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 djTeka

It could look better compared to the GTA games on the PS2, heck, the Xbox 1 versions. So what is the problem here? That the Wii game won't look as good as the one that came out only less than a year ago? Pffft, some problem that is. GTA IV plays too realistic, in my opinion. I liked it better when it was more fun and cartoony, not boring and gritty, like it is now. They don't even have to do a top down GTA again (other than Chinatown Wars) to make it work on the Wii. Since I have a DS, I'll likely buy CW (no, not the crappy channel, the game I just mentioned), see if it's any good, and by my sale, possible help the game get to the Wii. I can't wait to see if one of the missions is setting Niko Bellic on fire and watching him die a slow death, never to be a main character in a GTA game again. (But then again, when have GTA characters returned in the same form, other than the PSP remakes of III and VC?... Oh, they might make a PSP SA and then a PSP VI... damnit) If they even make PSP games anymore, that is.

Avatar image for niniodelpunk

@ kejigoto there is no next gen? how about you use a bit of google today, it won't harm, type "Sparse voxel octree"... There is a next gen and it seems visually promising, and the next gen nintendo will probably be what I was expecting from the wii, a better motion controlled system.

Avatar image for Dark_Lord777

I can see it now "GTA pub games". Not the full game, just the mini games. Wii players will enjoy bowling, pool, darts and go cart racing. With local multiplayer and use of your Mii's. It will be fantastic!

Avatar image for momurdaman2003

I dunno, I really dont like the games wii offers...

Avatar image for BLuFAlc0n

The Wii has won the 7th Gen wars, whether you like it or hate it! Nothing can catch up to the Wii. Especially when it makes price-drops. It's wasn't a special year for Nintendo @ 08, but THIS YEAR! IS GOING TO CHANGE! kinda like @ 07. I have a feeling that the IMPOSSIBLE will HAPPEN on the Wii! also, the games that the Wii will be getting, awesome games! The 360 and PS3 will be fighting towards 2nd, but not the 1st, which belongs to the Wii. All those discriminations, ARE GONE! although there still some from the likes of Epic Games. Rockstar decided to be awesome, and if a GTA did came out to the Wii (which will happen anyways), I wouldn't care of the graphics but waht I will want in GTA is a Multi-Player feature (Offline), and a good story, also a better character than Niko Belic.

Avatar image for smeghead83

A GTA game on the Wii was inevitable, giving how much of a phenomonem it is. Nintendo can't be ridiculed or ignored, yes it may not be graphically as advanced as its competition or bolster the same processing power, but it has still managed to beat both. It has out sold both the 360 and the PS3 and has already won this "console war"...all thats left is for the 360 and sony fanboys to decide which of their consoles is 2nd.

Avatar image for thug9cole

gta for wii would be awesome maybe i would take it back out the box its been sitting in since zelda! :)

Avatar image for Pices

I just have to put this page in My Favorites Tab because fanboys can't just keep their mouths shut...

Avatar image for rarson

Sounds like Take Two is wanting to jump into the Wii shovelware business. Now, fanboys, I'm not saying that the Wii has nothing but shovelware, but when I hear a company like Take Two talking saying things like "you can't ignore the installed base" of the Wii, it sounds to me like they want to cash in on something that many other companies have obviously been cashing in on, judging by the amount of mediocre games available for the Wii. Take Two has had its share of mediocre games anyway. I'll stand by and eagerly wait to see what they come up with, but I'm not getting my hopes up for anything special.

Avatar image for Karjah

Darn right let's see some more M rated games on the wii Resident evil 4 wii, no more heroes, and CoD:waw were awesome games. Rockstar is just talking out of it's butt some of the best games on wii are M rated titles and they do sell.

Avatar image for thekey

A Wii version of this game would be laughable. LOL!!!

Avatar image for thekey

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

Avatar image for kejigoto

@ neogrunt123 Having the poor ideals about gaming that you have something tells me you haven't developed anything outside of a mod for a PC game. I'd love to hear what game you developed for the Wii/360/PC and how much of a commercial success it was. Are we talking about a port of MGS4 or GTA IV to the Wii here? No, we are talking about its own stand alone game separate from any other console. Also the whole porting business works both ways, could you say port Super Mario Galaxy to the 360 or PS3 and have it be the same game it was on the Wii? No, you'll lose the things that make it a Wii game in the process such as controls. Now the whole idea of porting a 360 game to the Wii is about to be destroyed with Dead Rising: Chop till you Drop which is looking rather well and though I've seen a downgrade on the amount of enemies on screen I'm not sure how much of a downgrade it is. Now you will see a drop in certain things when porting to the Wii, like graphics and the amount of enemies on screen, and that may hender some games being ported that are heavily graphics driven, but overall though it hasn't stopped some games. Then you get something built as a 360 exclusive and its suddenly coming to the Wii, I don't see Capcom making a terrible port with only 10 zombies on screen at a time, calling it good, and throwing it onto store shelves. The Wii is in the current generation of gaming, there is no next generation of gaming because we know nothing of the next generation since Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony haven't really said anything beyond "We got something in the works". I question your statement about being a developer and I'd love to see you back that up, but as it stands now, for all to see, THE WII IS A CURRENT GENERATION SYSTEM. It goes beyond graphics and though the Wii can't do everything the 360 and PS3 can do, there are still things the 360 and PS3 can't do that the Wii does with ease. Enough said, now let's hear what game you developed.

Avatar image for thps48

This is probably the closest I, and every other white, middle-class male with the potential to be a member of either congress or parliament c. the 1800's, will get to becoming a minority. Those who own a Wii, I mean of course, but Take-Two may be surprised to find a strong hardcore mature audience on the DS and Wii unless I'm right and 10 people buy Chinatown Wars while everyone else plays Brain Age 0: Dr. Naka-something-or-other's dark origin. Nonetheless, pretty much everything, The Plague, conflicts, both bare-fisted and armed, and the inevitable apocalypse included, gets over a hump and the Wii's current "library" shouldn't be an exception. :j

Avatar image for Kevin1985_basic

More big titles should be there on Wii... Nintendo should dominate the game industry again, ahead of the much hated money-laundering Microsoft and god-damn Sony and their blue-ray.

Avatar image for Pices

@YoJim8obaJoe Wii has no good games? Super Smash Bros.Brawl Super Mario Galaxy Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Okami Wario Land: Shake It! No More Heroes Boom Blox Resident Evil 4 Mario Kart Wii Skate It Super Paper Mario Wii Fit Shawn White SnowBoarding Medal of Honor Heroes 2 Zack and Wiki Disaster Day of Crisis Battalion Wars 2 Blast Works De Blob Naruto Clash of Ninjas Revolution 2 Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Red Steel Oh and please don't make me list 50 great Wii games coming for 2009. If people are not playing the Wii, that’s their fault. Besides, according to, the statistics show that 80%-90% of Wii owners still play their Wii.

Avatar image for Pices

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

Avatar image for YoJim8obaJoe

tawagivercetti Posted Dec 22, 2008 12:42 am GMT @ Gamminator GTA has never been about the graphics its about great gameplay and awesome radio stations. Wii sales indicate that it is not a fad, rather a phenomonem. Nintendo can't be ridiculed or ignored. And btw GTA is coming for the ds!! woot! Wii is next I bet. Go watch some dragonball Z (Now thats a fad, for little kids too, lol) yeah but most that buy a Wii regret it a few weeks later when they realise there no good games hardly

Avatar image for Pices

@tawagivercetti and ausdavec I couldn't agree more...

Avatar image for tawagivercetti

@ Gamminator GTA has never been about the graphics its about great gameplay and awesome radio stations. Wii sales indicate that it is not a fad, rather a phenomonem. Nintendo can't be ridiculed or ignored. And btw GTA is coming for the ds!! woot! Wii is next I bet. Go watch some dragonball Z (Now thats a fad, for little kids too, lol)

Avatar image for ausdavec

@Gamminator Real gamers actually don't care much for graphics at all, we especially don't care what system a good game is running on. The most important thing is always gameplay. Thats the difference between a 'real gamer' and you!! Go watch some cartoons and let the rest of us have an intelligent discussion.

Avatar image for BigBen11111

I say it's time to let Grand Theft Auto shine on the Nintendo Entertainment Systems.

Avatar image for AsianXPride

I guess Wii could expand their enterprise by increasing more M rated games.

Avatar image for Vicionator

Gamminator u drugged or something when u saying: "the graphics would just be far below what we are used to with gta" WTF??????? , IT'S ONLY ONE GAME, GO PLAY THE OTHER GTA'S AND THEN COMMENT.

Avatar image for capitalthoughts

Gamminator Actually, what is sad is to be the "superior" gaming console and to have your butt handed too you by an "inferior" machine. The Wii may not be on par with the other machines technology wise, but it has done a fine job of not just staying ahead of the comp, but destroying them in sales. By the way, Mario has done just fine, and so has Call of Duty World at War. Same review scores as your "real" gaming console. Think before you rant next time.

Avatar image for Media_Mind

that be neat to see a gta wii

Avatar image for Pices

Gamminator, if the Wii is a fad..then how come you can't find any more in store shelves? I still play my Wii ever since May 2006 and I find all consoles great, so why do you dedicate yourself to one? If you think that the Wii is not aimed for a mature audience then look at No More Heroes and Madworld, if they can come to the Wii, then so will GTA. It'll be a great move to increase the customer base

Avatar image for Gamminator

gta on wii i just can't see happening (hey, i could be wrong), while it would perhaps be a halfway decent game, the graphics would just be far below what we are used to with gta. Now i know someone will say that i'm wrong, but tell me this, is there one game on the wii that doesn't look like a ps1 game with different controls? yeah i thought as much. to me the wii is more of a small fad, people see the new controls and are wowed by it so they get it, play it for a week and then it is never seen again. Now i'm happy for that to happen, actually i couldn't care less really, its good that nintendo is making so much cash out of it, what gets on my nerves is when people try to talk up the wii as a real gaming console that is on par with ps3, 360 and pc. Wake up to yourself if your one of those people, stick to your wii fit and mario, leave real games like gta and others to ps3, xbox and pc thanks

Avatar image for hatieshorrer

All video game consoles are trying to put out a more kid friendly image or should I remind anti-wii fans of the hit games Viva-Pinyata and LittleBigPlanet

Avatar image for hellhound1345

Ever since, the N64, nintendo has always been seen as a...younger peoples console, sure it had a few Violent tittles, but, the majority of games were childrens or "all aged" games. Its not that the wii is a childs console, its just that, nintendo are aiming to be family friendly.

Avatar image for Pices

Sorry, Jedilink109, but we have these stubborn and ignorant PS3/360 fanboys that bring no facts about the Wii. For example, mikeyg756

Avatar image for Jedilink109

Just because the Wii is a Nintendo system DOES NOT mean that i can't play M Rated games!!!!!! That makes no sense and I'm sick of hearing that crap. Has everyone forgotten about Manhunt 2, No More Heroes, and Resident Evil 4 already???????

Avatar image for tawagivercetti

The more GTA the better, no matter what console. You can't hold rockstar back let them explore this curiosity to the fullest.

Avatar image for lightning_kf

@ kejigoto: if only gamers nowadays had the mentality of you. HELL, I don't have a lot of M-rated games for any of the 3 systems I have (only own 1), yet I still enjoy the others I own, INCLUDING those that are rated E. I could care less about blood, gore, violence, sex and whatever adult-themed nonsense fanboys think makes a game great. As long as the game (no matter what rating it gets) has spectacular gameplay or catches my interest long enough, I'm getting it. Plain and simple. @ RetroGamer34233: Fanboy wars are sad.....and hilarious at the same time. And it's no way they'd get their heads off the dicks of Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft for 1 second and see the flaws of either console, which they ALL have.

Avatar image for fbigent34

Shadow_Fax87 - its not the negtive it the fan base they act like its not there. when cleary it is.

Avatar image for fbigent34

blueflame its not rockstar its two-take comments. saying there might not be an aduinece for the wii for the game... how are you taking a risk? comon... really explain

Avatar image for BlueFlameBat

My attention span is way too short right now to read the whole article (as small as it may be to the rest of you) so let me just say that I think if Rockstar doesn't want to take any really serious risks, they should release Vice City for the Wii with enough extras to choke a horse with (examples include a whole story for Lance Bass, a mini-story with Mercedes, full custom soundtrack support, a plethora of controller options, an option to play as whoever the hell was in San Andreas, higher resolution, playable versions of the arcade games in the pizza restaurants, more vehicles, and everything that was in the XBox and PS2 versions except the MicroSoft and Sony logos). Of course critics will still harp on it for being outdated, but it should still sell well. If it sells well enough, RockStar should make some whole new ultra-violent Wii games that will infuriate parents and politicians.

Avatar image for Mactiddeus

The Wii isn't a kids console, just like the PS or 360, its meant for anyone of any age. I don't know where you got this point of view from, as all consoles have gotten games that are 3+. As for developers thinking of content not being appropriate, maybe they just want to keep the Wii's independency by having it themed as a fun console, and that doen't focus too much on the adult based games (well, apart from No More Heroes).

Avatar image for Shadow_Fax87

Dam, these hardcore netendo fans are burtal, everything that says anything negative about the Wii or Nentendo has a disagreement rating

Avatar image for mikeyg756

By the way GTA4 and possibly the other ones have refrenced incest alot. The radio stations usually have it on them and there was a scene in GTA4 where they were using it to slag off somone in one of the gangs. No more heroes is hardly as bad as GTA, lets not forget that GTA games look realistic, not cartoony.

Avatar image for mikeyg756

Basicly the Wii is for kids, and if Rockstar released a new GTA game the inevitable truth is that the game would sell far less on the wii than the 360 or PS3 and all that would happen to the PS3 and Xbox version is they would feel poorly made to keep it similar to the Wii version.

Avatar image for disworldsuckz

I think they're looking at the Wii from a distance. Like capitalthoughts said, look at No More Heroes, which came out in January (I think). In addition, look at Manhunt 2 and Madworld, which is going to come next year. True, GTA touches on some adult themes, but so does No More Heroes (incest!). Take-Two and Rockstar believe that the Wii is not a viable console to bring M-rated games since it's all about the family. The Wii is a GAME CONSOLE, so that mean any type of game can come to the Wii. I believe that developers are pretty hesitant when it coems to developing M-rated games on the Wii, which shouldn't be the case. Come on guys, make those M-rated games; people like me are waiting.

Avatar image for capitalthoughts

They are worried about mature content on the Wii and being appropriate? Well, they obviously don't know about No More Heroes which touched on subjects of incest (a territory GTA hasn't touched) and even just from the trailers of madworld? I mean, I don't think I have yet to play a game with Man-Darts. I wouldn't just call what is in No More Heroes or from what we have seen of Madworld thus far mature, but more like depraved. Looks like fun, but depraved none the less. Who cares if they think their "best" content is too mature for the Wii. GTA has nothing on either No More Heroes or Madworld when it comes to mature content.

Avatar image for Cesar-Hunter

Now Nintendo didnt said the Wii was a family console, Nintendo said it was a console for ALL the family, so, there are also Mature people in a family, right, why exclude them.

Avatar image for MuffintopX

They're not talking about porting anythign to the Wii. They are talking about rating systems and how Wii's audience is generally not attracted to M-rated gaming. GTA Chinatown wards is not a port to DS, it is it's own game, and Take-Two is talking about whether producing a unique GTA game for the Wii will sell well. You can't rule out a console because of stereotypes against the types of gamers who play it, but from a business perspective, you may have to. We'll see how well Chinatown wars does.

Avatar image for Mactiddeus

I would of never thought they would export GTA to the Wii... There is the best chance that it will work out, but coming up with a control scheme, that would be the tricky part...

Avatar image for tatu2004

GTA4 on the wii would not work but looking forwards to GTA CW on DS

Avatar image for zaku101

GTA on Wii? Sounds like the new ps2 spin off.

Avatar image for robx360

RetroGamer..... Very well put. I have been playing since old school atari. I am a fanboy of the 360. However I totally agree with your analysis. Thumbs up to you.

Avatar image for r_gam3

sports titles, no thanks.