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All Work and No Play for Activision Blizzard

A strong business plan can count for more than a great product, even if you're selling video games.

Activision Blizzard just presented pleasantly positive sales and profit numbers for its first quarter of 2010, driven mostly by the acclaimed Call of Duty game franchise. The $1.3 billion of net sales was a 33% improvement over the year-ago period and GAAP earnings more than doubled to $0.30 per share.

The latest Call of Duty title scored some important wins: It was the best-selling game from an independent game publisher this quarter in both Europe and the U.S., and a related expansion package broke records in download volume when it was released for the Microsoft Xbox 360.

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