The future is bright for Take-Two Interactive. Borderlands 2 had a strong first week, with critics raving and financial analysts predicting it will be the fourth best-selling game of the year, trailing only Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Halo 4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s got good buzz and NBA 2K13 will enjoy the series’ perennially great sales. Next year? BioShock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V. Those two games though, the shining stars of 2K Games’ 2013, were supposed to come out in 2012. They’re the root of Take-Two’s low revenue expectation woes.
As reported by GamesIndustry International, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick explained during a meeting this week why the company saw a $107.7 million loss in the last fiscal year. “This was primarily due to our decision to postpone the release of several titles in order to allow for additional development time,” said Zelnick, “Although our commitment to quality may occasionally affect near-term results, we believe it’s the right approach for maximizing revenue and profits over the long-term.”
BioShock Infinite, by all accounts, needed the extra gestation time to be the success that Take-Two wants it to be with gamers. Irrational Games announced ahead of E3 2012 that it would push BioShock Infinite into 2013 and that it wouldn’t show the game to the press until it was close to finished. In August, though, numerous key staff members working on Infinite left Irrational amid reports that the game was in deep trouble. Cut multiplayer modes and broken play systems were just a couple of the alleged problems facing the game.
Grand Theft Auto V meanwhile didn’t come out in 2012 because Rockstar Games is, as the studio is wont to do, taking its time making the game perfect. “Grand Theft Auto V is in full development and making substantial progress,” said Zelnick in the meeting. There were rumors that GTAV might see a surprise release in October, but the game’s now a lock for the beginning of the next fiscal year.
A year that will prove markedly better than 2012. Take-Two saw sales during the April to June quarter drop to $226 million from $334 million during the same period in 2011. Max Payne 3 simply didn’t hit in the way that past spring Rockstar releases like Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire did. Grand Theft Auto V shouldn’t have the same problem, and BioShock Infinite should help Take-Two close the fiscal year in March strong.