Analysts sound off on GTA delay

Greenwald calls slip "disastrous" while Pachter says management "stumbled badly," speculates that PS3 version was to blame.

It's not often that news of a game's delay is as big for the publisher as it is for the gamers anxiously awaiting it. But Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV is a hugely important title for Take-Two Interactive, and yesterday's announcement of its delay into next year has significant repercussions for the company.

A handful of analysts today responded to the news and what it means for Take-Two, and they expressed some substantially different points of view on the matter.

Nollenberger Capital Partners' Todd Greenwald called the news "disastrous."

"For investors who have endured a seemingly endless string of disappointments ('Hot Coffee' scandal, [Securities and Exchange Commission] investigations, District Attorney subpoenas, class-action lawsuits, earnings warnings, management/board turmoil, Manhunt [2] delay, to name a few), the release of GTA IV this holiday was their one last glimmer of hope," Greenwald told investors.

What's more, Greenwald thinks the worst might not be over for the publisher.

"Given the 20 percent drop in Take-Two's stock price in the past 2 weeks, and further 20 percent decline after-hours, we believe Take-Two's already long list of class-action shareholder lawsuits could lengthen, and may also draw the attention of the SEC, which is already investigating the company," Greenwald said. "Regardless, legal expense should remain a constant portion of the company's operating budget for some time to come."

Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter was similarly nonplussed with the company.

"Take-Two management stumbled badly for the first time during their tenure," Pachter said in his own note to investors. "While the delay of GTA IV was clearly not the fault of new management, we believe that it should have been better understood several months ago, and should have been communicated to investors much earlier than today. The game was scheduled for release in 10 weeks, and management reiterated its belief that the game would ship on time only three weeks ago at E3."

Pachter also offered his own speculation as to what the reason for the delay was.

"We think it is likely that the Rockstar team had difficulty in building an exceptionally complicated game for the PS3, and failed to recognize how far away from completion the game truly was until recently," Pachter said. "We think it is also likely that Take-Two had a contractual commitment to Sony that it would not favor competitor Microsoft by launching the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360 version."

While Pachter noted the delays of Manhunt 2 and GTA IV as evidence that Take-Two's "process for monitoring projects under development appears to be a failure," not every analyst was as harsh on the publisher.

In a note titled, "Christmas Delayed Until Spring," Janco Partners' Mike Hickey called the precipitous drop in Take-Two's stock price "an overreaction" to the news, adding he supports the decision to push the game back.

"The GTA franchise has consistently produced some of the highest rated and most enjoyed games in the industry," Hickey said. "A below average quality next-gen release from the GTA franchise could critically damage the franchise's future. We believe the additional development time will allow Rockstar to release the next-gen GTA experience gamers have been waiting for."

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725 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

It's hilarious looking back and seeing these funny comments from years ago blaming both the ps3 and 360 each for GTA IV's delay.   lol.

lfunccd
lfunccd

Rockstar's creative VP Dan Houser said that 360 is impairing the development of Grand Theft Auto IV in a interview with ign.

lucoque
lucoque

oh great here we go with microsofts tactics first off they no gta fans will get a ps3 for the upcoming gta game what do they do? they try and make the xbox 360 version better by getting 2 chapters exclusive to the xbox 360 they also made a deal that it gets released on the same day as the ps3 version now what? the game was delayed because it can't fit on a dvd9 disk and microsoft won't let it out on 2 disks so it takes months to compress a game so big of course they no the delay will affect ps3 more then the xbox 360 so of course they delay it because they have a reason to so what happens they ring up mr. pacher here and try and get the public to blame the ps3 for it because of the cell when its acualy the xbox 360's fault seems microsofts tactics have worked on a bunch of idiots some eg. Warghost2k commando611 lewisstarwars Myth999 ShadeZ and this is only on the current page i am looking at to get this clear to everyone this game is ready right now for both versions but microsoft does not want it on 2 disks so it gets delayed

Mandingo101
Mandingo101

we dont know which system was the reason for the delay, if not both. they said at e3 i believe that the 2 versions were no more than a week apart in development progress. he is just guessing as to the reason, that doesnt mean he is right as he is just an analyst ffs, and michael pachter at that. i think it is both platforms especially considering rockstar are making 2 other ps3 games right now so you would think they would have some extensive knowledge of the architecture, especially since they were the first devs to get the ps3 dev kits long ago

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

News like this proves the sad state of the video gaming industry. The truth leaked out that Sony had a contract with Take-Two that would not allow GTA4 to be released on ANY console until the PS3 version was released, because they feared having it available on Xbox360 would hurt the PS3's success. While this is true, it is unfair to make every 360 owner wait for yet another 6 months while the PS3 version of the game is completed. Undoubtedly, Sony paid Take-Two a huge chunk of change to make sure they were protected in the event of something like this happening. Bottom line is this: Publishers being paid to hold games from market is WRONG. Also, games available on only one or two consoles is WRONG. It's being done because these console giants are greedy and care more about selling you another $500 console than making sure everyone gets to enjoy a good game. The only exception is when a console would not be powerful enough to do a game justice (I doubt the Wii could handle GTA4's graphics). It pisses me off when I see a great game that everyone should be able to enjoy, but it's not available on a console that many people own. Why should they have to suffer or buy another console just to play one game?? /rant off

Nicolas00-0g
Nicolas00-0g

This is just the begin of he console wars. Sony must call more "soldiers" to win his war Let's wait to MGS 4, Driver, Syphon Filter (These PS3 exclusive) to see who will win. SONY, YOU WIN THE LAST TWO WARS, AND I HOPE THAT YOU WIN THESE WAR TOO !!!!!!!!

dead_god86
dead_god86

hmm, i heard it was the PS3's fault for the delay of UT3 too, they're finding it dificult to get the Unreal Engine 3 running smoothly on it. So, while the PS3 is (imo) the most powerful of the 3 "Next-Gen"(as they like to call the,) consoles, i believe the PS3 is actually rather crappy, the controls are crap, i was trying to play some racing game on it the other day, using R2 as teh accelerator, fine for an xbox, the design of the PS3 control, made my fingure hurt (note: not crying about my fingure hurting) all in all, sony sucks, had to wait 6 months for GTA:SA on PC, now this and UT3 as well, all sony's fault imo... ...PS: i'm sure teh delay will be worth it

jimmarn
jimmarn

i mean i read somewhere that PS3 will get some ++ for the HDD and the Cell's... i just can't remember what it was... anyone fresh up my mind? :P Was it more weapons or something? i can't remember and it bug's me :P

el_pablo65
el_pablo65

The fact is that Rock Star begged MS to make this game require a HDD and MS refused. That and the standard dvd limitation are the cause of the delay, 360 fanboys, not any difficulty in programming for the PS3. You cannnot seriously think Rock Star is going to have a problem programming for the PS3.

DON_DU
DON_DU

of all the games to be delayed why this one

mafiaso1
mafiaso1

gents . wats wrong wit u. Patience must be provided 2 everyone of u.i know it ll the game of all games .but we need 2 wait for excellence and perfection. and whoever says that the ps3 sucks is jealus cuz he ddnt get one. he thoght that the xbox is better.

horioricorious
horioricorious

so its the contractual agreement between sony and take 2 that you're all pissed of about, the one that is not letting the 360 version come out before the ps3 version? you people seem to be in the grey area of what is what. i'd sit here and argue about which is better, but ...

JigSawX
JigSawX

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dany_gamer_kid
dany_gamer_kid

sony had gta lcs and vcs,so xbox should have gtaiv. am i wrong???i really want this game on pc too

commando611
commando611

ps3 sucks..big time,they better give us a demo on the previous realise date..to make it up.

Rebel4lyfe06
Rebel4lyfe06

I kew this game coming out so soon was too good to be tru. Taegre is right there was no real info out on the game so why did we all think it would actually be released as promised. I just wish i would have known sooner so i would not have gotten my hopes up. Like they said i guess christmas is pushed back till spring....

Taegre
Taegre

well no it wasn't that much of a surprise. they had barely released anything about the game, and it was only 10 weeks away from being launched. They released a trailer and a few screenshots, but nothing about the story or the actual gameplay until gamespots tour of liberty city. but that was only an hour long demo. It seems they weren't anywhere close to being done with it

DON_DU
DON_DU

i don't know about yall but the delay was no surprise

Milan89
Milan89

THE PS3 IS CURSED!!!

xployt268
xployt268

well this sux just have to wait

muthsera666
muthsera666

What's the big deal about delays? I would much rather wait to play a great game that took longer to ensure that everything worked than a game that is rushed to retail.

joshyoung55
joshyoung55

Those that are saying that the delay is because of the 360 are fools. If you ask any game designer he will tell you that it is much harder to make games on the ps3 because they are blue ray.

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

It's not a slap in the face to xbox fans "Mush Mouth" i think it's because sony will lose ALOT of money because people will start to buy 360's just to get there hands on GTA because with the past versions of the game it is hard to avoid spoilers and rumor mills like "Big foot" (GTA:SA) "Drivable Sub" (GTA:VA) when it comes to the GTA series so if rockstar relase it all together Microsoft, Sony and Rockstar will stand to make ALOT of money.

Sparky2002
Sparky2002

exactly my friend M$ saw the game industry boom but there was never a threat to PC & Never Will Be.......... PC Is a System based on life Events & effects Learning Doing Reports Infomation Banking Buying goods General life & reality & Is Not Based on The user using Games & can never be replaced by a game system machine... Some peoples computers run 60% of there house hold appliances Light Alarms TV Recorders Steros... The Hub

justbecause0
justbecause0

if they released it for xbox360 on time they would have more been saving themselves trouble instead of favoring xbox (imo) .and actually sparky the reason microsoft released a console was because sony claimed that playstation would replace home computers and bill gates wasnt gonna let his humongous income level be threatened.

Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

Wow, how crappy that if ps3 owners can't have it, nobody can...it was already a slap in the face to xbox owners that the ps3 has NG sigma, and now this?

BruceLee16
BruceLee16

does this mean GTA4 won't be coming to the Dreamcast anytime soon? =|

Sparky2002
Sparky2002

lol shadez GTA Series owes SONY thier lives Without sony GTA 3d game series would not exist You should be down on your knees thankin sony this game even exists & no im not talking about the 2d top view games only the 3d Infact if sony did not do so well XBOX would not exist full stop.... only cause microsoft Smelt the money bags a mile away did they even both to make a console because of the PS for a big slice of that pie

ShadeZ
ShadeZ

Stupid PS3! I wish they'd just abandon trying to support that platform as well. If the X360 version is ready, ship it! Don't wait for a working PS3 version. Ahhh... whatever!

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

meh, they should give us a little something extra for the time we've waited. A bonus CD with upgraded versions of PAst GTA games would be swell.

soulsearch11
soulsearch11

Strike Viper said: "They could easily have just released the 360 version of the game and pushed the PS3 release date back." God, read the article you douche. The dude just said that "Take-Two had a contractual commitment to Sony that it would not favor competitor Microsoft by launching the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360 version." But I guess ur just such a smart fanboy that you know better than an analyst huh?..

Iceman_2049
Iceman_2049

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

LvL75CaveTroll
LvL75CaveTroll

wat stupid analysts, obviously caused by the 360 ...

Strike_Viper
Strike_Viper

Those 'analysts' are retards. The delay was MUCH more likely caused by the 360. The reason is that, in its current state, there is no way GTA IV will fit onto a single DVD9 disk. Early next year Microsoft are introducing some new compression technology that will make it possible. I think a few coding difficulties are much less likely to be the cause of the delay, especially considering Rockstar are bound by a contract to not release the PS3 version if the 360 version was not ready. They could easily have just released the 360 version of the game and pushed the PS3 release date back. Also, I read an interview in a magazine (admittedly a PS3 mag) where the developer they were talking to said it's not that hard really to code for the Playstation 3, it's just because it's more intricate so the developers get lazy. You can pretty much optimise a game infinitely with the PS3's cell processor.

Sparky2002
Sparky2002

Sony - Sharp Crisp Pictures Full detail Xbox - Blurrs Nice color softens out edges The Diffrence is Sony Makes images super shape but can Blare them XBOX Blurrs The Images & Edges a much softer edged apperence but can lose alot of small fine detail Really its all choice.. If the game graphics are really well done i prefer a ps3 for the fine sharp image if not very well done i would prefer Xbox for it would smooth it out to look better

Myth999
Myth999

Another reason why I wouldn't bother getting the PS3. Yeah, it's good that now R* have more time to work on the game but seeing some of the games that's on the PS3, it might look like crap.

Andrew0824
Andrew0824

Why is the PS3 so hard for developers to work on? This isn't the 1st time I've heard about this either. You'd think that Sony would know how to make a user friendly (for developers) console by now. I wish they could at least release the 360 version on time, but if they have contractual committments with Sony, I guess they can't.

bublinec
bublinec

mistakes like this will cost companys a lot of money but the biggest problem is going to be with sony with gta on the ps3 the sales of the ps3 would go up but with the delay of gta sony will have to lower prices and lose profit and make a mark for 2008 as for microsoft with games like halo 3 it is not hard to say that microsoft has beat sony in 2007

Alex071093
Alex071093

Eh, these things happen to video game publishers, some more than others. But still I can wait for it, even though its not like we have a choice...

lewisstarwars
lewisstarwars

shows how good ps3 is they cant take that xbox is much better

ace79
ace79

hey pmo98. these are pro's talking! you blok headed ape.

pmo98
pmo98

dddnt u guys read it it said both versions are dfelayed because it took longer than they thought not just the ps3 version both versions blok headed ms fans... "We think it is also likely that Take-Two had a contractual commitment to Sony that it would not favor competitor Microsoft by launching the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360 version."

gameOwl45
gameOwl45

Personally whatever the guys at Rockstar are doing I'm sure they are doing it for all the GTA faithful.

NeoJoe
NeoJoe

What Pachter had to say in regards to why the game was delayed was something that I had thought of also. If the PS3 version is way behind in development and R* only released the Xbox 360 version this Christmas, then Sony would have been buried. Who would have bought a PS3 this Christmas when you could buy an Xbox 360 with both Halo 3 & GTA IV exclusive?

JoseCuervo1979
JoseCuervo1979

It does burn Sony. They'dve more than likely got a good chunk of system sales to play the game on for christmas. I planned on buying in Oct. There will probably even be another system price drop now before the game has the chance to lure in system buyers. Fine for me, bad for sony.

Sparky2002
Sparky2002

Choice of words so i will sayy I dont favour greedy corps like the "M"ONEY "$"HOT M$ so i will stick with the little guy :) M$ is worse then a hooker M$ always out to make a quick buck.. its lucky the goverment depises monopolisation & incourages compition.. IF WE ALL WHERE M$ FANS THE WORLD WOULD LOSE IT SANITY PS I UPLOADED A VIRUS TO YOUR XBOX :) muhahaharr only jokin