Max Payne 3 delayed, Borderlands sequels teased

Rockstar Vancouver's shooter sequel pushed to Aug.-Oct. quarter as Take-Two president Ben Feder says 2K Games has "long-term publishing rights" to Gearbox's action-RPG hit.

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This afternoon, Take-Two Interactive stock plummeted as much as 21 percent following the company's downward revision of its full-year earnings estimates. Financial carnage aside, the report also bore some unwelcome news for those wanting to play Max Payne 3. The long-awaited return of the landmark shooter series has been pushed back into the August-October quarter of 2010, the fourth quarter in Take-Two's fiscal year. The game had originally been set for a winter 2009 release before being delayed to the first half of 2010.

Max Payne 3's bullet time won't start until August 2010…at the earliest.
Max Payne 3's bullet time won't start until August 2010…at the earliest.

Set for release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, Max Payne 3 is currently in the works at Rockstar Games' Vancouver studio, which took over development reins from Finnish shop Remedy (Alan Wake). The game will see the former New York police detective living in squalor in a Rio de Janeiro slum, having bulked up and gone bald. Details on the game's story are slim, but screens show that events soon descend into the gun-fueled violent gameplay that the series is known for.

In more welcome news, Take-Two also used the announcement to tease the prospect of a sequel to its best-selling action role-playing game, Borderlands. In a conference call with analysts, chairman Strauss Zelnick praised the game, saying it shows "every sign of becoming an important, long-term franchise." Company president Ben Feder then announced that the 2K Games label has secured "long-term publishing rights to Borderlands sequels."

The Borderlands IP remains the property of its developer, Gearbox Software, which has also hinted a sequel is planned. For the moment, though, the suburban Dallas studio is focused on the pipeline of downloadable content for the first Borderlands, such as the just-released--and well-reviewed--Zombie Island of Dr. Ned.

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