What happened 

Shares of video game giant Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) outpaced the market last month, rising 15% compared to a 0.4% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally pushed the stock well ahead of the market and rival Electronic Arts so far 2018.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

So what

Investors are becoming more optimistic that Activision will dominate sales charts during the upcoming holiday season. EA had to delay its Battlefield V release last month, which means Activision's newest Call of Duty: Black Ops title will face a less competitive market in the critical weeks leading up to Black Friday. The video game developer also appears to have a strong contender in the battle royale genre that's set to release in the next few weeks.

Four young adults playing video games.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

A big launch for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 might lift Activision's results above the 2018 outlook that CEO Bobby Kotick and his executive team issued in early August. Beyond that, shareholders are looking forward to continued growth in sales and profits as Activision bolsters its deep portfolio of gaming franchises while benefiting from the digital spending shift that's turning video games into recurring revenue generators.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool recommends EA. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.