Activision’s Sales Got a Big Boost From Buying the Maker of Candy Crush
Videogame publisher Activision Blizzard reported a 50.4% surge in quarterly revenue on Thursday, propelled by the popularity of the newly-launched Overwatch game and the boost from the acquisition of Candy Crush maker King Digital.
Activision’s total adjusted revenue, which excludes deferred revenue and related costs, rose to $1.57 billion in the second quarter ended June 30 from $1.04 billion a year earlier.
“With Overwatch’s incredibly successful launch, Call of Duty‘s record first half performance, and Candy Crush‘s continued growth as key drivers of our overall performance, we delivered a record Q2,” Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said.
Activision (ATVI), best known for its Call of Duty and World of Warcraft games, released Overwatch on May 24 to rave reviews. The multi-player futuristic game now has more than 15 million players.
The success of Overwatch gave the Blizzard unit its biggest-ever quarterly online player community, with monthly active users increasing 13% to 33 million.
The company’s net income dropped 40% to $127 million, or 17 cents per share, mainly due to costs associated with the near $6 billion acquisition of King Digital in February.
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Activision said King Digital’s monthly active users declined to 409 million due to “seasonal trends and launch timing.” King is expected to release one more non-Candy Crush game towards the end of the year, Activision said.
King Digital games currently have no advertisements, but the unit’s head, Riccardo Zacconi, had in May raised the possibility of running ads on what he touted as one of the “largest untapped audiences for advertisers in the world.” King Digital has started experimenting with advertising in two games.
Activision also raised its full-year revenue forecast to $6.40 billion from $6.13 billion, and its full-year profit expectations to 87 cents per share from 69 cents.