With the first half of the year over with, Activision has emerged as the number-one third party publisher, beating out the previously unstoppable Electronic Arts. Activision took home $397.8M in sales between January and June, meanwhile EA took in $365.7M for the same time period. The Guitar Hero franchise is cited as being responsible for the kick in sales for Activision, already becoming a billion-dollar franchise for the company after only two iterations. Likewise, sales of Spider-Man 3 also helped greatly.

But don't expect that lead to last, seeing as how EA's largest franchises are all scheduled for release in the second half. With NCAA Football 08, Harry Potter, Madden NFL 08, FIFA Soccer 08, Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed: ProStreet, Rockband, SKATE and Medal of Honor: Airborne expect to see Activision left behind by a wide margin for the second half of 2007. For reference, some of the notable titles EA put out in the first half included: NBA Street HomeCourt, Command and Conquer 3, Def Jam: ICON, The Sims 2: Seasons, and Godfather: Don's Edition.

"We've never been better positioned as a company to take advantage of the growth in the video game industry," said Bobby Kotick, Activision's longtime chief executive. "For 17 years, I've focused on becoming the No. 1 video game company, and we're getting a lot closer to achieving that objective."

"Activision is doing a lot of things right," said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities. "They're growing really fast, and they're being opportunistic."

"When that deal was done a year ago, a lot of people were scratching their heads," said John G. Taylor, managing director of Arcadia Investments Corp."Now, there are champagne corks popping at Activision. They early on identified the potential for putting out an easy-to-use, really fun music game. And they were able to push the boundaries for who can play to just about every age category, from old beatniks to kids who love to rock out on Aerosmith," he said.

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