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

Activision

(ATVI) - Get 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

Vivendi

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

and

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

. The company will also launch

Prototype

, a new third-person action game,

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits

and

Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits

for the Nintendo DS.

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

Take-Two Interactive

(TTWO) - Get Report

and

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

, 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

rebounding

after the

economic slowdown

reached

gamers' wallets

.

Electronic Arts recently

narrowed

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