Take-Two gets a lump of coal for holiday quarter

Publisher reports sinking sales and mounting losses, talks BioShock 2, big delays, PS3-360 differences, and DLC release windows for GTAIV; All-Pro Football benched.

The big news surrounding Take-Two Interactive these days has been Electronic Arts' publicly announced bid to acquire the company. Despite that, the company's latest financial results are giving gamers other tidbits to talk about, including confirmation that the newly established 2K Marin is working on BioShock 2, and that the company's upcoming Borderlands and Midnight Club: Los Angeles games have been delayed.

For the company's first fiscal quarter of 2008 (the three months ended January 31), Take-Two Interactive posted revenues down about 13 percent to $240.4 million from the same period the year before. The company also lost more money for the period, falling $38 million short of break-even instead of the prior year's first-quarter net loss of $21.5 million.

Take-Two explained the sales shortfall by saying the previous year's first quarter had more new games released in time for the holidays. Of this year's crop, the biggest sellers were BioShock, Carnival Games, NBA 2K8, and various Grand Theft Auto games (including the Japanese launch of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2).

Despite the combination of slumping sales and worsening losses, Chairman Strauss Zelnick said in a statement that the company was "pleased with Take-Two's stronger than expected top and bottom line results." He attributed that to the company's "diverse range" of strong sellers like Carnival Games and BioShock, and emphasized that Take-Two is looking forward to Grand Theft Auto IV, which releases April 29. In a conference call with analysts, Take-Two CFO Lainie Goldstein said that Grand Theft Auto IV preorders and initial feedback on the game have also been better than expected.

Grand Theft Auto IV launches the day before Take-Two ends the current second fiscal quarter, and the publisher offered sales projections today that underscore the impact it is expected to have. Take-Two Interactive is expecting earnings per share of $1 to $1.10 off of second-quarter sales of $450 million to $500 million. For the full year, Take-Two is projecting sales of $1.25 billion to $1.4 billion, with earnings per share of $1.35 to $1.55. The company finished its last fiscal year with a total of $982 million in sales.

The release of Rockstar's open-world urban action game is being looked forward to by gamers and Take-Two shareholders alike, and there are some questions about the game that both groups share. In the conference call, one analyst asked about differences between how the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will play. Zelnick responded that the two editions of Grand Theft Auto IV will be identical, except for a "slightly warmer color palette" on the PS3 edition and the exclusive downloadable content set for the Xbox 360 game. As for that downloadable content, executives said to expect the first episode in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year (August-October 2008), with the second episode arriving by the end of October 2009.

As for other sequels from the studio, Take-Two revealed that it has sequels "to some of Rockstar's AAA titles" in the pipeline for the company's fiscal 2009, which runs from November 2008 through October 2009.

Zelnick was also asked about the decision to move BioShock 2 to the newly established 2K Marin from the original development studios of 2K Boston and 2K Australia, and whether or not the original game's creative director Ken Levine would be involved in the sequel. While the game will be made primarily by 2K Marin (which was established by a core of 2K Boston developers who worked on BioShock), Zelnick said that Levine and 2K Boston would be contributing to the title but would also be working on a new intellectual property. If those are the only projects Levine and co. are working on, that suggests earlier rumors about a 2K Boston-developed remake of X-Com were false.

Take-Two also had news for a few of its other franchises. After Carnival Games on the Wii proved a surprisingly strong seller last year, the publisher is extending the brand. By the end of October, Take-Two plans to ship a DS version of Carnival Games, as well as a Wii-exclusive spin-off, Carnival Games: Mini-Golf. As for last year's franchise debut of All-Pro Football, it apparently didn't make the cut. When asked about the absence of a football game on the company's release schedule, Take-Two execs said it had been taken off the slate, but they were continuing to weigh their options.

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Discussion

90 comments
Jbentkowski2
Jbentkowski2

EA is a greedy giant comprised scum. They dont need to get any bigger. And GTA 4 would suck on Wii with it's weak graphic engine anyway. P.S. By "weak graphic engine" i mean the Wii's graphics engine, not GTA 4's

porphyrous
porphyrous

All I need to know about GTA4 is that it won't be published on the Wii. Idiots. Idiots who deserve to be taken over.

grahamo1
grahamo1

north america isn't the only area of habital land on the planet. who teaches these people geography

etramleinad12
etramleinad12

Exclusive content or not, when this game comes out its going to shake the world. Or some parts of North America.

Krazy-K
Krazy-K

I'm I getting this right, so the PS3 won't be getting ANY downloadable content?

Savorak
Savorak

So, as I browse through the comments, I notice that there are a large number of people who feel the need to express an opinion on which platform GTA plays best on. I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion but I object to the slandering of this great series by claiming that the original home is on the playstation. Anyone who is a true fan of GTA and has played ALL of the games can tell you that the one true home of GTA was and always will be PC!!! P.S. All you people b*tching about how "Oh, I hope the DLC is cheap, or free, or I'm not going to get it." Upgrade your fracking computer and download off the net like the rest of us.

blackace
blackace

I knew All-Pro Football was going to bomb. The game started out at $49.99 and in less then a month it was selling for $29.99 or less. It wasn't a bad game, but because it didn't have the real current NFL players, most people didn't bother with it. I wonder what they are going to do about the NCAA College Hoops game this year. They didn't get the NCAA rights, so we'll probably be playing College Hoops 2K8 again this year as well.

rijahs
rijahs

@The-Joint Sorry to disagree with you on "ps3 version will be boring online"... Things have changed a lot at PS3 online, my friend... You'll find it more enjoying now than it was before...

majestikk
majestikk

I was actually looking forward to buying the PS3 version and playing it with the new Dualshock 3, just for the simple fact that I've been playing the entire GTA series on my PS2 anyway. However... I'm curious about the exclusive Xbox 360 downloadle content. The idea of playing different "episodes" for a GRAND THEFT AUTO game sounds to good to ignore.

speedjunkie4
speedjunkie4

Sydwynder said: Hey Take Two please take this suggestion: Make a CFL football game to fill the football game gap. Up here in Canada, we love our CFL and it would be a surefire hit. Seriously....... Hey, great idea! I'm from canada too, and i would love a CFL game!

The-Joint
The-Joint

ill get it on 360, ps3 version will be boring online,

denolitions
denolitions

borderlands got delayed? well at least i'll have GTA4 to keep me company

black_awpN1
black_awpN1

Am I the only one whose getting the PS3 version over the 360 version. I dont care about DLC and I like Warmer colors.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I'm getting the 360 version for sure. DLC isnt mandatory, but at least i'd like to have the option should i choose to buy it.

InfinityMugen
InfinityMugen

Soon I will get my hands on GTA 4. I hope there isnt any issues with that game.

InfinityMugen
InfinityMugen

Soon I will get my hands on GTA 4. I hope there isnt any issues with that game.

Flobba
Flobba

But DPumbli, the only reason that all the GTA games have been on Sony consoles is because they were cheap enough to pay for exclusive rights to it for 3 years, so if Microsoft want to buy the exclusive content then their entitled to... without being called 'cheap'

valdarez
valdarez

This story is incomplete and misleading as it leads reviewers to believe APF2K9 is canceled, which it isn't (there's just no release date for it yet). Take Two made a good decision to turn down EA's offer. Check out Motley Fools article on EA's Highway Robbery Attempt - Motley Fool Article

OMGitsZAL
OMGitsZAL

Does anyone know how much the DLC will cost? I'm getting the PS3 version, for sure. The DLC content doesn't bother me, as it comes out around the same time as LBP, which I'll be on for a long time. ;)

normsta
normsta

Well i own a ps3 and 360 so i don't really care but, i'm going to support sony on this one i'm getting the special edition for the ps3 and since i hacked my 360 i'll just download the 360 version for the DLC. :P

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

i dont like this " DLC" thing , unless its free of charge

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

man this is sad news 2K makes a great football game if only there were a way around the EA hogging the exclusive rights to the NFL....then maybe we would see a better Madden instead of a tweak to the highlight stick every year.

rijahs
rijahs

Just waiting for the game to be released... If this looks good as promised I will be grabbing one for the PS3...

DPumbliQ
DPumbliQ

WeMakinBakon: Because, some people like the PS controller more and don't actually care much for DLC..... GTA is one of my favorite series, I just hate the fact that MS decided to be cheap and pay Rockstar for extra DLC and try to attract the GTA fans to their side, PS consoles has always been the base consoles for GTA's...... :(

Santhin
Santhin

I honestly think GTA is on its last legs as a series. I don't see the next one as performing up to the hype set up for it. It'll be a fine game and sell well, but it won't be enough to pull Take 2 back up.

WeMakinBacon
WeMakinBacon

I dont understand why, after all of the hardcore GTA followers have been doing their business on the Playstation consoles, they would have exclusive downloadable content for the XBOX360. What are these episodes anyway? I think that XBOX only owners are lucky enough just to get this title on their console. Glad i have both in this case.

bamfer3
bamfer3

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

bamfer3
bamfer3

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

tig1979
tig1979

Will EA never stop until they own the whole gaming market, sad sight to see for us gamers EA trying to buy everyone out

BEGameAngel
BEGameAngel

@Pablo620 Your right, the PS3 has almost no (AAA) games.. i mean CoD4 is the best they can get.. and that isn't an exclusive one either, gogo release Bioshock on PS3! I'm happy that i bought a 360 when it came out.

mcbride69
mcbride69

the first dlc episode has a good release date, give people just enough time to play the full game, but the second being in august 2009 is disgraceful way too long!!! and if thats a dead cert then it best be good, long and cheap

smarb001
smarb001

yes, 360 owners rejoice! Exclusive GTA4 DLC and Bioshock 2, coming your way!

mangepenge
mangepenge

though pablo microsoft paid to have bioshock developed, so thats no likely to happen

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

Who the hell cares about warmer color palettes? Is he joking or what? DLC is coming only for 360 and that is looking for sure.

stooge_01
stooge_01

hmmmmmm i think is kinda crap that the ps3 version gets a warmer colour and 360 gets exclusive downloads.... oooooooooo warm colour WTF i want the downloads!!!!

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

this is what happens when you give out minigame games to wii merry xmas rockstar/take-two give us gta this wouldnt happen

Merl57
Merl57

just wait for GTA IV

R3DN1N3
R3DN1N3

Bioshock 2........I don't know..... I loved the 1st one alot. For the sake of gamers and the title itself, they better make a great sequel.

Birdman1333
Birdman1333

I know I will be given the thumbs down, but I couldn't finish GTA3 on XBOX because the graphics were so bad. It was a "no love given" port of PS2. Gameplay is most important but GTA3 was N64 quality graphics.

Pablo620
Pablo620

Hey Take Two. Want to make more money? Make Bioshock for the PS3. Thats guaranteed to sell.

vix
vix

Over a year wait for the second ep of dlc for the xbox? granted i'm getting the ps3 version...but for real...over a year??

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

Hey Take Two please take this suggestion: Make a CFL football game to fill the football game gap. Up here in Canada, we love our CFL and it would be a surefire hit. Seriously.......

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

im buying both versions , one for ps3 and one for 360 ,,

FourtyCal
FourtyCal

Bordelands & Midnight Club? WTF!

senjutsu
senjutsu

It's sad that R* accepted the bribe from M$. Still, I hope for x360 users that they will be good. :D

valdarez
valdarez

I run the 2k Football Strategy website, and All Pro Football 2K9 is in development. The last part of that story is EXTREMELY misleading as it only talks about 'release dates'.

mrklorox
mrklorox

twistedhades: Untrue. "Warmer color palette" means that it will appear with a slightly more orange tint than the seemingly bluer Xbox counterpart. "Warm" colors are analogs of Orange (like fire) and "Cool" colors are analogs of Blue (like water).