Take-Two’s having a bad time

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Take-Two Interactive – the company that owns 2K games and Rockstar Games – has published its recent earnings report, and things aren’t looking too peachy. The publisher has had a particularly disappointing quarter with its biggest games of the period failing to set the charts alight.

Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick has said that sales of Max Payne 3 and Spec Ops: The Line were "lower-than-anticipated."

Rockstar’s divisive take on Rememdy’s Max Payne  shipped three million units – which means it’s far from being a downright flop, but still fell short of the publisher’s expectations. I suspect its release date – the same day as Diablo III – probably had a negative effect on its sales, something Gavin correctly predicted, making him ultimately better than Michael Pachter.

I have to admit that I paid full retail price for Max Payne 3 – and I’m not exactly happy about it. I think the game was tiresome, repetitive and dragged on for too damned long – and even its rather sublime gunplay couldn’t keep me wholly engaged. On the flip side of that is Spec Ops: The Line, a game that surprised me immensely – by adding emotional gravity and the human condition to war.

Take 2 sees a  net loss of $110.8 million for the quarter, compared to last year’s $8.8 million. Its net revenue for the same period was $226.1 million, down from $334.4 million last year.

Read  Nearly half of Take-Two’s revenue comes from “recurrent consumer spending”

Despite the enormous loss, Zelnick remains bullish.

"The outlook for our slate of upcoming releases is stronger than ever," he said. "Early consumer enthusiasm suggests robust demand for our extraordinary lineup of upcoming releases, particularly Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13 and BioShock Infinite."

Notice anything missing? Yup, no Grand theft Auto 5 – a title that’s sure to revive Take0Two’s bank balance. during the investor call, Take 2 confirmed the game was "in full development and making substantial progress." interestingly, it seems that Take-Two’s fortunes could take a shot in the arm well before GTA5’s release; they’ve confirmed that Gearbox’s Borderlands 2 (one of our most anticipated games this year) is the third-highest preordered game in the publishers history behind only Grand Theft Auto: IV and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Last Updated: August 1, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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