Take-Two 'grossly underestimated' by gamers, retailers - Analyst

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich touts maturation of publisher, saying 2K Games plays unheralded Scottie Pippen to Rockstar's Michael Jordan.

Hits like BioShock and Carnival Games are helping Take-Two Interactive grow beyond perceptions that the company is entirely dependent on Rockstar Games' hugely successful Grand Theft Auto series, but Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's Jesse Divnich said industry-watchers are figuratively selling the publisher short.

Divnich thinks Borderlands has all the qualities of a sleeper hit. Like people on fire.

Divnich issued an analyst's note today saying that Take-Two's money-making potential over the next two years "is currently being grossly underestimated by gamers, retailers, and industry professionals."

"With the success of BioShock (over 3 million units sold, worldwide), Carnival Games (over 4 million sold, worldwide), their 2K Sports titles, and the pending release of titles such as Agent, Borderlands, and Red Dead Redemption, BioShock 2, Mafia II, and Max Payne 3, Take-Two will be no more a 'one title publisher' than Activision is with Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises, or Electronic Arts is with Madden," Divnich said.

The analyst paid particular kudos to 2K Games, which was formed in January of 2005 and has since published more than 250 games for Take-Two. Divnich likened the 2K Games label's impact on Take-Two to Scottie Pippen's contribution to the Chicago Bulls championship teams of the 1990s. While Rockstar plays the superstar role of Michael Jordan, Divnich said 2K is "often ignored and underrated, but crucial to the team's success."

Divnich wasn't entirely positive about the publisher. He did note the ongoing difficulties of 2K Sports in the face of rising licensing fees and development costs, but he said it would be possible for it to achieve profitability for the first time "by the end of 2010 or 2011." He also acknowledged a rare misstep by Rockstar with Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the DS. But even there, he at least found evidence of the publisher's relevance.

"The release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars took permission away from any developer ever hoping to create a successful big-budget mature action title on the Nintendo DS," Divnich wrote. "The failure of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars...to deliver significant sales immediately caused a ripple effect throughout the industry causing many other mature DS titles to halt development. That is power and influence in its rawest."

In the near term, Divnich pointed to Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City--a stand-alone retail collection of GTAIV's two add-ons for the Xbox 360--as a pair of titles that could exceed expectations this year.

"Currently, most market surveys put Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City just outside the top 10 for purchase intent, with Borderlands not even breaking the top 20," Divnich said. "For these reasons, Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City are strong contenders to be sleeper hits for the year. ... Borderlands could very well surprise the market and consumers as did BioShock did in 2007."

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Discussion

149 comments
phynixblack
phynixblack

@Judakel - I think you are being more consolewarrior then he is in your own post. Parrot simply stated that he views the Wii as a less-then-serious purchase, which, in certain ways, I agree. How many games on the Wii are taken seriously excluding games like SSBB that are built for play and treated as tourney fodder. You are not wrong in hating the consolewarrior mentality, but writing your post you failed to realize that he was stating opinion and it was indeed YOU who went "WII SELLS BETTER STFU" (In essence at least). If you were truly above Console wars, you would not only nnot care, but you would be in a profound state of ignorance, like myself.

ProGamerNerd
ProGamerNerd

well atleast china town wars is the best ds game to ever come out and is gonna be best psp game to.

ProGamerNerd
ProGamerNerd

china own wars didint sell much on ds because its a kids console dont ever make games for nintendo that company is for kids. really

BigBad95
BigBad95

the only Take-Two game i actually like GTA 4. I never really liked Bioshock that much to compared to System Shock because they dumbed Bioshock down too much because they didn't give you a inventory and you weapons didn't break.

Judakel
Judakel

You people are idiots for even engaging Parrot in this discussion. The man calls one video game system a toy, as if they were all anything but toys. Then he goes on to say that the sales figures (what Horse was referring to when he said "owning") of the Wii are "subjective". Seriously, get your head out of your ass and abandon this "console warrior" mentality. The reality of it is that the Wii is wiping the floor with all the other consoles and it was a tremendously smart move by Nintendo to go in the direction they went. Microsoft and Sony talk a lot about making their consoles into the entertainment centerpieces of the home, Wii actually made a console that was incredibly accessible and had a library of games that would appeal to the casual gamer/non-gamer. Meanwhile Sony languishes in Blu-Ray hell due to the expensive nature of their console in such a crappy economy and the Xbox dominates the traditional gaming crowd with its title selection. Hell, I am about as unbiased as it gets (owning none of the consoles mentioned) and even I can see this from simply looking at the state of the industry.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

When I say "investment", I'm talking about money and value, not how many units have been sold or how many types of people want it (though curiously, gamers aren't one of them). Buying a Wii is a bit of a throwaway decision, you're not really going to regret your purchase years from now, and you're not going to rely on it for anything. And how ever this sounds, I'm not trying to attack Nintendo or anything, I'm just explaining why the Wii can most easily be called a toy.

H0RSE
H0RSE

@parrot_of_adun "-No, it isn't. Owning a Wii is barely an investment and is targeted to very young and very casual users." Actually, it's targeted to ALL age groups, making it an even better investment than xbox or ps3...which is why (one reason) it is killing them in sales.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@H0RSE "" -Well that's an entirely different subject isn't it? One that I never addressed anyway...

bennae66
bennae66

the rpg and fps made a baby!

bennae66
bennae66

if anyone wants to know the name of the song in the live trailer for borderlands its called 'no heaven' by dj champion. youtube it. or better yet, download the live trailer and thats a much better filmclip for such a groovy song. big finish kids....

H0RSE
H0RSE

@parrot_of_adun "It may be a stretch to call the 360 or PS3 toys, strictly speaking. Not so much for the wii..." That's like saying a SD tv is a toy and a HD tv is an entertainment device...however you look at it, your precious "entertainment devices" are getting owned by a "toy."

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@H0RSE There's a fine line between toy and entertainment device. A television for example, is not a toy, nor is say... a DVD player. It may be a stretch to call the 360 or PS3 toys, strictly speaking. Not so much for the wii...

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

" Surprise? I'd be shocked if that game got anything less than a 9.5

Skrilla_XS
Skrilla_XS

Putting GTA:CTW on the DS was a mistake in the first place. How are you gonna push a mature, shoot-em-up, title like GTA on a system who's major audience is still stuck in the era of Pokemon??? The DS is for games like Kingdom Hearts, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Bakugan, and any other anime/Japanese title aimed at teen boys barely into puberty. But I still think the game is a success. It had great reviews, and if it did sell over 600,000 copies, it did on a system who isn't marketed toward the games target audience. And just for an FYI as I type this, I'm looking at the DS "Most Popular list" on Gamespot, and the only Mature title in the top 10 is GTA:CTW.

H0RSE
H0RSE

@Luiz_AF "The Wii and the DS are toys.... just that" WTF do you think Xbox and PS3 are?...just because you own one, doesn't mean it magically isn't a toy anymore.

Kyuubi_Vegetto
Kyuubi_Vegetto

Luiz_AF I miss that time when Take Two tried to make quality games instead of thinking that just beacuse a franchise is famous its games will become massive hits, even if they aren't that awesome. I was already angry at Rockstar and Take Two for making GTA4 so limited and overhyped. Have you played GTA III because that was limited and overhyped too.

Luiz_AF
Luiz_AF

Take two thinks that a GTA game will sell A LOT just because it's a GTA. I miss that time when Take Two tried to make quality games instead of thinking that just beacuse a franchise is famous its games will become massive hits, even if they aren't that awesome. I was already angry at Rockstar and Take Two for making GTA4 so limited and overhyped. Now this! I used to be a huge GTA fan. Not anymore. Oh, btw, making GTA Chinatown Wars for the DS was a big mistake. It's a great game, but the DS is a casual videogame.... it's not even a videogame. The Wii and the DS are toys.... just that.

Leg3nd4ry
Leg3nd4ry

Ok, so i admit this wasn't on my most wanted list at first but Borderlands just looks better and better everytime i see it. I've always been a fan of RPG's, MMO's, and shooters...This game seems to combine aspects of all 3 genres. I guess ill be playing ODST and Borderlands until dragon age is released.

JakeYourself
JakeYourself

can't wait for borderlands, the cel shading looks amazing, it's kinda refreshing to see a company take a step in a new direction as opposed to trying to make it graphically superior or photo-realistic like most FPS. After all, a great idea for gameplay like borderlands with the FPS/RPG hybrid deserves a great idea for graphics. I, for one, am getting borderlands on launch day, I don't see the big deal about people complaining over the graphics, if you don't like it, don't play it. Or try the demo first to at least give it a chance, don't discount it on a visual basis because you may just love it.

Trindris
Trindris

Wait a second... so they're saying Chinatown Wars actually is going to make less mature titles come out on DS? *********!

coasterride509
coasterride509

pvrexpress, 670,000 copies is not a flop. But remember that the game was made by Rockstar, who is used to hits like GTA IV (half a billion in revenue in the 1st week of release).

PointAfter
PointAfter

TakeTwo games its raw. look at the track record and games to come. Thank god I'm so sick of EA's crappy attempts to make other then sports games.

PointAfter
PointAfter

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

bodylotion
bodylotion

I think this game is going to be great but it's not the only great game coming out in October, November, December..... it's going to be an expensive time :D

pvrexpress
pvrexpress

I search in vgchartz.com and chinatown wars has sold 670,000 copys already. I am sure it will sale 1 million soon. It was a great game and I don't consider it a flop.

Jorlen
Jorlen

Borderlands is going to be awesome, not since Hellgate: London have I seen shooter/RPG elements like these.

RaedBoshmaf
RaedBoshmaf

I will buy it on Oct 20, 2009,It looks like a fun and addictive :D I just love that what you get (exp,weapons..etc) stays with you even if you play solo.

Skrilla_XS
Skrilla_XS

Never underestimate my boys. TTWO has some of the best franchises and most quality games available on the market.

BloodMist
BloodMist

If taste mattered, your point might be valid.

bennae66
bennae66

yas my friend, you sir, are a turd. keep your language down, and if you hate the game so much ignore it. it may not have photorealistic visuals like killzone (and lets face it, thats why you hate the game, dont pretend its otherwise) but halo 3 is still played solidly all over the world 2 years after its launch because of gameplay that works. its not a graphical masterpiece but the game is gold. i personally think the art style in borderlands rocks, and as i have said before: how can you go past that awesomely funky music in the live video. man, its cool as hell. grow up, sunshine.

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

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

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

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

myanusisbleedin
myanusisbleedin

i bet the cover art for this game is gonna be controversial in some of the more strict countries

marc5477
marc5477

Underestimate? TTWO stock is selling at a premium of about 50% over its real book value based on their own estimates of what their game franchises are worth intellectually. I guess they got used to seeing their own crap sell for more than 300% of its real value like it did before the recession and now all the execs are panicking because they lost so much money in their personal stock holdings. Sorry TTWO but your game franchises are not worth even the 50% premium the market demands for them now so you should prepare for more bloodshed. This type of PR is useless in a recession so either make better games or get used to the current value of your company.

MANDO31694
MANDO31694

By it I ment the license to fooball teams my bad any ways 2K and Take Two together is great Im most likely to get Red Dead Redemption and Im certainly going to get Mafia 2 and NBA 2k10

MANDO31694
MANDO31694

Man if 2k still maded NFL 2K then they would have had even more money but stupid EA had to buy it bcuz 2K kept on beating them every year man fuk Madden

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

I don't underestimate you man :) I love you're games and the quality that comes with it! And it was a very true statement about how the failure of GTA:CTW prolly shattered a dream or two for developers wanting to make a mature big budget title for the DS.

Kyuubi_Vegetto
Kyuubi_Vegetto

IkedaTeramusa Screw this analysts opinion. GTA:CTW was AWESOME Yea screw his opinion eventhough the game really did have lackluster sales which may have had something to do with the fact it was a top down GTA which went out of style and popularity when GTA III came out.

tonicmole
tonicmole

i have never underestimated 2K. in the first year of the 360 2K was one of the only ones ready to go.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

The more high powered development companies we have, the better off we are as gamers. Competition = Quality Can't wait for Borderlands. Hope it's even half as incredible and cool as it's being portrayed...

Markie75
Markie75

Its all about Bioshock 2 ...End of....

IkedaTeramusa
IkedaTeramusa

Screw this analysts opinion. GTA:CTW was AWESOME and I would HATE to lose perfectly good games because of a weak showing. Whats worse is the sheer number of pirated copies of the game laying around out there. The game not only received RAVE reviews but it brought back some of my nostalgia for the original GTA where it was MORE about the car stealing than the banging of women-of-the-night and drug dealing. It also had a fairly decent story and was more open-ended then ANYTHING currently on the DS market. Bring out more quality stuff like this and less of the Korean/Ubisoft baby-magic and you'd see a shift in your market purposes. Hardcore gamers don't tend to pick up the DS BECAUSE it doesn't have the major titles of the platforms, not the other way around.

aaaaaa12
aaaaaa12

WHAT GAME IS 'AGENT' LOL

BloodMist
BloodMist

Huh, Borderlands.Yeah, i might be interested in it if it didn't just seem like another action game swimming in the massive sea of mediocre action gaming that has become the platform genre of the modern era.Especially when compared to games like Max Payne 3 or Mafia 2 which will obviously go above and beyond that.And, no, the graphics have nothing to do with it.And no, Halo 3 is nothing more than the epitome of mediocrity. That being said, Rockstar IS pretty overhyped.They've made some quality games but nothing that's exemplary like Bioshock or anything like that.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

LOL carnival games sold more than bioshock.

xolivierx
xolivierx

There are so many sweet games coming out this october. I'm interested in Borderlands, but saddly, it looks a little too much like Fallout 3 for me to spend 79$ on it (that's right, games are 69$ + taxes). Demon's Soul all the way!

Javieralijandro
Javieralijandro

there a good dev, but the only game they have i like is bioshock. Same goes for konami they suck, only thing they got i like is MGS. And! sega sucks, all they have i like is Valkyria chronicles and skies of arcadia

sircyrus
sircyrus

They shouldn't have added that ugly cel-shading effect to Borderlands. Game developers constantly add that to their games and it is . Unless the graphics were designed from the get-go to use cel-shading, The game looked way better before it was added in.

Alex_09
Alex_09

Anyone that thinks 2k is junk should check out the darkness. I don't care if the exec didn't mention it, that game would have been a hit if they hadn't chose such bad advertising.