GTA hauls in $710M, M-rated Wii games "viable"

Take-Two chairman raises possibility of GTA Wii, CFO says carjacking franchise made up 60 percent of fiscal year sales; stock sinks below $9.


Yesterday's Take-Two Interactive earnings report grabbed headlines for a variety of reasons. It was bundled with news that the New York City-based publisher had signed Rockstar Games cofounders Dan and Sam Houser to contracts that will keep them around through 2012. The company reported record profits for the year even though its fourth fiscal-quarter (which runs August-October) earnings fell below expectations, which sent its stock spiraling southward. As of press time, Take-Two shares had dipped below $9, more than $3 below its Wednesday closing value, and roughly $17 less than Electronic Arts' February buyout offer.

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In a conference call with analysts, Take-Two executives revealed that the company's 2K Games label would no longer be publishing Champions Online. They also divulged some other nuggets of information about exactly how important the GTA series is to the company's bottom line. CFO Lainie Goldstein revealed that the felonious franchise accounted for 60 percent--or $710 million--of Take-Two's earnings for the fiscal year ended October 31.

In the aforementioned underperforming fourth quarter, GTA games generated 40 million, or 17 percent, of the publisher's sales. For its 2009 fiscal year, Take-Two expects 45 percent of income to come from Rockstar and 55 percent from its 2K label. Of that 55 percent, 25 percent is expected to come from 2K Sports (NHL 2K10, NBA 2K10), 20 percent from 2K Games (BioShock 2, the Civilization series), and 10 percent from the 2K Play casual brand.

Given GTA's sustained popularity and the Wii's increasing ubiquity, many analysts have wondered aloud if the series will ever come to the console. One such analyst put the question directly to Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick during yesterday's call. In response he offered an at times apparently contradictory message.

"We've got a bunch of sports titles that are going to take advantage of the Wii, [but] some of our best content really isn't appropriate for the Wii," explained Zelnick. "Frankly even for the M rated content that we think is much more appropriate for the PS3 or 360, we have to look at the Wii as a viable platform across all our labels. We have to because you can't ignore the install base. You just can't." Curiously, no mention was made of Manhunt 2, Rockstar's first M-rated game released on the Wii.

Zelnick went on to explain that Take-Two views the forthcoming Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars--due out March 17--as a test case. "We're going to do a lot of learning with GTA Chinatown Wars on the DS in terms of bringing that kind of content to a Nintendo platform. Our partnership with Nintendo is as strong as it's ever been. We're excited about it. We talk to them all the time. They provide great feedback for us. We're highly focused on it."

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Avatar image for Pices

*sigh*, the fanboyism of the PS3/360 fanboys just blinds them from the truth....they really know nothing about the Wii and what is it capable of.

Avatar image for Shockwaveecho

I have complete faith in Nintendo but this is questionable...

Avatar image for HUIJBR3GT5_LPL

I don't think that GTA is going to work for the Wii console but then again, no harm ever came from trying a game.

Avatar image for RetroGamer34233

Just a couple of points and I'll leave you all alone since there's obviously no reasoning with some of you. Logan494: You say that the movement functions in some Wii games are a chore, which is your opinion and I respect that. If that's not your thing, that's fine, I have no qualms with that. But to say it's a poorly-executed system is another opinion I think is based on the issues you have with the controls. neogrunt123: There's REALLY no reasoning with you. If by "in a casual sense" you mean "uneducated gamers who are blind to all consoles except maybe one" then yes, it's NOT. OK, fine (and by the way, the physics and sound are also up to par with the 360 and PS3, so don't even go there). But for those of us who have played video games since little squares knocked little dots across the screen circa 1984 (a group you you may have been a part of for all we know) we know there's more to games than what you see at first glance. The game itself has to be good, too. And if you have been playing games that long, then your argument is very ignorant. Look, I know as much as the next guy many people in this forum have this unweilding allegiance to a console. But why can't we all come together as a group and celebrate the monstrosity of an industry gaming has become instead of wasting our time arguing whose console is better, whose games suck and why can;t they port this game or that game to another console?

Avatar image for neogrunt123

i've developed a commercial game on wii/360/pc (not ps3 tho). Wii is NOT a next gen console in a casual sense. When ppl talk about 'next gen', they talk about next gen graphics, next gen sound, next gen physics, and next gen gamplay. Will may have the next gen gameplay thanks to its controller, but it doesn't satisfy any other criteria. Also, it's not a matter of storing data for making next-gen game. You need to have hardware to support next-gen features. Porting GTA4/MGS4 to Wii? As dev, i can definitely say that port is NOT possible. If you really want to do it, you will have to take out a whole lot of features, and in the end, the final product won't be hardly recognized as the original game. It's not just graphics, Graphics, sound, physics, AI, almost every aspect of the game need to be minimized or simple taken out to fit into wii hardware. But, then i wouldn't even call it 'port' without those features that defines the original game.

Avatar image for kejigoto

@ neogrunt123 What defines what is and isn't appropriate for the Wii? Where can I find the clear definition of this so I see that games like No More Heroes and Madworld don't belong on the Wii. Just because someone beyond your modern day "if a console has games that aren't rated M its for da kiddies" idiot running around having a hissy fit because kids (we were all once kids too playing games), parents, and even grandparents are playing the Wii, doesn't mean that something like GTA isn't appropriate for the console. Last time I checked when you own a system you don't have to go out and buy every game that comes to it, not matter how popular or gory it is. Take for instance, I don't have Gears of War 1 or 2, I don't care for the games so I didn't bother to pick them up, but GTA IV, Bioshock, Rainbow Six Las Vegas 2, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and a few others did and I purchased them. Now I would attempt to educate you about what defines a generation of gaming but RetroGamer34233 already did a fairly good job at that, so no matter how loud you scream "I can't hear you!!" with your hands over your ears, the Wii is still part of this current generation of gaming with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and yes its outselling both. Now once again I remind people, just because we are talking about a GTA game for the Wii doesn't mean we are talking about a port of GTA IV. Personally I don't like the idea and would much rather see the time and effort spent on that going into making a whole new game for the Wii just like they did with the DS. Did they just port one of the PSP GTA's over? No, they gave it a whole new game and that's what should be done with the Wii. In fact, I think it might be a wise idea to come out with a Chinatown Wars 2 for the Wii if the DS version does well. Or maybe even give of GTA: SA Stories and give that game a complete make over for the Wii like they did with The Bully. Point is, GTA IV ported to the Wii just wouldn't be GTA IV and I don't think Rockstar would bother doing something like that, especially when they are putting alot of effort into the DS GTA.

Avatar image for Logan494

RetroGamer34233: Calling the wii a next-gen console is mostly accurate. The problem with it though is that it's a very poorly executed system. The games where a lot of movement is involved feels more like a chore than anything. The only game that's been worth the movement was wii sports, maybe wii fit too. but the fact that the games really aren't fun to play and it feels like a chore means innovation is great but isn't necessarily the correct path to follow. see: virtual boy (also nintendo)

Avatar image for Psycold

You think people would make a G-rated version of The Godfather so they can show it on Nickelodeon? Hell no, either way I've lost a lot of faith in Rockstar with their sh*tty PC port of GTA IV.

Avatar image for RetroGamer34233

neogrunt123: I'm sorry, but the Wii is in fact a "next-gen" console. The generation it belongs to isn't only defined by the graphics hardware. For example, the Neo Geo was a 24-bit console containing the guts of an arcade machine but still classified in a generation dominated by 16-bit consoles. You have to look beyond just graphics or you're just blind when it comes to gaming. I've seen too many games that looked great but played badly. And just because the Wii discs do not hold as much data as a 360 disk, doesn't mean you can't port a game to it. You just may need multiple discs, which is where the 360 could be headed if they want to keep up with how much data the PS3 can actually hold (which is a handful times as much as a DVD on the 360). And like I said over and over again, it won't be inferior just because of the graphics. There's a lot more to games than just that.

Avatar image for raahsnavj

"more than $3 below its Wednesday closing value, and roughly $17 less than Electronic Arts' February buyout offer. " It is going to be an important fact when take-two fails that they did it all on their own, without EA on the front of it. Because I know that if EA would have bought it out and stocks would have gone down people would have blamed it on EA. Just note they did that all by themselves.

Avatar image for BuckGame


Avatar image for necronaux

"...but, some of our best content really isn't appropriate for the Wii," explained Zelnick... what he didn't say... "UNLESS we can make a ton of money!!!"

Avatar image for HyruleanLink

Impressive numbers for sales from one game. I also doubt that GTA will come to the Wii.

Avatar image for neogrunt123

GTA material isn't really appropriate for wii. You have to know that Wii has a different fanbase, which consists of more casual players. Sure, Wii users will get curious about GTA if it's ever released on wii, but soon will be horrified at the contents of the game. (since junk of user base is underage/parents/...etc) Besides, technically, GTA (such as GTA 4) game won't just fit into Wii hardware. Wii is NOT next gen console no matter how much ppl would like to believe it is. It's just a souped-up version of Gamecube. They will have to develop Wii-specific version of GTA, which will be inferior to the versions of other consoles.

Avatar image for Rect_Pola

It sure better be viable. Everyone mocks Capcom, but I'm sure Mega Man isn't 60% of their sales (they mock Nintendo too, but Mario universe on a whole may be close). The irony here is that the Wii and it's predecessors are pegged as kiddie BECAUSE developers are skittish about making higher rated games for it. When they do breakdown and cross that line, they do like they would on any system.

Avatar image for Amir29

They should go all out and bring back the Hot Coffee code for the Wii. I'm curious how we would have to use the controllers to play that kind of mini-game. :O

Avatar image for tidyspidey

They really need to get a GTA game to the Wii.... when they don't release mature games for Nintendo's consoles, it just perpetuates the idea that games are for kids which doesn't help any of us avid gamers. I'd quite like to see how they'd incorporate the Wii controls into GTA too.

Avatar image for RetroGamer34233

Aside from what games should/should not come to the Wii, I think a bigger part of this story is the fact that GTA is what's keeping this company afloat. It looks like if a future installment tanks, this could be another company in trouble. It also makes me worry that most of Take-Two's resources will go into future GTA releases, and other titles will suffer because of it..

Avatar image for pygmahia5

gta on the DS is a huge mistake.

Avatar image for kejigoto

@ nocoolnamejim Since when in the heck does an M rating make a game appealing to an older crowd? I myself am 22 now and still get plenty of enjoyment out of Wii despite the lack of M rated games for the console. Just cause a game doesn't contain swearing, drugs, sex, and extreme amounts of violence doesn't mean its not an appealing game. If you really just look at the rating like that and write off a game because it doesn't have the M on it, you really should open your mind abit and play some games. Seriously what is with this "It doesn't have an M rating so it has to be for da kiddy!" nonsense I keep seeing everywhere. There are a number of games on the Wii that are great and truly a blast to play that don't carry an M rating. Boom Blox and World of Goo, 2 great puzzle games, each carry an E for everyone rating, does that mean they suck or aren't worth it to pick up and play? No, it just means that it doesn't contain "mature" things. Also I find it rather funny to make a claim as "I'm a mature adult and I want games that are geared for mature adults" cause last time I checked the level of maturity involved in most M rated games is something I'd expect to find in a Jr. High School. Don't get me wrong, the storyline of GTA IV and other games may be mature, but the gameplay and all that you end up doing in the game, isn't overly mature. Still can't believe people consider themselves "gamers" when they make such judgments because they are "too old" to be bothered with such games rated anything below M. Does this apply to movies as well? TV shows? I wonder what its like to live in such a closed off manner. Seriously people, open your minds abit and try some new things, just cause you play throw a game without running over someone on the sidewalk or shoving a chainsaw through someone's torso doesn't mean its not a fun game, and if you do live by this guy's standards of "if its not M then its not mature enough for me" then you are going to miss out on some of the best gaming experiences out there.

Avatar image for fabz_95

I really hope they decide to bring GTA to the wii. If so, it should be great :D

Avatar image for Xxgood-timesXx

hopefully it wont suck

Avatar image for tekken220

hey wwefanforlife, Rockstar shouldn't make GTA on Wii cause many kids own a Wii

Avatar image for tekken220

now more children can play gta lol

Avatar image for felix19194

wow 710 million.... loads

Avatar image for XanderKage

710 million.. Daamn.

Avatar image for zmbi_gmr

@Isaacmj who are all these people that say " I wish there were more game like this, without all that violence that we see on othere ps3 titles?" I read a lot of threads and I can't say that's commonly said. BTW LBP isn't just another run of the mill polite video game. It will change the way platformers will be created for atleast the next five years. I can't say that Cooking with Mama or WarioWare will do the same.

Avatar image for AngelCage-2

Why they don't just port San Andreas with some new areas and missions, and motion controls to the Wii??? wii owners are used to that (old games in a 'new' system at full price tag) and sometimes they seems to like that (cause them buy that old games like bread) so, why not? Now, talking seriously; A revamped -graphics and sound wise-, extended and refined version of San Andreas could not be a bad idea if Rockstar wanna test the posibilities of a GTA-like game on wii... of course, with a low price tag, not for 50 bucks

Avatar image for ilton45

agree with Bloodmist and Isaacmj. Why would you complain about something that doesn't really affect you? I mean I think it's better for all these little kids to be playing Wii games, than on Xbox Live dropping the N-bomb every two seconds.

Avatar image for BloodMist

Yeah that's true Isacc.And it's called being a hypocrite.There's a lot of that in the wide world of fanboyism.

Avatar image for isaacmj

Weird, people complain over and over again about these family friendly games on wii, but when a game like Little Big Planet comes out, everybody starts to get all so enthusiastic and say stuff like: "I wish there were more game like this, without all that violence that we see on other ps3 titles"

Avatar image for feryl06

making the game for the Wii would just no doubt increase their sales. it wouldn't be so difficult to make a game for the wii, so why not port the title over or make an original one for the wii. :)

Avatar image for SSBFan12

That would be alittle hard I say to make.

Avatar image for MrHatnClogs

That would be great! Than I can kill prostitutes, traffic drugs, and run over innocent Liberty City Citizens with my family!

Avatar image for fbigent34

Nitnendo dosen't do adds or other conpines thats up for themselfs.

Avatar image for fbigent34

how about they shove the gta comment back up there blank and leave at that. saying there no place to put gta game on the wii beacause its more of family cosole? its a joke.

Avatar image for trdrstv

How about a Max Payne for the Wii?

Avatar image for cejay0813

"We've got a bunch of sports titles that are going to take advantage of the Wii, but some of our best content really isn't appropriate for the Wii," How is something "inappropriate" for a console. The consumer decides appropriateness. That's like them accepting the blame for little kids playing their games on the 360 and PS3. If a kids parent deems a game inappropriate they shouldn't buy closed

Avatar image for wwefanforlife

GTA needs to be on the Wii I for one am sick of casual games the Wii needs more games for hardcore gamers and GTA is one that the Wii does need.

Avatar image for BluePheonix11

Finally they get the good games onto the Wii!

Avatar image for deactivated-5d25ae64ef918

I really don't care what my games are rated, long as the game is good : P. I think all of my 360 games are rated M except for my sports games and CoD2. Only M Wii games I'm buying soon are No More Heroes and World at War, other than that, none.

Avatar image for kbaily

It's amazing that people complain that there's no M-rated Wii games and then when ones like The Conduit or Madworld are announced, they complain because they don't think those games should be on the Wii. And thanks quintoncannatac for making a list of good Wii games though you forgot Okami :P

Avatar image for DAAVV-O

@ quintoncannatac Good point mate. The Wii still has the public image of being solely a 'family console', despite many mature games appearing on the system. But its like qubeley says, any M rated games for the Wii are left pretty much unadvertised. Its like Nintendo want themselves and their product to seem as harmless as possible.

Avatar image for quintoncannatac

no what about Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty 3, No More Heroes, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,The House of the Dead: Overkill,Tomb Raider: Underworld , The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return , The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,Medal of Honor Heroes 2, Medal of Honor: Vanguard, Manhunt 2, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance,Brothers in Arms: Double Time, Bully: Scholarship Edition, Battalion Wars 2, red Steel, Far Cry Vengeance, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Samurai Warriors: Katana,Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Ghost Squad, Disaster: Day of Crisis, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows and much much more there all M and MA

Avatar image for insanitycheck3

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

Avatar image for xgalacticax

Having all the consoles I dont really care. If GTA appeared on the Wii and it plays great, of course I'm gonna get it....

Avatar image for daveneonfarrell

Believe it!

Avatar image for zig_star

That's why i hate wii they don't get these good titles, but i hope the DS one works out so i can clean the cobwebs off my wii and try the next GTA game, if it will be in the works...

Avatar image for OmegaCookie7

@qubeley: Agreed.