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Boosted by global demand for some of its biggest titles, video game maker


(ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report

beat both its own and Wall Street's forecasts in its first-quarter results.

For the March quarter, Activision posted revenue of $981 million, comfortably beating its outlook of $860 million. Excluding charges, the games manufacturer enjoyed sales of $724 million, well above its prediction of $550 million. Analysts had forecast sales of $593.28 million.

Activision, which was still in the throes of its reverse merger with


this time last year, did not offer a year-over-year comparison, but comfortably beat earnings estimates.

The firm reported earnings of 14 cents a share, well above its own estimate of 8 cents a share. Excluding charges, the video game specialist earned 8 cents a share, beating its forecast of 3 cents a share and analysts' 5-cent estimate.

"Our better-than-expected first-quarter results were driven by strong global consumer response to the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft," said Richard Kotick, the Activision CEO, in a statement.

The news pushed Activision's shares up 31 cents or 2.82%, to $11.31 in extended trading.

During the second quarter, Activision expects to release three games with tie-ins to major movies:

X-Men Origins


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


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. The company will also launch


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for the Nintendo DS.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, which competes with

Take-Two Interactive

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Electronic Arts


, also raised its outlook for the fiscal year. Activision now expects sales of $4.3 billion, up from its prior estimate of $4.2 billion.

For the second quarter, Activision expects revenue of $1 billion, well above Wall Street's estimate of $848.4 million.

The video game maker's results suggest that the sector may be


after the

economic slowdown


gamers' wallets


Electronic Arts recently


its own fourth-quarter losses, and also promised a stronger fiscal 2010.