Developer Activision Blizzard's reported first-quarter revenue and profit have beaten analysts' expectations, driven by surging demand for its popular Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 video game and newly acquired Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment. The company reported revenue of $1.46bn (more than £1bn) in its earnings report on 5 May, while analysts had forecast around $1.3bn.
Known for its popular series such as World of Warcraft and Skylanders, the game company said Call of Duty is setting new records for in-game content or DLC sales. However, it did not disclose its sales numbers for the title.
According to research firm NPD Group, November-released Black Ops III was featured in the list of 10 most sold physical video games in the US from January to March.
In late February, the video game giant bought King Digital for $5.9bn, a promising venture that has already paid off. Activision reported King drew in about 23% of adjusted revenue in the quarter. With the addition of King's gamers, Activision now boasts 544 million monthly active users, more than three-fourth of which come from the mobile game maker.
Revenue from digital channels came in at a quarterly record of $926m, up 59% year-over-year, and represented 64% of the company's total revenues.
The company also said 42 billion hours were spent playing and watching its games over the last 12 months.
Bolstered by a positive start to the year, the company looks poised to have a big 2016 with its several major releases coming up.
Its new highly-anticipated multiplayer game Overwatch is set to release on 24 May. In August, World of Warcraft will be getting its massive sixth expansion, Legion, on 30 August. The latest instalment in the modern combat shooter series - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - is slated for release on 4 November. They are also relaunching a remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which first debuted in 2007.
The company is also looking to boost its engaged base of gamers by tapping into the quickly rising eSports market, valued at $747m. In January, Activision acquired the veteran eSports organiser Major League Gaming (MLG) for $46m as part of its goal to become the "ESPN of eSports."