Take-Two still won't be following the calendar year to report its yearly earnings, but it will at least be moving more in line with other gaming companies. This week, the publisher announced that its board of directors had approved a fiscal year-end change from October 31 to March 31, meaning its fourth quarter will close on the same day as companies such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, and Sony.
According to Take-Two, the change is meant to better align its fiscal periods with the seasonality of the gaming business, which traditionally sees the most activity during the October-December quarter. Take-Two also expressed an interest in improving its "comparability with industry peers."
Take-Two's desire to go apples-to-apples with its competitors is understandable, considering the string of positive earnings reports this year. Thanks to a standout performance from Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick touted in September that the company was on track to achieve its first profitable year without the release of a major new Grand Theft Auto in almost a decade.
The profitability comes despite the delay of two high-profile titles, L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3. Originally announced by Team Bondi in 2005, L.A. Noire is now expected to see release sometime in the first half of calendar 2011. Rockstar Vancouver's Max Payne 3 had previously been expected to ship later this year. Take-Two now expects the game to launch outside of its in-progress fiscal year.
Of course, the publisher also continues to benefit from Rockstar's notorious open-world action adventure. In June, Take-Two said that GTAIV had sold 17 million units since its then-record-setting launch in April 2009.