Red Dead Redemption ships 8 million, Take-Two profits flat, Max Payne 3 MIA

Western game hits new sales milestone as publisher names Undead Nightmare expansion a major hit; NBA 2K11, Civilization V also solid holiday players; next GTA missing from release calendar.

Nearly nine months after its release, the Red Dead Redemption money train keeps on rolling. Today, Rockstar Games parent Take-Two Interactive revealed the Western action adventure has shipped 8 million units to date, just under half of Grand Theft Auto: IV's total haul as of last June. The game's zombie expansion, Undead Nightmare, was also named as one of the publisher's biggest hits during its October-December quarter.

The Red Dead Redemption money train shows no signs of stopping.

Take-Two also reported its earnings for the aforementioned quarter. The company took in $334.3 million in net revenue, down 7 percent from the $360.4 million during the same period the year prior. Profits were $40.8 million, essentially flat from the $39.4 million in profits from the same quarter the year before.

That said, the bigger picture proved much rosier. For the nine months ending December 31, Take-Two's net revenue increased 80 percent to $954.6 million. Income during the period went from a $98.4 million loss to a $76.2 million profit year-over-year, thanks again in large part to Red Dead Redemption. Other major hits for the period included the quadruple platinum NBA 2K11, Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, and Sid Meier's Civilization V.

Looking ahead, Take-Two predicts it will take in $130 million to $150 million in revenue during the current quarter, with earnings totaling $1.08 billion to $1.10 billion for the year ending March 31, 2011. The company recently shifted its fiscal year, which used to end on October 31.

During the current quarter, the company's two major releases are Major League Baseball 2K11 and Top Spin 4. Looking out to the next year, the company plans to ship Duke Nukem Forever on May 3 and L.A. Noire on May 17. Beyond that, the just-announced Darkness II is due out in the fall, with Spec Ops: The Line and XCOM due out during the company's next fiscal year. Calendar 2012 will bring BioShock: Infinite, the sky-set semi-sequel to the popular first-person action series.

Missing from Take-Two's release schedule was any mention of Max Payne 3, the reportedly troubled next installment in the dark shooter series. Speaking with analysts after the report, Take-Two CFO Lainie Goldstein would only say, "There's no update on that title as of this time." Also missing from the schedule was any mention of the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series, which analysts don't expect until sometime next year.

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