WoW Classic and Call of Duty have led a better-than-expected quarter for Activision Blizzard

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

While revenues are down compared to the same period last year, Activision Blizzard's third quarter was better than the company had expected thanks to strong sales from the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty franchises.

Net revenues for the third quarter were a mere $1.28 billion, improving on the forecast of $1.10 billion. However, that is down from the same period in 2018, which saw $1.51 billion in net revenues for the company.

According to a financial report published Thursday, Activision Blizzard's main profit drivers were Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which grew "sharply" compared to Call of Duty: WWII, and World of Warcraft Classic. The WoW Classic launch saw "the biggest quarterly increase to subscription plans in franchise history," which is a remarkable achievement for a 15-year-old MMO.

Activision Blizzard's third fiscal quarter ended Sept 30, which means that the blowback over Blizzard's handling of Heathstone grandmaster Blitzchung isn't reflected in this report. Nor is the launch of Call of Duty: Mobile or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which Activision says is the best-selling PC launch for a Call of Duty title to date.