Activision Blizzard reports better-than-expected earnings

Activison has reported better-than-expected earnings for its Q1 2013, but remains cautious about the hurdles that still lie ahead for the rest of the year.

The publisher brought in net revenues of $1.32bn during the three month period that ended March 31st. The result was a 13 per cent improvement over the same period in 2012, and 14 per cent higher than Activision’s projections.

Activision also showed a marked year-over-year jump in net income from $384m to $456m – an increase of nearly 14 per cent.

The firm’s earnings were driven by impressive sales performances of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III, Skylanders Giants and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Heart of the Swarm was particularly impressive, as it was the top-selling PC game in North America and Europe during the quarter – despite the fact that it was only available for three weeks of the three month period.

While Bobby Kotick called it a solid start to the company’s fiscal year, the CEO still warned of the challenges still to come in the company’s calendar 2013.

"While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter," Kotick said in an investor release regarding the results.

Activision’s fall launch of Skylanders Swap Force will have to do battle against Disney Interactive’s Disney Infinity; while its November release Call of Duty: Ghosts is expected by the company to have a poorer sales performance compared to Black Ops II.

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