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.

249 Comments

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 qubeley
qubeley

And I think M-rated games really lack the publicity they need when they show up on the Wii. I mean how often do you see ads for "No More Heroes', "RE: Umbrella Chronicles" and "Day of Crisis"? The real lack of publicity made people think that Wii is just for party games and stuff like that (which they have a lot!). That doesn't help gamers who want to have more mature kinda games on this platform.

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lamprey263

well, if I were to buy a GTA game on the Wii it better be an exclusive because if not I'm just going to buy it for the X360 or PS3

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AlmightyDemon

M-rated games don't sell well on Nintendo platforms because there are very few of them, and even less that are quality titles people want to play. Start a trend, Rockstar!

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Pices

assassin13, is that because the Wii is "childish? HELL NO, if GTA is coming to the Wii, then it will be a great move by rockstar.

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Lucidmike78

I always favored the Playstation 2 over the xbox. But now I realize it was all about GTA. The days of Sony exclusivity is of the past and as for GTA, Sony really screwed up this one losing exclusive rights. I own a 360 now, no PS3. Awaiting the DLC.

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Lucidmike78

GTA IV was a good start to the GTA IV series, just like GTA III before VC and SA. I'm sure the next ones will have more weapons, larger maps, more vehicles.

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assasain13

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

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team-mazda3

they should make a gta for wii because alot of wii owner say they want more games and diffrent games like gta .

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Fleeman6019

Gta no Gta i have Tenchu, House of the Dead, Dead Rising, Onechanbara and Madworld in the next 3 months i could care less for a gta on the wii

Avatar image for Flaming_Spoon
Flaming_Spoon

Its because the wii DOESNT sell M content well ... it just doesn't. Mainly because most true gamers have either a PS3 or 360 ... its just a fact. Nintendo didn't market it enough as an adult console from the start ... it wasn't their intention to either. It was a console to bring everyone into the crowd and they succeeded at that so if you bought one expecting a whole bunch of mature rated M games then you apparently didn't do your homework ...

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brain20035

quit making low budget nintendo ports for GTA and start working on GTA V or whatever the next title would be for PC,X360 and PS3.

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huntercal

This is why the Wii has so few games for hardcore gamers, publishers and developers simply believe that mature content doesn't seel well on the Wii. Its a real shame and will only continue to frustrate me about the Wii.

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LOXO7

next chapter 2010

Avatar image for lowerclassbrat7
lowerclassbrat7

GTA and a Red Dead Revolver on the Wii would be awesome. I have a ps3 and a Wii. I have been waiting for developers to stop ignoring the many Wii owners hungry for "hardcore" titles. I hope the Wii will finally get the games it deserves.

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King_Chozo

I really hope that now that the Wii is hitting record numbers that 3rd party companies will get a little more serious about the games that they develop on it. Nintendo has pretty much run through their first party lineup (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc). They can't do it all themselves.

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Henninger

Nintendo knows that their system is for kids & old people. That wuz their intended auidence. But they're still a gaming company. & the object of their company is 2 make/let others make games that people wanna play. So they can make a PROFIT. 4 Nintendo 2 not allow M-rated games on their system would b retarded. Resident Evil 4 & Eternal Darkness weren't 4 kids & they were on the GameCube. & that system wuz considered a kid system also. U people didnt whine about those games. As a matter of fact i think u people either loved them or really liked them. So 4 every1 2 b hatin on a GTA 4 the Wii needs 2 grow up. U people didnt whine when Manhunt 2 came out 4 the Wii. So y whine about GTA? U fanboys r funny!

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Bloodhawk_DX

This is all hypothetical though. I guess they forgot a majority of the GTA:IV fan base either already played or are playing it on the other consoles. They would have to make an exclusive title or bring back something like GTA:SA with plenty of new missions and content. It's also a huge gamble because previous attempts by other devs using that strategy have failed. Don't get me wrong but I don't see the Wii mote being that great for a GTA style game outside of the mini-games like darts, pool, bowling...etc. It lacks the precision needed for those more intense police chases and shoot outs.

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Hungry_Homer111

If they do make a GTA game for the Wii, I hope it's an exclusive game that takes advantage of the Wii. I don't want a port of the PS2 games with minimal effort involve, maybe some extra content, and Wiimote controls slapped on. I don't want a dumbed down version of GTA4, especially since I already own it on the 360. Instead, I want one that's made specifically for the Wii. Make one that fits the Wii hardware, including the Wiimote. I can see it working if they can come up with some good ideas. Hell, I'd even take San Andreas Stories if it was a Wii exclusive game that does more than the PSP games did (loved Liberty City Stories, but the Wii could handle more content).

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mariokart64fan

dont forget driver paralel lines, but it will work if they use driver 4 controls, hold up nunchuck for hand braking, etc, or use classic gc or make their own controller for wii, either way would work ,

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johnnyauau

Man. Zelda, Godfather, Bully, the awful Scarface and now GTA? I wonder how in the world are they going to pull that off? Anyway, I like to see how this work out.

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dutch777

HOW MUCH !!!!

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remmbermytitans

Put GTA: San Andreas on the Wii. But this time, purposely leave the "Hot Coffee" scene, and make it a motion controlled minigame. Then the Wii won't be "just for kids" any longer.

Avatar image for KaBo0m
KaBo0m

You mean mature games like Madworld, NMH, NMH 2? Also you can be 29 and still love zelda, brawl, galaxy, mario kart, metroid pride Or what about Muramasa: The demon blade? That game looks awesome

Avatar image for Snake3232
Snake3232

I creamed my pants thinking about this game for Wii

Avatar image for nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim

There's a reason why older gamers like myself (29 years old) haven't purchased a Wii yet. It isn't because I don't find it an innovative idea. I like the motion sensing gameplay. What I don't like is playing games that don't appeal to me as a mature adult. I enjoy games like GTA. When games like those, with mature content, start appearing on the Wii then that's when I'll get one.

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calvinx6

wow a lot of complaining about the Wii not having game, but when a company want to make a game for the system people start to complain.

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Junior_AIN

What is sad is that even if they release GTA 4 for the Wii, it would still sell less than both of the 360 and PS3 counterparts. Unless they release GTA Fit or something like that.

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Orasion_Seiz

A GTA for the Wii?Why not, but they better be prepared for any consequence.

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Lex_Luthor_XLII

I'm not sure the Wii would be able to handle a graphically enhanced San Andreas, to be perfectly honest.

Avatar image for Stavr0s
Stavr0s

Lol the Wii is for kids. . . No More Heroes is for kids? News to me. Looks like I found a new game to take to those daycare kiddies. . . How can the use a game for the DS 'as a test case' 'in terms of bringing that kind of content to a Nintendo platform'? They're using the DS to judge for the Wii as well? Seems kinda lop-sided to me.

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josef8

oh man gta for wii, thats a backstep, we wont be able to see what the REAL next gta can be if that happens

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mashom

they are incresing profits...

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hatieshorrer

no dont release an M-rated video game on the Wii that may cause take-two to make much larger profits then usual:P lol

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ItsEvolution

With the Wii getting as many ports and shovelware as it is, why not release a graphically enhanced version of San Andreas? Or Vice City Stories? That would be a true testing of the waters before developing an all new Wii GTA game.

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SF_KiLLaMaN

Take Two basically just said that they are not making one for Wii because the wii is for kids. this is probably the mentality of other companies and it's a shame. COD5 for Wii is doing good so who is to say rated M games wouldn't make it on the wii?

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Yojimbo25

To Merc_Scar GTA 4 abysmal? WTF!?

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Merc_Scar

After playing the abysmal GTA4 I don't think I will ever buy a rockstar game ever again.

Avatar image for KrimmsonHell
KrimmsonHell

a gta wii game will lead to rockstars downfall and bankrupt all in all bad idea dont even thin about it!

Avatar image for Norgavue
Norgavue

Bring out some real titles for the Wii. The gamers are there but guess what? We buy the titles for the 360 because they don't make those kind of games for the Wii. I'm not talking about ports or nothing just give us some real content. Here's to hoping that Chinatown wars does good so maybe the ball will get rolling.

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wiifan001

@lighning kf: While it's true that Mario and Zelda are the most popular of Nintendo, the Wii will get more Nintendo reps. The wii's only been out for two years, and aside from mario and zelda we do have metroid, fire emblem, smash bros and more released for just Nintendo alone. and also punch-out wii, pikmin 3 and kid icarus wii are coming to wii also. I would like a kirby wii and star fox wii as well but a lot of gamers are demanding to have them now or at least be confirmed that they're all coming this instant. Plz be patient gamers.

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BigBen11111

I'll so be looking forward to a GTA Wii game.

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Phazon_Killer

i think a gta would be great for wii, unless they make a port of older GTA games, they gotta make a game from the ground up exclusivly for wii

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BloodMist

I'd definitely like to see a GTA game on the Wii.It would, much like Manhunt 2 or the Wii version of The Godfather, or Bully, add another interesting dimension to the GTA style of play.So, why the hell not, huh?Huh?? BTW anyone who knocks the Wii for being kiddy is far more immature than i could've ever possibly imagined. :D

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sagameister3

GTA has done well across the psp,ps3,360 consoles so far but I don't know if that will happen with the wii tbh. If they do infact make some new intuitive way to play GTA on the wii then they're set.

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bigtruckseries

I will never do business with a company that won't give me the content I demand. Therefore, I've severed all ties with Nintendo.

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gamerfreak1991

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

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hunter8man

Manhunt 2 was on the Wii, but I don't think it sold very well. However, I think a GTA on the Wii would be great if it was done right. However, I have a feeling that some parent group will start whining about it being on a "family" system. No More Heroes has proven that there is a market for M-rated games on the Wii. I think Nintendo needs to strongly consider this if they really want the Wii to be a console for all gamers.

Avatar image for ctg867
ctg867

Don't care about Chinatown Wars. Personally, I just want want another PSP GTA, some more GTA IV DLC, or the next GTA. That's really all I care about. The DS and and any possible Wii version can go get itself canceled for all I care. They wont be good titles anyway. I'd put money on that.

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PSdual_wielder

Maybe they should start talking about the next major Grand Theft Auto. You know, the one that will have the big story, amazing graphics, and cool gameplay, the one that comes out only on the MAJOR consoles.

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mike2640

I think it could go one of two ways: 1. They make a great GTA game for the Wii with intuitive, new controls and features or 2.They try and just take GTA IV and throw in some crappy motion controls, which makes bad game and everyone is pissed. Here's hoping it's number 1!