BioShock 2 delayed to '10

[UPDATE] CEO confirms 2K Games' 360, PS3, PC dystopian action-RPG will now launch during first half of next year; new multiplatform GTA in doubt for fiscal 2010.

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With BioShock 2 just four months away from its previously announced November 3 release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, Arkane Studios made the somewhat surprising announcement last week that it had been tapped to lend design, animation, and art work on 2K Games' dystopian shooter. As it would turn out, the French developer is going to have more than just a handful of months to assist 2K Marin, 2K Australia, and Digital Extremes on the production.

This Big Sister, for one, is not happy.
This Big Sister, for one, is not happy.

Take-Two Interactive today announced that it has pushed BioShock 2 into its 2010 fiscal year, which begins November 1, 2009, and runs through October 31, 2010. According to the publisher, BioShock 2 was delayed "in order to provide additional development time for the title." As the game would have secured retailer purchases before its November 3 consumer street date, Take-Two had previously considered BioShock 2 as a part of its current fiscal year.

Unsurprisingly, Take-Two also took the opportunity to lower its revenue projections for the remainder of its current fiscal year. The publisher now expects to bring in $120 million to $130 million during its in-progress quarter, with fourth-quarter sales revised downward to $350 million to $400 million.

For the full fiscal year ending October 31, Take-Two expects revenues of $960 million to $1.0 billion, with a per-share loss of $0.80 to $0.95. Previously, the company had expected to take in $1.05 billion and $1.15 billion dollars in revenues, a number that was itself revised after Take-Two delayed Mafia II and Red Dead Redemption to its fiscal-year 2010 in May.

"We recognize that our revised outlook for the balance of fiscal year 2009, due to both internal and external factors, is a disappointment," Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said in a statement. "That said, we concluded that moving the release of BioShock 2 into fiscal year 2010 was the right decision for the product. We believe the result will be a more compelling consumer experience and a better performing product in the marketplace. At the same time, near-term retail conditions have proven to be more challenging for our business than the assumptions built into our prior outlook."

Following today's announcement, Take-Two held a conference call with investors to discuss BioShock 2's delay and its ramifications on the publisher's fiscal-year outlook.

"We believe the value of the BioShock franchise will be maximized in the long term by taking this step," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said as part of today's conference call. Zelnick also said that today's revision was partly due to softness in the publisher's baseball business.

"Our goals for fiscal 2010 include operating the company on a profitable basis without the release of a new Grand Theft Auto multiplatform release," said Take-Two CEO and president Ben Feder. Feder also confirmed that BioShock 2 is expected during the first half of calendar year 2010.

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