Red Dead redeems Take-Two earnings, ships 6.9M

Publisher more than triples quarterly sales to $354.1 million; L.A. Noire officially delayed to first half of next year.

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Take-Two is riding a little higher in the saddle thanks to the success of Red Dead Redemption. Today the publisher released "significantly better than expected" financial results for the quarter ended July 31, saying the critically acclaimed open-world Western had sold-in 6.9 million copies to retailers worldwide.

With shipments nearing 7 million and more DLC on the way, Red Dead Redemption won't be riding into the sunset for some time to come.
With shipments nearing 7 million and more DLC on the way, Red Dead Redemption won't be riding into the sunset for some time to come.

Company-wide, revenues for the quarter totaled $354.1 million, more than triple the $94.9 million in sales Take-Two posted for the same quarter the previous year. It also posted a net profit for the quarter of $5.9 million, a dramatic improvement from the $56.5 million loss it chalked up for the same period of 2009.

The numbers were so positive that Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick believes the current fiscal year will mark the first in almost a decade that Take-Two has posted a full fiscal year profit without the benefit of a major Grand Theft Auto release. To accomplish that goal, the company still has a ways to go before the October 31 end of its fiscal year. Through the first nine months of the fiscal year, Take-Two is still running a net loss of $11.2 million. Despite that, the company is at least heading in the right direction; at the same point of its last fiscal year, Take-Two was running a net loss of $116.9 million.

Beyond Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two said sales were led by Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto IV, NBA 2K10, and Borderlands. Digital distribution is also a focal point for the company, as Feder said that the publisher has multiple new Borderlands and BioShock 2 add-ons in development, in addition to the already announced slate of Red Dead Redemption content.

The news of Red Dead Redemption's sales success wasn't surprising, but neither was the news of a delay for Rockstar's L.A. Noire. Originally announced in 2005, L.A. Noire is now expected to see release sometime in the first half of calendar 2011.

While the silence surrounding the Team Bondi-developed project caused some to assume it wouldn't be making its original October deadline, word of L.A. Noire's delay first emerged from analysts and retailers last week. Take-Two CEO Ben Feder said in a postearnings conference call with analysts that the company showed the game off to a great reception at a recent GameStop manager's convention and expressed confidence that the extra time will result in another critical and commercial hit for the company.

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