Activision story updated with comments from earnings conference call.



) --

Activision Blizzard

(ATVI) - Get Report

topped second-quarter earning expectations Wednesday, boosted by strong sales of its core

Call of Duty


World of Warcraft


The company reported adjusted earnings of 10 cents per share, up from 6 cents during the year-ago period. Adjusted revenue rose slightly to $699 million from $683 million.

Activision depends heavily on its World of Warcraft franchise

Analysts were expecting earnings of 5 cents per share on revenue of $599.3 million.

"Our better-than-expected second-quarter performance was driven by record digital sales of our online-enabled franchises," said Activision CEO Robert Kotick in a prepared statement.

Activision also raised its fiscal year 2011 outlook, increasing earnings to 77 cents from 73 cents and revenue to $4.05 billion from $3.95 billion.

The second quarter is typically light for Activision, which historically has released a smaller slate of titles.

Activision is looking towards the third installment of its

Call of Duty


Modern Warfare 3

. Pre-orders for the first-person shooter game have "significantly exceeded" those of its predecessor,

Black Ops

, the company said.

Last year,

Black Ops

became the most popular video game in history

, topping $1 billion in worldwide sales less than six weeks after its release.

Activision is also banking on its new online service

Call of Duty Elite

on Nov. 8, which will integrate social networking components into the game for a monthly subscription fee.

Activision, which generates around 60% of its business from digital, said it is well-positioned for an industry-wide shift

as consumers shy away from packaged goods

and turn toward cheaper games played on smartphones.

"Gaming on the PC has never been more popular and the install base of smartphones and tablets is rapidly growing," Kotick told analysts on his company's earnings conference call. "We have the resources and capital and deployment capabilities that should allow us to leverage these strong and dynamic fundamentals to satisfy a stronger audience than ever before."

Shares of Activision jumped 4.5% to $12.35 in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the earnings announcement.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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