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Activision details new Call of Duty for China as profits climb

Micro-transaction online game set for new market; Q1 sales beat expectations as profits soar

Activision has reported profits for the first quarter of $503 million, up from $381 million for the same period last year. Sales were better than expected, up from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

The firm re-emphasised its commitment to its big budget franchises and revealed that a new Call of Duty game for the Chinese market will be based on a micro-transaction business model.

"With over $1.4 billion of GAAP net revenues and $0.42 of GAAP EPS our record first-quarter performance was driven by digital sales and the continued strength of Activision Publishing's Call of Duty and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft franchises," commented CEO Robert Kotick.

Digital content continues to represent a significant portion of our revenues and increased by about $100 million year-over-year.

Bobby Kotick, Activision

"Digital content continues to represent a significant portion of our revenues and increased by about $100 million year over year, enabling us to deliver record first-quarter operating margins and earnings per share.

"The Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike content pack shattered Xbox Live launch records, surpassing 1.4 million downloads in the first 24 hours alone, and Blizzard's Battle.net service continues to grow its service offerings. To date, Call of Duty: Black Ops players have logged more than 1.2 billion online hours of online gameplay."

For the quarter, Activision said that digital downloads of Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike were more than 20 per cent higher than downloads of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Pack during the compatible period.

In an investor call, the publisher said that this years big Call of Duty release would be one of "the best overall Call of Duty experiences to date" and that more solid details would be revealed in the coming weeks, as well as promising "the largest integrated marketing and retail campaign we have every invested."

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.