Videogame publisher gets boost from 'Duty'

Vidgame publisher Activision Blizzard beat Wall Street estimates with its first-quarter earnings, driven by strong sales for the “Call of Duty,” “Guitar Hero” and “World of Warcraft” franchises.

Company, formed by the merger last year of Activision and Vivendi’s game operations, delivered net income of $189 million on revenue of $981 million. The company raised its revenue target for the calendar year 2009 to $4.3 billion and earnings of 24¢ per share, compared to its previous outlook of $4.2 billion and earnings of 22¢ per share.

Execs said “Call of Duty” and “Guitar Hero” ranked as two of the five bestselling vidgame titles in the U.S. and Europe during the first quarter.

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