Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the video-game maker behind Grand Theft Auto, announced plans for dozens of new titles starting this year, taking the edge off a forecast for light sales and profit in the months ahead as the pandemic lets up.
- Take-Two is coming out with “four immersive core releases from proven and new franchises” among 21 titles set for release during the current year, the company said Tuesday. Those will be followed by 40 titles in fiscal 2023 and 2024.
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- The industry is coming off a surge in game play and spending sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced millions of young people — a key video-game demographic — to stay home. But with the pandemic coming under control, nightlife outside the home is reviving. Revenue for the year ending next March is expected to decline from the one that just ended.
- “As the world returns to a new normal, we expect a moderation of the trends that benefited our industry over the past year,” the company said. But analysts have long also worried that Take-Two isn’t coming out with enough new games.
- The company is also incurring additional expenses to develop and market upcoming titles, Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick said in an interview. During the last quarter, the company entered into an exclusive, long-term agreement with golf legend Tiger Woods to serve as executive director and consultant on its PGA Tour 2K series.
- In March, the company acquired HookBang, a studio and partner, for work on NBA 2K franchise. The company continues to look at acquisitions, including potentially big purchases, Zelnick said.
- Sales in the just-ended fourth quarter totaled $784.5 million, excluding some items, beating Wall Street estimates of $664.2 million. Profit on that basis amounted to $1.40 a share, exceeding projections of 66 cents.
- Shares of Take-Two rose as much as 3.4% to $173.47 in extended trading. The stock is down 19% through Tuesday’s close in New York.