Guitar Hero IV, Call of Duty 5 in the pipe

Activision Blizzard confirms recently announced merger will not disrupt plans for new iterations in popular franchises.

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In a conference call with investors earlier today, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy fleshed out more specifics on the $19 billion deal that will join Activision and Blizzard into one of the largest third-party publishers in the world. While analysts reacted favorably to the nitty-gritty financial details, what most gamers are primarily interested in is the future of the two publisher's popular franchises.

For Activision's stable of franchises, at least, the future looks pretty much as expected. In an industry note parsing out the benefits of the merger, Activision Blizzard unsurprisingly revealed the Guitar Hero and Call of Duty franchises would each receive new installments. Aside from being confirmed as Guitar Hero IV and Call of Duty 5, no other details on the games emerged.

The two franchises have been a boon in recent months for Activision. After tallying $115 million in first week sales, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock went on to be the best-selling cross-platform game for the month of October. Likewise, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has enjoyed both critical and commercial success, contributing to Activision's premerger upward revision of its 2008 fiscal outlook.

Activision Blizzard also reaffirmed that a game featuring the James Bond license was in development, Bizarre Creations was still at work on a racing title, and new Tony Hawk, Marvel, and DreamWorks titles were on the horizon.

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