'Call of Duty' drives Activision's quarterly beat, overshadows lower forecast

(Reuters) - Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI.O topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly adjusted revenue on Thursday, riding on the success of its blockbuster title "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare".

Shares of the company, which rose about 28% in 2019, were up about 3% after the bell.

Activision has been pushing for user engagement on its big-budget titles by offering free content, seeking to drive in-game monetization.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”, the best-selling game of 2019, according to data from research firm NPD, in December offered free content, including new multi-player maps.

The mobile version of “Call of Duty”, launched in October, was installed over 150 million times, the company said.

The company’s quarterly beat overshadows a conservative full-year adjusted revenue forecast of $6.73 billion, below the analysts’ average estimate of $6.92 billion.

Several Wall Street analysts had already predicted conservative initial estimates for the full year, in line with the company’s historical approach of being cautious with its outlook.

Total adjusted revenue came in at $2.71 billion for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, beating the analysts’ average estimate of $2.68 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to $525 million, or 68 cents per share, from $685 million, or 89 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 62 cents per share.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Vinay Dwivedi