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Activision Blizzard raises fiscal outlook

Call of Duty and World of Warcraft provides publisher with strong results in March 2010 quarter

Activision Blizzard has announced that it is raising its earnings per share forecast for its March 2010 quarter following a stronger-than-expected performance in the first three months of this calendar year.

Its results, which will be announced on May 6, are now likely to yield an extra 2 cents per share bringing the total to 49 cents on a GAAP basis.

"We are tracking ahead of our March quarter outlook due to strong global demand for Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft and Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "We benefited from the record breaking launch of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 map pack, which was previously expected to launch in the June quarter. Additionally, certain operating expenses previously planned for the March quarter will now be incurred in the June quarter."

But despite the good news - a commodity that's been relatively sparse in the industry for the past year - he remained downbeat on the next few months. "It is always helpful to begin a year with great momentum," he said. "However, we remain cautious about the economy and consumer spending and the fact that the majority of our games are not expected to launch until the fall."

Meanwhile the continuing fallout from the row between the former leadership of Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward and Activision appears to have claimed two more victims today, with lead animator Mark Grigsby and lead character animator Paul Messerly both reported by Kotaku as having left the studio.

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