Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Post Strong Numbers (Video)

4:50 PM PST 11/08/2011 by Paul Bond

Rollout of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" to be accompanied by major marketing push that began with a "Monday Night Football" commercial starring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington.

The companies behind two of the biggest video game franchises each reported stronger than expected earnings on Tuesday and one of them, Activision Blizzard, raised expectations for the year.

Activision Blizzard said its Skylanders video game/toy-line hybrid is selling well, and it has extreme confidence that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released Tuesday, will be a hot item.

Bobby Kotick, the company’s CEO, told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that Modern Warfare 3 is accompanied by “probably the biggest marketing campaign that’s ever been done for a video game,” including a 90-second commercial starring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington that aired Monday on Monday Night Football. (Watch the video below.)

Activision Blizzard reported net income that rose 190 percent to $148 million on revenue that was up 1 percent to $754 million.

Competitor Take-Two Interactive Software said Tuesday that it lost $47.4 million during the most recent quarter compared to a $3.3 million profit a year ago. Revenue fell 56 percent to $107 million, though analysts predicted revenue of only $83 million.

Take-Two’s Rockstar Games studio a week ago released a trailer (see video below) for Grand Theft Auto V, though CEO Strauss Zelnick on Tuesday would not give a launch date for the game.

Both stocks rose in regular trading on Tuesday but fell during the after-hours session.

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