In what can only be considered to be not-a-surprise, Take-Two has announced that BioShock Infinite has sold significantly more copies in its first month than its predecessors in the series. In fact, more than 3.7 million copies of the excellent game has been shipped around the world, and there has apparently been “solid demand” for the game’s Season Pass, though no one really knows what DLC they’re going to get.
The publisher, however, isn’t doing so well. Despite having such big successes as BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, and NBA 2K13, the company finished the year with a net loss of $29.49 million. Interestingly, it’s better than last year, which saw a $108.82 million deficit.
As for its other successes, Borderlands 2 has shipped 6 million copies since its release, which puts it on track to be the publisher’s best-selling title; NBA 2K13 has shipped 5 million copies. No figures were revealed for Max Payne 3 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, though both of them were critically acclaimed at release.
The publisher is looking to bank on the launch of GTA 5, which is due out later this year. It’s quite sad that Take-Two is still in the red despite having released so many good games. As a matter of fact, I’ve put countless hours into these games, as have many others, yet I don’t understand how such a publisher can still make a loss.
It seems monolithic publisher Electronic Arts just won’t leave Take-Two Interactive alone, as the company has once again extended the deadline for its takeover bid of its rival. The extension moves the final date to June 16, leaving T2’s board of directors to consider EA’s $25.74 per share offer.
Take-Two has already responded, and while it doesn’t directly say anything, their response easily implies that they want more money, saying that the current deal isn’t “good” for their shareholders.
“Extending our offer will allow the FTC review process to continue,” said EA Corporate Development senior VP Owen Mahoney. “Our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied.”
Take-Two Interactive has announced the formation of 2K Marin, a new development studio under its 2K publishing wing. Located in Novato, California, the studio is staffed by developers who worked on BioShock. The studio will develop original IP, as well as co-develop products with other 2K studios around the world.
“We’re focused on continuing to bring new brands and cutting-edge gameplay to market with the creation of the 2K Marin studio,” said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K. “2K Marin will build upon our success in creating and leveraging AAA franchises.”
Take-Two Interactive, following its earnings call, has announced the formation of 2K Play, a new publishing label dedicated to casual gaming. As part of the initiative, the publisher also announced an expansive new handheld and console game licensing agreement with Nickelodeon, one that involves major properties like Nick Jr., Dora the Explorer and more.
“We welcome our new partnership with 2K Play,” said Shaul Olmert, Vice President/Digital Media products for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “This is the first time Go, Diego, Go! is coming to handheld and console systems and will mark Dora the Explorer’s debut on the popular Nintendo DS™ system. We are excited to welcome 2K Play into our growing family of innovative digital products.”
2K Play joins fellow publishing labels 2K Games and 2K Sports as new divisions under the 2K branch. The new label will absorb Take-Two‘s Global Star Software label, including the Carnival Games brand, the Cat Daddy Games studio and PC games based on the popular Deal or No Deal franchise.
More announcements regarding the 2K Play lineup are forthcoming.
Controversial games publisher Take-Two revealed that its Q3 2007 fiscal results has seen a 14% year-over-year drop in revenue, following first and second quarter losses with a $58.5 million net loss, though its far less than that of last year.
However, the company had good news for itself: BioShock is popular. The obvious fact was made more obvious as they revealed that the Xbox 360 demo was the faster to hit 1 million downloads on Xbox Live Marketplace and that the company has shipped 1.5 million units of the game worldwide. Though they wouldn’t provide exact sales numbers, the company believes that BioShock is “one of the fastest selling games in video game history.”
Take-Two plans to capitalize on the success of the game by hoping to make it into an ongoing franchise. Company chairman Strauss Zelnick stated that a “two-year schedule would be optimal” for the game, comparing it to that of GTA. “I’d expect we’d apply roughly the same strategy to BioShock because [it] is shaping up to be a very important franchise.”
In other news, the call revealed that PS3 action game L.A. Noire and PSP music game Beaterator have both been delayed. They are now expected to ship sometime in Take-Two fiscal year 2009, which begins in November 2008.
Speaking to Game Politics, industry analyst Michael Pachter commented that Rockstar’s school life adventure game Bully won’t be receiving a sequel. The reason? Sluggish sales. The game sold over 800,000 units, and even though that’s quite a lot, it cost Take-Two close to $15 million in R&D, implying that they “did no better than to break even.”
If what he says becomes true (the “no sequel” part) then Bully would be the only Rockstar property not to get a follow up. Those who played Bully will tell you how great a game it is, including the critics. So, it’d seem stupid not to create a sequel. Let’s hope Take-Two sanctions a sequel for us fans and not just look at the money.
Our favorite lunatic, Jack Thompson, had sent out a mass-email to various news outlets, stating his plans to protest the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. Apparently, he will take “various means to prohibit” the sale of the game to minors, but most surprisingly, he specifically targeted Bill Gates: “Please have your lawyers [Microsoft chairman Bill Gates’, that is] contact me in order that such sales will be prevented.”
He also added: “I and others will endeavor to stop Microsoft from participating in any fashion, directly or indirectly, in such sales to minors.”
Grand Theft Auto IV is slated for release this October on both PS3 and Xbox 360.
More and more publishers are jumping on the “in-game ads” bandwagon: Take-Two is the latest one to be bitten by the bug. It has signed a deal with Double Fusion to offer in-game advertising in a selection of 2K Games and 2K Sports titles.
As per the terms of the agreement, Double Fusion will be the exclusive North American and European representative for advertising opportunities in 2K’s games throughout 2007 and 2008. In addition, it will serve as the exclusive representative and technology provider for dynamic in-game advertising across all PC and console platforms except for Xbox and Xbox 360.
A short press release from Rockstar Games reveals that a Grand Theft Auto trilogy will be released for the PS2 this Holiday season. Dubbed Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy, the compilation pack will include GTA 3, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas; it will retail for $40 and will be available starting December 4.
With the exception of a few, it is a rule that movie-games must suck. Well, Sega has also jumped on the bandwagon: the company has announced that it has partnered with Marvel Entertainment to exclusively develop and publish games based on the Iron Man property. Sega has been given the right to create games based on both the upcoming Iron Man feature film and the classic comic book iterations of the superhero. Both companies plan on bringing at least one other Marvel property to next-gen consoles.
No studio has been named yet, though further information is expected soon. The Iron Man movie is expected in theatres on May 2, 2008.
In more superhero news, Take-Two has picked up the rights to create games based on the upcoming Fantastic Four movie sequel. No details are known, except that the film-based-game will out be out alongside the movie next year.