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Take-Two revenue up $556M in '08, talks '09 plans


Despite what he calls "clearly uncertain and challenging times," Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said during an investor teleconference today that fiscal year 2008 saw the "strongest earnings in our company's history." Specifically, the publisher's revenue for FY08 was $1.5 billion, up from $981.8 million in FY07. Quarterly revenue for Q408 was $323.4M versus $292.6M for Q407.

Zelnick admitted that the company is "experiencing lower than expected holiday sales," adding that it predicts, "significantly reduced sales expectations for the next four months." CEO Ben Feder pointed out that while it is selling well now, Midnight Club: Los Angeles got off to a "slower than expected start."

Feder pointed out that the publisher's Metacritic average across all its titles in FY08 was 80%, saying it was "higher than any other publisher." Looking ahead, he confirmed that "Rockstar has one triple-A title in development which will release in calendar year 2009," but reacted to a question about a possible new GTA in 2010 by saying, "it's way to early to talk about."

On the topic of Atari's recent acquisition of Cryptic Studios, Feder confirmed that, "We no longer intend to publish the MMO game Champions Online."

While other publishers are closing studios, Feder says that Take-Two is snapping up the cast-off talent. Speaking about the upcoming GTA IV episode, The Lost and Damned, he said that the company is "looking across [its] entire portfolio to determine where DLC makes sense." He concluded by saying that Take-Two sees "emerging opportunities with iPhone," and said of Nintendo: "Our relationship ... has never been stronger. We talk to them all the time."

Overall, Take-Two says it has 36 titles in development for release in FY09, including "second-half titles" BioShock 2 (curiously, still listed as platform "TBA"), Mafia II and its second episodic update for GTA IV – a "majority" of its triple-A titles, as expected, will arrive in Q409.

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