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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tycoonmike

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It would be interesting to see a GTA title for the Wii, but even diehard Nintendo addicts would have to admit that there is no way on this Earth that the Wii could handle a game of such graphical quality as GTA4. And, I also can't imagine people like Miyamoto appreciating Rockstar muscling in on a console that he, and a select few developers, have in their pockets.

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xcollector

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Make a Bully 2 instead. This time with an M rating.

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glennwinton

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there are plenty of great M rated games on the wii( like No More Heroes) but wii can always use more lol

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Serraph105

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I would love a GTA on the wii I hope the "testing" goes well

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FoxExecutive

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Here is some advice Rockstar, if you put a game out for the Wii make sure it is a quality title, otherwise don't expect anyone to buy it. People didn't buy GTA IV on PS3 and 360 because it was made by Rockstar, but because it was a superb game for those consoles and had built a reputation of being great.

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R41N_M4K3R

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Manhunt should have been AO

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Hekynn

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Wow wtg GTA4 glad I put GTA4 on my xmas list for PC since my rig can handle it :D

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Nickfury101

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Since Rockstar has already tested the waters on the Wii with its secondary franchises (Bully, and Manhunt 2), I woulden't be surprised if a version of GTA for the Wii is not already in production.

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killa4lyfe

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by it i mean M rated games....:D

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killa4lyfe

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hmmm this could get pretty interesting ...they have already gone to ds so i am sure that they will go to Wii......they bettr the Wii needs it....

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larryb007

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If they are just now going to make a wii game, well its a little to late for that. A good game takes 2 years to make at least. unless its just mini games

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samiup

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wii needs a hardware upgrade first... good titles will follow

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favre4thewin

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Rockstar will make GTA Wii. They like money, don't they?

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FUsquarepants

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Resident Evil 4 Wii edition and Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, both M rated titles for Wii and both have sold well over a million each so there is a market there.

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Pete5506

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Wow Wii needs some M rated games

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Shantrix

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GTA for wii could work. Rockstar representatives have said many times that they are not interested in making a game they would not make if Nintendo asked for it, that means that if they agree in making a gta for wii it would absolutely be a game they would make, despite the lower graphics and motion controls, rockstar has delivered in all these recent years and I know they will figure out a good way to make a gta for wii, just like they are doing with the DS. About who will buy the game? Everyone that wants to, its not that they will play it in a family night, there are games for that, gta for wii will be for hardcore gamers that want it and that doesn't mean that only adults and kids use the wii. There's plenty of customers ready to buy this game.

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kkevguy47k

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it doesnt matter if games are, m, t, e, or whatever aslong as theyre good. although alot of people cant get M games probly half of the wii market. but half of the wii market is huge

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SoNin360

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Yeah that's dumb they should make more M games for the Wii I meen it's not just little kids and "families" that use Wii's ya know, it would be nice to have a few more good selection of M games for the Wii. A GTA would be cool. They are makin one for the DS but not the Wii, doesn't make well enough sence, either put one on both or put one on the Wii honestly.

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Syferonik

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haha OMFG Wii is getting a M rated game. END OF THE WORLD IS COMING

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mightychir

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we nood more rate M games on the wii

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ecs33

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@DoomZaW Yeah. I think Nintendo realized with Wii Music that it isn't easy appealing to softcore gamers. The tricky part about making games that appear to softcore gamers is that it has to have an element of non-seriousness and fun at the same time. Something like Wii bowling worked wonders. But it is hard to come up with an idea that would shoot off with the softcore crowd like Wii Bowling did. It is probably more difficult making games for softcore gamers that would actually meet a wide appeal than it is to create games for the hardcore gamers. I feel like the hardcore are easier to please.

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kono11

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We need 2 GTA for Nintendo Wii. One rated M, and one rated T. So they can reach more customers. If Rockstar and Take-Two handling this game very well, this could be a WIN.

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Apoklitty

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wii needs a good gta game to get more hardcore gamers interested in wii

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ecs33

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I don't know. The perspective would surely be different. WOuld a third person game similar to the one seen on 360 and PS3 work on the Wii? I feel like the controls would be whack.

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theragu40

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Dear God, everyone buy GTA: Chinatown Wars. If only to prove to Rockstar that they should release GTA on Wii. Please please please...

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caketoo

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Take2 knows that they can just put GTA on anything and millions of people will wet themselves for it and more importantly pay full price.

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black_ice23

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someone other than Nintendo has to release heavy hitters, i loved the Godfather on Wii it was great and i have no idea why Godfather II isnt coming but still it proved GTA open world can work,

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DoomZaW

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About time someone gave a damn about the hardcore gamers on the wii

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black_ice23

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Well lets hope GTA DS does well or we may never Get GTA DS lets hope the name GTA could carry on the DS and then eventually on the Wii but you never know til they try

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canderson85

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@kejigoto "..They gave it the time and attention it needs to stand on its own two feet and function on the system to the best of its ability..." Have you been living under a rock this month? Did you forget the complete botch job Rockstar pulled with GTA4 PC? Completely unoptimized and unstable. And claiming it was designed for PC's from the future.. or something (sorry rockstar, my PC is way faster then a xbox 360, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to play a 360 game at equal graphical levels. Rockstar deserves no credit or faith with their ability to port games after this Epic Fail

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djmillard2

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yay! me and my mom can shoot hookers together!

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Hybridos

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I will be happy to play with all my family a Multiplayer GTA where the screen is splited in for and you have to robber 10 cars and deliver them to a parking lot before the other players, that would be very cool. Dont be fooled, millions of people that have a Wii not all of them are merely grandmas and 5 year old children

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kejigoto

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Amazing how many think that GTA on the Wii would be completely ruined and toned down. They aren't toning GTA down for the DS by any means, its keeping its M rating and staying right on course with its open world gameplay. And for those of you out there who think the controls would suffer need to check out a few games like No More Heroes and The Godfather on the Wii which were great games, especially The Godfather which showed how an open world game much like GTA could flourish on the Wii and personally I loved having the Wiimote to aim with and would take that over the 360 controller any day. Its not a matter of if at this point, its a matter of when, and you have to be a complete fool to think they'd try to port GTA IV to the Wii. Did they just port over one of the PSP GTA's to the DS? No. They gave it the time and attention it needs to stand on its own two feet and function on the system to the best of its ability. They'll probably do a spin off of SA I imagine, SA Stories anyone? Hopefully not, but I imagine it would be very much like that with a few upgrades to the controls and graphically as well. Personally I'd love to see GTA come to the Wii and I'm sure that it would sell extremely well, if other games like Madworld, No More Heroes 2, and The Conduit are set to launch on the Wii, why not GTA? Obviously if you look around there's enough of us here that play core games that this would perform very well sales wise. Also from a business stand point it makes perfect sense, a GTA game in half time for half the money and the install base is twice the size of the others? Makes sense to me.

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canderson85

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Nintendokid - Force Unleashed SUCKED for the Wii. I mean really really really sucked! would take the PS2 version any day. And what you never played No More Heroes & Smash bros? The only Wii games still worth mentioning. A GTA game on Wii would most likely sell well, crap or not. I'm sure there's millions of Wii owners out there thinking "WTF where are the real games?" that would jump at a big name release like GTA (not me personally).

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frankeyser

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I would buy it if it was good. if a game is good on wii i buy it. if it is shareware I pass on it. The mess that was manhunt 2 on wii was not worth a purchase. I did buy bully however on wii.

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nintendokid

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@Kwiksilva I don't think a GTA on the Wii would do as well as 360 or PS3 versions. The Wii fans have spoken with their wallets and they prefer shovelware. If games like RE4, Metroid Prime 3, Twilight Princess and Star Wars Force Unleashed were not even given a chance by the Wii players what makes you think they will try out GTA?

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vietboi89

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GTA on the wii doesnt sound like a good idea, just because a lot of people have wiis doesnt mean they will buy the game think about it, u buy a wii for ur family and now u want ur family to have a merry time shanking people in a GTA game? I think this idea will fail, Wii = family fun GTA = sadistic guilty pleasure u no its true

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oscar_mateo

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A gta in wii would have bad graphics. It would not fucntion

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BlackDragon110

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I really don't believe that Strauss Zelnick statement about M-rated games on the Wii to be true. Seriously What about No More Heroes? That game is far more volinet then GTA is. And I really don't see how GTA: Chinatown Wars is a test case. It's not the first GTA on the DS. Seems to me that if they really wanted to put GTA on the Wii, they would.

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Viral-venom13

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A lot of downgrading may have to occur for GTA IV to come to the Wii but it may be possible! What would have been cool was for them to re-release San Andreas unto the system as a special edition version and do the same for the likes of Vice City and GTA III.

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nintendoboy16

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GTA and the Wii? No.

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otanikun

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I would cry if a GTA game was released for the Wii, not just because of the graphics but the content would be so stripped down and just...no.

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D3dr0_0

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Nintendo and GTA don't mix unless its the old school GTA.

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Redgarl

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More like weak as it's ever been.

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HOMIE_G64

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Hopefully it isn't a port. If the PC port is any indication, the GTA4 for Wii won't be as good.

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Kwiksilva

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Why wouldnt they bring GTA to the Wii its makes the most sense from a business standpoint it has more consoles out there than any of the other 2?

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Micropixel

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Whether people like the idea or not, the Wii needs a game like GTA. Period. And Take-Two would be absolutely foolish to ignore the install base the Wii has.

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Expo_Smacko

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GTA on the Wii? eh

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ak47pi

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I sort of want a T GTA Game on the Wii, it would get a larger audience on the Wii, being T, and I am sheltered, so I could play it.