NBA lockout could cost Take-Two $40 million - Analyst

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia says if ongoing labor dispute continues, softer sales of NBA 2K12 could result, costing publisher millions.

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EA Sports planned to ship Madden NFL 12 regardless of whether or not the NFL and its Players Association reached a deal to end its months-long lockout. Luckily for EA, such a deal was inked, and the season will play out as usual. However, the upcoming 2011-2012 NBA season is also stuck in a lockout, and one analyst believes if a solution is not reached, Take-Two stands to lose as much as $40 million.

Not even Magic can save 2K12, says Bhatia.
Not even Magic can save 2K12, says Bhatia.

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia issued an investor note this morning that stated if the NBA lockout does not end, sales of NBA 2K12 will be softer than predicted.

Just yesterday, Take-Two reported its latest quarterly earnings, saying NBA 2K11 has sold 5.5 million copies. However, Bhatia's firm is currently projecting that sales of NBA 2K12 could fall off by 1 million units over last year. Sales at this level would diminish Take-Two's earnings by $40 million, he projected.

However, Bhatia also stated that the "uniqueness" of NBA 2K12 might be enough to make the game a top-performer, regardless of a lockout scenario.

"We are conservatively modeling 4.5M units for the title in FY12," he said. "The company’s viewpoint, however, is that the uniqueness of its upcoming NBA title could conceivably protect it from historically negative trends during a lockout."

The "uniqueness" of NBA 2K12 is likely related to the game's NBA's Greatest component. This mode has gamers playing as 15 of the greatest NBA teams in history and re-creating some of the sport's greatest matches.

For more on the upcoming hardwood sim, check out GameSpot's latest hands-on preview with NBA 2K12.

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