter.
Despite this, the publisher has once again posted a conservative outlook for Q2, expecting revenue (again, excluding deferred sales) to be at $775 million, while Wall Street foresees the group hitting $840.6 million.
For the entire year, however, Activision Blizzard had raised its financial outlook by $100 million in total revenues to $4.8 billion.
“For the quarter, we were the number one third-party console and handheld publisher in North America and the number one third-party publisher for the Nintendo Wii platform worldwide,” said CEO Bobby Kotick, citing data provided by the NPD Group, ChartTrack and Gfk.
Kotick added that the group plans to release its “strongest video game slate, based on some of the industry's most profitable franchises.”
“Our better-than-expected first quarter results were driven by strong global consumer response to the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, despite challenging economic times,” he added.
Due to the timing of the Activision Blizzard merger, the company could not provide comparisons to last year's first quarter.