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‘Call of Duty: Black Ops III’ Drives Activision to Solid Q4 Earnings

Revenue of $2.12 billion is down from projected $2.2 billion but earnings per share of $0.83 meets expectations

Activision met Wall Street expectations, reporting earnings per share of $0.83 Thursday. The number is lower than the $0.94 earnings a year ago.

The “Call of Duty” maker also reported revenue of $2.12 billion, which missed the projected $2.2 billion, and is down from $2.21 billion a year ago.

“With our expected closing of the acquisition of King Digital later this month, we will have the largest game network in the world, with over 500 million users playing our games every month,” CEO Bobby Kotick said on a call following the earnings report. “Our entertainment franchises, including ‘Call of Duty,’ ‘World of Warcraft’ and soon ‘Candy Crush,’ will reach people on mobile, console and desktop devices in almost every country in the world.

“This gives us the opportunity to engage our global audiences and create revenue streams from content and services. Our esports initiatives, enhanced by our recent acquisition of Major League Gaming, allow us to reward our players around the world for their dedication and investment in our games,” he continued. “We expect to generate approximately $6.25 billion in revenues and over $2.0 billion of operating income in 2016 and we will have over 9,000 of the most talented people making, marketing and selling great games around the world.”

During the call, the company also confirmed that the sequel to Activision’s newest game franchise, “Destiny,” will not be released until 2017.

In November, Activision Blizzard launched Activision Blizzard Studios, a film and TV unit set to develop the gaming company’s huge franchises including “Call of Duty,” “Diablo” and “Candy Crush.”

The first project from the new unit will be an animated series based on the company’s “Skylanders” game.