Poor Duke Nukem sales offset L.A. Noire success for Take-Two - Analyst

Wedbush's Michael Pachter lowers revenue expectations for publisher, cuts sales expectations in half for Gearbox and 3D Realms' long-awaited first-person shooter.

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Critics weren't the only ones disappointed by Duke Nukem Forever. In a note to investors today, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter lowered his expectation for Take-Two's quarterly revenues, saying a sluggish performance from the long-awaited first-person shooter more than offset stronger-than-expected sales of Rockstar's latest L.A. Noire.

Nukem sales didn't explode like Pachter expected.

"We had previously expected Duke to be one of the year's top sellers due to a high degree of hype and a dedicated fan base and expected solid profit contribution as the bulk of development had been previously expensed," Pachter told investors. "However, the game's poor reviews (average Metacritic score of 49) likely had a negative impact on sales, causing us to lower our [first quarter] sell-in estimate to 1.5 million units from 3 million units."

As for L.A. Noire, Pachter had expected the game to ship 3.5 million copes, but last month's Take-Two announcement of roughly 4 million shipped caused him to readjust his numbers. However, the extra half-million copies of L.A. Noire couldn't offset the expected shortfall from Duke, so Pachter revised his revenues estimates for Take-Two's quarter to $350 million, down from $375 million. Take-Two's own guidance to investors was set in the range from $325 million to $375 million.

Despite Duke, the analyst emphasized that Take-Two has "the fewest 'misses' in terms of game quality over the last two years," and expects the publisher's future to be particularly bright. Pachter has penciled in Grand Theft Auto V for the publisher's next fiscal year, with a holiday 2012 release window likely. Last month, a source told GameSpot the fifth entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise is receiving final touches, with a 2012 release likely.

Discussion

196 comments
GamerNerdTalk
GamerNerdTalk

@NeilCardiff Wow I could not have said it better myself. Good work man

jhpeter
jhpeter

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NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@jhpeter [quote]Duke Nukem is not for kiids indeed.[/quote] I'm an adult and I think Duke Nukem is extremely childish and simplistic. I also agree with Infinity_Gauntl that your accusations of bribery are ignorant tin-foil hattery at best. [quote]@Infinity_Gauntl, grow up kid and learn how to live with others opnion.[/quote] You sound like the one having a tantrum because someone said something you disagree with not Infinity_Gauntl and if you don't like my opinion then tough.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

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jhpeter
jhpeter

For Pc critics the game is ok, but for videogame ones, they should look for the kids, Rape Lay is not a videogame title too, but PC. Duke Nukem is not for kiids indeed.

jhpeter
jhpeter

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Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Yeah the Duke sucked really bad. It wasn't just the gameplay (which was terrible), The outdated look and style of the game ( which was old trailer trash), the enemies movements ( which made crisis 2 look like the mona lisa of AI) , The stupid humor (which was so brain dead and padantic except for the scene where he stats he'd have sex with an alien....so yep. ** and as far as @jhpeter comment ** "videogamecritics or always thinks like babysitters or are paid by the dems for censure it." ** thats about as stupid as the game itself. Why sir out of ALL the games,Porn,Movies in the world would the "Dems" really pay to have this piece of crap censored? I really doubt the "Dems" pay off parts of the media to Censore anything.

SHERNEE
SHERNEE

I don't know why everyone one was so excited for this game. I can understand the nostalgia of playing an awesome game from back in the day revamped but the graphics looked crap right from the start and it was pretty obvious.

killlo
killlo

I knew it was going to suck! But everybody else was like "oh my god its going to be epic!" Yeah EPIC FAIL.

DeathEaterR
DeathEaterR

note to pachter: the reviews sucked cause THE GAME SUCKED. SURPRISE!

jhpeter
jhpeter

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Hurvl
Hurvl

"Nukem sales didn't explode like Pachter expected" Oh no, what are we going to do! That has never happened before. Something must be terribly wrong if Michael Pachter is wrong. Where has the world gone to when one know-it-all can't predict the thoughts and purchases of everybody.

T-_-K
T-_-K

When i first played the game i thought they were fooling around at first but then i realized that the game was crappy, What a year first fallout new vegas and crysis 2 then dragon age 2 and now duke nukem.

CornelMosneag
CornelMosneag

This is why file-sharing becomes so popular. It protects honest hard working people from being conned by greedy jerks who spend all their funds in overhyping garbage rather than improving it.

TTDog
TTDog

Crap game doesn't sell well shocker. I figured there was something dodgy when there was a total absence of reviews prior to the games release... never a good sign.

theslimdavylp
theslimdavylp

It wasn't the poor reviews 2k! The game sucks! I planned on buying it... all you have to do is play the demo... no need to read reviews

jollybest1
jollybest1

this is why a gamer should be a sales analyst ...because they will actually play the game and will expect as much as the game deserves in this case duke did from my point of view better than expected......

B3ckett
B3ckett

I couldn't force myself to continue playing DNF after the first stages. It's a terrible game in overall and I'm angry at myself for buying it (for old times' sake with Duke in the 90s).

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I'll be honest, the game was terrible. It might have been okay if it had come out when it was originally supposed to, but the game design hasn't aged well. I don't blame that on Gearbox, and I think a sequel will be much better since Gearbox will be entirely responsible for it rather than just finishing it like they did with DNF. Frankly, I'll be a little ashamed of gamers as a whole if DNF even sold 1.5 million copies when there are much better, smaller games out there that could use some love.

method115
method115

Yes the game I was reffering to was Prey one of the best FPS I've ever played. Wasn't to long (some FPS got on a little to long and can get boring) and there was so many little things that made it amazing. The base gun you would get would have an eye ball pop out periodically and would connect to your own eye when zooming in. The levels that didn't involve FPS were interesting and fun but not to long either and fit well with the story. Can't wait for the sequel I hope they concentrate on the little things like they did in the first.

demonic_85
demonic_85

I bet it sold like hot cakes on PC though cause we know a good game :D

gamer767
gamer767

GTA V better be good... IV was meh

mos2000
mos2000

Pundit favorites like Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 aren't that much over 1.5 million - so why this article's tone like the title was a complete failure?!? For gamers you either like it or you don't. It's split pretty much down the middle. 1.5 million sales guarantees a sequel in most cases. By all indication from Gearbox, there will be one - case closed....

krawk_ck77
krawk_ck77

Duke Nukem should be Retired, that game was great in its days! Now there is a new Age Halo Rules!!!

alfaresalasmar
alfaresalasmar

q8madness the problem with the game is some naughty scenes sand flaws with the programing wala shrayek???

halorocks123
halorocks123

I can L.A. Noire totally blowing Duke away. It was an okay game but Noire was way better. @supersoldier Dude, Halo was one of the best games ever. Go stick your head in a toilet.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@q8madness What? The game isn't buggy or anything, what would they fix? I mean, it's not like they can just change the whole game, if that's what you're getting at. @StJimmy15 You seem to have missed the problem. It's not , it's a game that belongs in 2005. It's seriously outdated, not broken.

suprsolider
suprsolider

Duke wasn't that bad, seriously I have played far worse aka HALO. It's a Duke game what the hell did people want the most revolutionary game in existence.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

I knew the second it was announced that it would be shoddy... Just didn't know it would be THIS shoddy.

JOKER677
JOKER677

Mike Patcher is an IDIOT, he just shows that ANYONE can be an analyst. To 2k, I 'd like to thank you for finally releasing Duke. Stop complaining, this is what happens when the game jumps to multiple studios just be glad that they finally released it.

q8madness
q8madness

send my comment to 3D Realms, READ THE COMMENTS AND FIX THE GAME. People waited for this game, I have been waiting for this game like I'm waiting for 1000000 $, AND NOW, AFTER THE COMPANY RELEASED THE GAME, WE SEE THIS S**T???? please, if anyone can fix this game, then do it ASAP. Thank you.

contentxcontext
contentxcontext

not exactly a shocker, no one iv'e spoken to seems too happy with the whold duke situation. Although unlike most people im actually hoping for another new game, just to see something built for todays players from scratch.

thelegendlives5
thelegendlives5

To each his own, you are apparently wrong though, and yeah a game that manages to sell 1 copy shouldn't really cost more than $10 to make.

CliveWinston
CliveWinston

It doesn't work solely that way, if that were true you would have to admit that if only 1 copy was sold, the game cost $10 to make. I stand by my precious statements

thelegendlives5
thelegendlives5

@CliveWinston Apparently you are the one who didn't get it. Out of the $60, around $9 is spent on marketing, and $10 are R&D $19x1.5 million = $28.5 million or in this case $30 million for cost, so: Retailer: $12 Sony, or Microsoft: $12 Marketing: $9 R&D: 10 The rest is profit, so the $17 doesn't include, that is already accounted for in R&D and Marketing, those are the only costs. Making DVD's and manuals and shipping is accounted for in the $19 not the $17. So actually they made $25.5 million pure profit, so they should be happy that their crap game is actually getting them money.

CliveWinston
CliveWinston

@endorbr I never claimed his math was solid, just that you both were arguing different numbers, he was trying to fund sales figures thinking that units was revenue, and you were stating sales volume of the projections. Neither number is actually something you would want to argue with.

CliveWinston
CliveWinston

Take-two is the publisher. Their take home is $17 per unit sold, but they are the ones who incur all of the costs of making the game, in this case $30000000. Now, since it cost them that much money to produce, they originally thought it would sell 3 million copies; 3000000 copies x $17= $51000000, giving them 21000000 dollars in profit. Now, they are cutting their sales estimate in half, to 1.5 million copies sold, so 1.5 million copies x $17= $25.5 million dollars, which gives a defecit of 4.5 million dollars. If the game sells more than projected, great! But as of right now, not only is it a critical failure,but a financial one as well. The reason this is big news is that shareholders were expecting 21 million dollars in profit, but are now being told that a 4.5 million dollar defecit is more likely, which is going to drop take-two's share price, and affect the entire company.

endorbr
endorbr

@CliveWinston - I understand that the developer isn't getting to keep anywhere near all of that $60 from each unit. I was merely trying to point out that @lithus was mixing up units of sale and dollars per unit.

boarwar
boarwar

anyone who did buy this....probably sold it by now, even if they played through a second or third time. Spraying gold paint on a turd still makes a turd. 5 years ago this game might have done...OK at best. But to say they "expected 3 million units" is crap, like the quality of the game

boarwar
boarwar

Way to count your chickens before they hatch. Did your analysts happen to see the game they were making? The first duke was better then this. Hype can sell movies because they are shorter to sit through if they suck balls. A bad videogame....ill snap that disc before i finish it. I dont understand why they are so butt hurt and surprised...the game looked cheesy and crappy before the reviews, and the reviews say you fight 3-4 enemy's at a time MAX....what are we, 5 year olds? Heavenly sword had 500 on screen this is a slap in our face, no challenge no sale

CliveWinston
CliveWinston

@thelegendliveson5 Sales volume is not profit. Ad this article is about the publisher's announcement to shareholders, so therefore the $17 is the number that would be used since all 60 dollars doesn't go to the publisher! It's not me who isn't understanding what's going on here

thelegendlives5
thelegendlives5

@CliveWinston Ok I don't really get what's so hard here or what we're missing. 1.5 million x $60 = $90 million, subtract $30 million in cost and you get profit. The $17 for the publisher. The rest of the $60 million probably goes to retailers, Sony, and Microsoft.

Iffy350
Iffy350

The last two games I bought were Serious Sam HD 1&2 but that was because of an 80% off steam sale. This economy might have more to do with LA Noire's lack of sales. Also, this last E3 was a downer. A lot of anticipated games were a no show at E3 this year and the games that did show weren't that spectacular. I want my new MechWarriors! Edit: Actually LA Noire performed better than expected.

Takeno456
Takeno456

Duke proves that hype and fan boyism doesn't always turn into big money. One more thing lets just pretend that CoD doesn't exist because then my previous statement is laughably wrong.

racerx719
racerx719

DNF clearly seperated the old school players from the new ones..and those with brains and those without for that matter.. I've played the game through.. nothing impressive.. By no means is is a Crysis 2 or COD Black Ops.. The WHOLE PURPOSE of its existence is purely nostalgic.. If you played/bought this game thinking you were about to experience some epic graphical FPS.. You clearly need to stop drinking the kool-aid

CliveWinston
CliveWinston

The 17 is pure profit after the developer has been paid off. That still only adds up to 25.5 million, and the game cost approx 30 million. That is also a number based on their new projections, it is more likely that the actual number will be lower. Like I said before, technically the game as a while profits as soon as it makes $30 000 001 but that is not a real return, in order to be a financial success, it has to make them money, and yet they are still in the red! I don't know how you can call that successful, in order to be a real success, it should make 45 000 000 dollars. And Alan wake is differerent, it didn't have super negative reviews causing sales to drop by half of what was projected! As well, he says a couple million, meaning equal or greater than 2 million, and they haven't even projected DNF to sell that!

simon1812
simon1812

I kind of agree soccerj75 , I didnt buy the game but but I played the demo and I thought it was very fun, true it isnt a serious shooter if you are expecting something like Halo,CoD,BFBC2, or GoW. but DNF is just fun that doesnt take itself seriously, I ll buy it as soon as the price drops.

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

I played DNF. It is the worst game I have played yet this year, and I have played Hunted, Bulletstorm, and the new Red Faction. Duke Nukem 3D remains as the best Duke Nukem experience.