I try, in general, to avoid writing anything that’s too much about the business facts and figures of games companies (you know profits, share earnings etc…). I actually enjoy this kind of detail, but I know a lot of other people find it intensely boring and you’ve got to cater for your readership. However sometimes these stories can have interesting side effects, such as predictions about Grand Theft Auto V. So here’s the full story, complete with the figures.
On Tuesday Take Two posted a loss of $55.5 million for their fiscal quarter, with sales of $139 million. Apparently this represents a year-on-year loss of $434 million. Why the defecit? Well last year they released Grand Theft Auto IV and this year released… well to put it simply this year they didn’t release GTA IV. Under those circumstances there’s going to be a pretty significant discrepancy between their revenue figures. However fear not! This certainly doesn’t spell the end of Take Two. Nothing of the sort in fact.
You see while investors are undoubtedly unhappy about this lack of profits, several analysts have popped up to point out that next year will almost certainly be a bumper year for the company. I have to agree, and agreeing with analysts really does make me feel like I need a long bath, particularly as one of the analysts is the infamous Michael Pachter. In all seriousness though any analysts predicting a good year for Take Two next year is dead on the the money. With big names like Max Payne 3, Mafia 2, BioShock 2 and Red Dead Redemption pretty much confirmed for the next fiscal year and some predicting the release of Sony exclusive The Agent you can pretty much guarantee huge revenues for Take Two coming up.
However a curious side note to this story is the possibility of a new GTA title next year. Now this isn’t something I would have expected personally, but looking into it the possibility makes sense. Pachter and fellow analyst Mike Hickey are putting the release date as fiscal 2011, which starts with the 2010 Christmas period for Take Two. A little soon? Not if we’re looking at a title in similar style to Vice City or San Andreas. Vice City was released barely a year after GTA III and San Andreas was only another two years after that. With GTA IV released in April of last year, the holiday season next year would mark 2 and a half years from GTA IV‘s release and over a year from the release of The Ballad of Gay Tony DLC. With that background it doesn’t actually seem unlikely that a new GTA could release when Pachter and Hickey predict.
Of course it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t disagree with analysts a little. Pachter is predicting ‘GTA V‘, which I have to disagree with. I don’t think we’ll a full numbered release, that really does seem far too soon. However something along the lines of San Andreas or Vice City seems possible. Still full games, but closer in the technology behind the game to GTA III than GTA IV. Maybe we’ll see new stories set in the same cities, or maybe they’ll branch out. But a title called GTA V? No way.