Industry watchers unveil expectations of BioShock sales, downloadable GTAIV content release date, and new installments of Max Payne and Red Dead Revolver.
Yesterday after the end of the trading day, Take-Two Interactive released its quarterly financial report. The publisher touted the success of BioShock, lessened losses compared to the prior year, and expectations of a bright future that included its 2K Sports label turning a profit for the first time next year.
Investors seemed to like what they were hearing, as today the stock has been trading up about 6 percent from yesterday's closing price of $15.75. However, a handful of analysts expressed reservations about the numbers. Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter questioned why the company left its sales guidance unchanged despite the performance of BioShock, Manhunt 2's arrival on the last day of the company's fiscal year (October 31), and other good news from management regarding its sports label and profitable distribution subsidiary Jack of All Games.
"We are hard pressed to explain how the company will manage to generate an expected $112 million in pro forma operating losses during fiscal year 2007," Pachter told investors in a note today. "The implication is that the rest of Take-Two's business is a black hole, with losses of $112 million on approximately $400 million in other revenue."
Nollenberger Capital Markets analyst Todd Greenwald was similarly dubious of Take-Two's math, but his note to investors suggest a different reason for the flat earnings guidance. "Despite the addition of Manhunt 2 and the encouraging release of Bioshock in August, management did not raise guidance for the October quarter, leaving it at $275 to $300 million," Greenwald wrote. "We continue to believe that Bioshock's financial success will be somewhat limited by the hardcore scope of the game."
Pachter also noted that Take-Two has reclassified revenue related to the release of its Xbox 360 Grand Theft Auto IV episodic content as "long term," which he said implies a release sometime in the fourth quarter (August through October) of Take-Two's fiscal 2008. In his own note, Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson wrote that he expected the Grand Theft Auto IV episodic content to arrive in the company's third quarter (May through July) of fiscal 2008.
Wilson also delved a little deeper into BioShock, following up on Take-Two's acknowledgement that the game has shipped 1.5 million copies already.
"We forecast 3 million units in Q4 and 4 million through the January quarter," Wilson wrote, adding, "Given BioShock's enormous initial success, Take-Two will clearly release it on other platforms and create sequels if the market makes sense and if quality would not be compromised. Regardless, we expect a sequel to be released toward the end of fiscal 2009 at the earliest."
Wilson, Pachter, and UBS Investment Research analyst Ben Schachter all had a couple other expectations for fiscal 2009, with each predicting Take-Two to release new installments of Red Dead Revolver and Max Payne during the time frame. While Take-Two didn't announce those games during its conference call yesterday, it has brought the two franchises up regularly as examples of its stable of owned intellectual properties, and CEO Ben Feder said they would return sooner or later.
"In addition to Grand Theft Auto, our roster of $1 million plus wholly-owned brands includes BioShock, Civilization, Midnight Club, Max Payne, Red Dead Revolver, Manhunt and Bully," Feder said. "We fully intend to leverage these products, which are on development cycles that should complement and counterbalance each other."
I think they mean the episodic content buddy to be release in the later half of 2008 the game should be release in "Q1" end of December-07 - to - March - 08 sometime
they better make sure the sory from max payne 3 and everything else is good... it'd be too much of a pity for that franchise to fail to live up to it's already high standards...
Woot for Red Dead Revolver and Max Payne sequels. Really, I don't care what the game got rated, western games are fun. Its such an untapped setting.
i thought max payne 2 was suppose to be the last....wish they had more norse referenced in that one, went off the track with the theme. hopefully if they do 3 it'll go back.
MAX PAYNE 3!!!!!!!!!!!! that's all I need to say about this article... and apparentyl all anyone else has to say too!!! Someone send a link to this page to everyone at rockstar and taketwo!!! so they can see what they've started and bring us what we've all wanted for SO long now... hands up if you play through the old ones occasionally just for satisfaction? anyone?... oh... everyone!!!
pleaseeeeeeee do not withdraw these words i read max payne3 was cancelled and i really got shock pleaseeeeeeeeeeee i just finished playing thw 2 parts for the 30 times
this reminded me when i was waiting for star trek : the vulcan mith pc. and they canceled it. i was very sad. then I got into mw4 ( mech warrior 4) and was waiting for five to come out and then microsoft cancelled it for crimpson skys ( wich sucked
Good god. I was just looking online, at Max payne 2, and wishing that a 3 would be made. I hope all else goes like this.
I just hope they make Max Payne 3 or Red Dead Revolver 2 something that'll make Jack Thompson's head explode in anger. Maybe make a Jack Thompson villain in one of the games.
I remember hearing about a Red Dead Revolver sequel than got canned but hey, more power to them, I enjoyed the game and as for Max Payne, I just can't wait, just look at Stranglehold and know how great of a game Max Payne 3 can be.
@geebus From what I gather, the guys at Remedy should be just about to the point of polishing and QA on Alan Wake. Gotta keep those quality devs working.
Last time I checked, Max Payne 3 was listed as cancelled, which was incredibly dissapointing. I seriously hope it'll return because the first two games were two of the best games I've ever played.
Given how well the Max Payne mechanics turned out in Stranglehold, T2 cant afford not to bring a new Max Payne to next gen hardware. Max Payne 3 is just begging to get made for PC/360.
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