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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king23_

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Congrats to people who only own a Wii and no other current gen consoles if GTA does in fact come to the Wii. Since I also own a PS3, I'm not exactly dieing for GTA to come to the Wii.

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V-Nine

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......uuuuuuuhh???...umm?... on the Wii?...dont know what to make of this info...seems way wii-erd....

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Arclight_Blue

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Wow Take-Two is pretending to be friends with Nintendo but in reality, Take-Two silently gives Nintendo "the Finger" whenever they turn their back on them. No wonder EA stopped chasing these guys.

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jay_rock_

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I really don't have anything to say...

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remmbermytitans

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No More Heroes says hi.

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rulo_rezn0r

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how about a real gta game like san andreas, not the crappy IV

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heavymetalzplin

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Wait, wait. What ? Just have a look at Wii sales figures, M-rated Wii games just don't sell.

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lightning_kf

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@wiifan001 Agreed. Nintendo doesn't really need a lot of M-rated games to please gamers. They just gotta make new ones with great gameplay and GIVE THEIR OTHER MASCOTS OTHER THAN MARIO AND LINK A CHANCE TO SHINE IN THE SPOTLIGHT *cough* Kirby and Fox McCloud *cough*. And if they DO want to go that route, hire a well established game developer to make the games worth while. I've said it a million times: Blood, gore, violence and sex does not an awesome game make. That and I've never liked the Grand Theft Auto series to begin with. As for the controversy, you know as well as I do that this game on the Wii would cause that. HELL, I'm surprised No More Heroes hasn't been in any soccer mom's crosshair yet.

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andrat99

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BUY** Lolz

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andrat99

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Well, you don't want your kids to see this DON"T BUT IT FOR THEM!!!! If you don't want to do it DON"T BUT IT! I'm not sure why everyone is b*tching, it's a choice to buy it

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mjk400

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GTA for the Wii would be interesting.

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cdx00

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@wiifan001, good points, but I've seen some parents get pretty pissed off when Wii Fit, an E-rated title, informs them that 'hey, you all are fat skanks. Give up now and preserve your dignity.' I can see it now... Hot Coffee Mod... WiiFit balancing Board style! Hump that board!

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ratavaquera

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port GTA II to the Wii Wii users will be happy with that lol

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guppieface

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i hope the ds game is as fun as the hype makes me think it will be. i dont want another halo 3 style letdown (or gears 2, what a crock, "cliffy b"!!) i like my ds but i mainly play strategy games and rpgs on it. i love civ and AoE Mythologies, but havnt been too impressed with other games- i got call of duty 4 for ds but i failed to see why people liked it so much. hope chinatown wars can do it right!

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wiifan001

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I won't purchase M rated titles no matter what systems it's on but I'm sure that there are millions of wii owners who would support this whole "Wii need more Mature rated great Wii titles." But there's a problem, just like most other GTA games, GTA on Wii would likely create controversy, especially since there is such a large portion of mothers/grandmothers who are playing on this console. A Wii title that has strip clubs won't be overlooked and taken lightly.

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cdx00

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It's hard to make a serious game for the Wii given it's control scheme and presentation. Do you folks really want them to make a GTA where you run around, steal cars, deal drugs and slap hos with your Miis? Now that I think about it.. Hell yeah I would.

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Wolblade

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Maybe they could continue the China Town wars series on the Wii (not a port of course), or maybe something other than American gangs. Yakuza maybe?

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FurtherIntel

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Well, if this was done right - and it was NOT a port of GTA 4, then it would do great. They will have to build a completely new game. I can see it now - Grand Theft Auto: Tokyo ! Or something like that. The hardcore Wii gamers support you RockStar!

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link631

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yeah

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Jigen32

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It's sad that they don't even know the market for M rated games on the Wii and DS.

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MoonMarvel

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Actually ropumar I don't even have a wii but would buy one just to get updated versions of those games.

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kejigoto

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@ Gastman GTA on the Wii would be a far cry from the worst idea ever considering its install base is bigger than the PS3 and 360 combined right now, and not everyone who owns one depends on their parents to buy them games. Way to be a gamer and keep an open mind about things, Rockstar has yet to let us down when it comes to a GTA game and I highly doubt the DS GTA will suck by any means at all. Just because it isn't the best graphics in the world doesn't mean its not a great game, and I'm sure if Rockstar didn't think it would be good and make money, they wouldn't bother with it. But I'm sure with your infinite business knowledge and ability to see into the future already told you that Chinatown Wars would suck and a Wii GTA would be terrible, just like you foresaw the PS3 bouncing back in 07.... oh wait it didn't.

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ropumar

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Will most likely be a mixed port from San Andreas, vice City and GTA3. And will sell like crazy since owners of wii buy anything with "Wii" on the box. Wii so last gen.

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Chickasaw87

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As far as im concerned the only really good games from Take-Two are the GTA family and Bioshock. But hey the two best games ever created. I hope that they continue to grow so we get to play more kick@$$ games.

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-Squirrel-

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Porting GTA 4 would not be a great idea, but a Wii specific GTA would be amazing. GTA is both casual and hardcore, and Nintendo's got both of those audiences in spades. I could imagine GTA actually selling better on Wii than 360, if it was made correctly. I personally would love GTA: Vice city 2, bringing back the good old lovable Tommy Vercetti. I never played Vice City Stories, so I hope they didn't kill him off somewhere in the story or anything. Plus we know the Wii could easily pull off a polished up Vice City because the PS2 did it. And as for Chinatown Wars, barring an awful series of reviews, I'm definitely getting it and I'm sure it's going to be a hit.

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Gastman

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This is the worst ideal ever. A GTA on the Wii won't make since and beside no parent won't buy these kids a GTA game on that systems. Most Nintedno fans who are older will buy it and BTW GTA: Chinatown on the DS will suck.

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Litchie

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A cel-shaded GTA Wii would be cool. Would be kinda hard to make it look good otherwise..

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VenomRitual

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"swing your remote to get your prostitute to cough up your percentage!"

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okassar

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Methuselah6463 said: i can see it happening... and likely it will be the biggest selling game of 2009 okassar says: ROFL!!!ROFLCOPTER!!!Do you actually believe that?Like...really?The graphics and detail is such a big part of the latest installment in the series, port the game to the Wii and you're taking that and slicing that in half.

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puppiemaster

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I'd buy Wii GTA

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starbead

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A GTA game on the Wii could be a blockbuster if it was done right. If it is just a crappy port, it would fail. But a game designed from the ground up for the Wii controls could be phenomenal. And friends don't let friends buy GTAIV for the PC. Malware = death of PC gaming. Just say NO to SecuRom. Boycott EA and Take-Two.

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AtlanticRock

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If GTA was to hit the Wii, the profits would go waaaay up for Rockstar... they don't get it, people bought Wiis to play good games, GTA is a great series the M-rating shouldn't matter. Look at God of War, Gears of War, Halo 3, GTA IV, Bioshock; they all sell alot, Nintendo should support a GTA Wii.

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MuereLoco

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And about GTA not being casual, GTA is not only for the hardcore. There are casual, mature gamers, and most of them I know play GTA.

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MuereLoco

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BurningChrome- I'm sorry, did it say Grand Theft Mario? Because I read Grand Theft Auto! (Little afraid that Wii is expanding it's fanbase? Because the only insult I ever here against Wii is that it's kiddy. I bet GTA will shut you up...)

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Methuselah6463

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i can see it happening... and likely it will be the biggest selling game of 2009

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foxracing1313

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I dont mean to stereotype but a CFO in New York named Lainie Goldstein, go figure :)

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stefanslavkovic

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I want GTA San Andreas Stories on Wii!!! San Andres best game EVER!!!!

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Wuflungdung

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how annoyed would you be now when ea offered like $20 a share and now its $9

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BurningChrome

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Coming to Wii- Grand Theft Mario! Jack Mario Karts and save the princess! GTA on Wii, yea right!

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funsohng

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yay new gta on wii would be awesome. i love godfather on wii so i think gta would do a great job also, maybe even better

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blangenakker

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Well it might work because The Godfather Blackhand Editon on th Wii is a sand box game and it is rated MA. Even though the graphics might hold it back a bit but it should work.

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garrett_duffman

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thats fine im perfectly fine with the godfather: Blackhand Edition, and Scarface. im sure there will be more to come whether or not GTA does or doesnt

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cajunstrike

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Interesting...

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kejigoto

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@ canderson85 Did you like not read my post at all? Last time I checked GTA Chinatown Wars on the DS isn't a port of any game, in fact it is its own game made for the DS. I wasn't talking about porting a game either to Wii, I'm talking about its own game built just for the Wii. Next time read my post before going off about how bad a port they did for the PC, which they've already fixed since it was an issue with certain drivers for video cards. Also one messed up port job doesn't equal failure all around considering how many ports Rockstar has done without any issues. Porting all the PSP titles to the PS2, moving The Bully to the 360 and Wii, and a fair amount of others. Yes GTA IV on the PC was a mess up, but its a fixed mess up and they probably learned alot from it.

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baake2007

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Thats for the DS

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X-Playkid

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Arent they already making a GTA for the Wii. Like Chinatown or something

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KingsofQueens

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Putting a GTA on a Wii = bad idea. It simply won't sell. I mean what's the point? Most of the Wii casual userbase would rather play simplistic casual games. Leaving the small hardcore Wii ONLY owners supporting it, which won't make any money for R*. Most Wii owners who have a 360, PS3 or PC would RATHER PLAY GTA on the better more powerful platform. That's the advantage of owning more than one console. GTA Chinatown Wars for DS is a different story. It's a portable platform, you wouldn't expect high caliber graphics on it. So as long as the gameplay is great, GTA: CW would likely sell more.

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tevic

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GTA San Andreas Stories for the Wii ??? That would be sweet !

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flameducky

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If they do make a Bully 2, no M-rating please. My dorm advisor checks all our games and they're content, so it's hard to get something past her. I'm lucky I got GTA IV through. Still, I would like to see a next-gen bully.

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kkkkknaruto

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gta wud be a flop as cod world at war is on the wii.......world at war opening on the 360 was around 1.3million, ps3 800k, wii 61k........