Activision Blizzard beating $860 million Jan.-March target

Recession can't stop World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero as publisher says sales are tracking better than previously announced projections for its fourth fiscal quarter.

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While Activision Blizzard has yet to release its earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, positive results are a safe bet. Today the publisher said that due to its games' better-than-expected performance at retail, revenues and earnings for the quarter are both looking to best the company's previously announced projections.

Not even global poverty can stop the music.
Not even global poverty can stop the music.

In February, Activision Blizzard told investors it was aiming for $860 million in revenues with an earnings per share of $.08. The publisher opted not to give new projections or any indication as to how far it expects to exceed those totals.

While no specific products were credited with the sales boost, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick issued a statement saying that the worldwide response to the Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and World of Warcraft franchises remains strong despite the challenging economic environment. He added that performance also bodes well for the company's upcoming lineup, which includes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 23), Prototype (June 9), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1).

In other Activision Blizzard news, the company today announced that it is switching World of Warcraft partners in the Chinese market. Previously the publisher had entrusted the game's operation in that market to The9, but going forward it will be licensed to NetEase. Activision Blizzard and NetEase are also working together on Warcraft III and Starcraft II for the Chinese market.

Activision Blizzard is expected to release its detailed results for the quarter ended March 31 sometime next month.

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