FEB. 4, 2014 • Holiday releases led by Grand Theft Auto V led Take-Two Interactive financials to non-GAPP revenue of $767.7 million for the fiscal third quarter ending December 31. That total beat Take-Two’s forecast of $650 million to $700 million, and was a significant increase over the $405 million in revenue tallied for the same quarter the previous year. Take-Two attributed the strong performance to the continued success of Grand Theft Auto V, a record launch for NBA 2K14, and virtual item purchases from Grand Theft Auto Online. GTA V has sold more than 32.5 million units worldwide to date, and the publisher has sold-in more than 5 million units of NBA 2K14 worldwide on all platforms – making the title the fastest selling installment in the NBA 2K franchise. Take-Two said 70% of consumers who have played Grand Theft Auto V while connected to the Internet have also played Grand Theft Auto online since its launch on October 1. The company would not disclose how many of those connected players had paid for virtual content. Grand Theft Auto Online, however, was the single largest contributor to digitally delivered content revenue during the quarter. Overall, Take-Two reported that revenue from digitally delivered content grew 42% year-over-year to $132.8 million with nearly half of that revenue generated from virtual currency, add-on content and online gaming purchases. After GTA Online the top titles were NBA 2K14, Borderlands 2 and BioShock Infinite. About 70% of Take-Two’s revenue was generated by Rockstar Games content, and 30% from the 2K label. As for geographic markets, about 50% of revenue came from United States and 50% from the rest of the world.
Impact: DFC Intelligence is significantly increasing its forecast for the core game market. These new forecasts will be launched next week as part of the Worldwide Video Game Market Forecast service. The success of Grand Theft Auto V was a major indicator that demand for core games is stronger than ever. Looking at first full quarter financial results is always wise when gaging how well a major title is doing. We knew last fall that GTA V had shipped 29 million units in the six weeks after its September 17 release. That the title has sold 32.5 million to date is an amazing figure. Retail games generally amass their greatest revenue early after release. What makes GTA V a different animal was the inclusion of Grand Theft Auto Online as part of the package. Drawing in 70% of players with a net connection into GTA Online is a huge success. Not only does this open world multiplayer version of the franchise keep players involved in the franchise, it also is generating a long tail of revenue. Take-Two will not say how much GTA Online is responsible for, but close to half of the $132.8 million in total digital revenue taken in during the quarter is coming from virtual content like those found for sale in GTA Online. Now that we are in the lull after the holidays, it will be intriguing to see how well GTA Online adds to Take-Two’s bottom by the company’s fiscal year end on March 31. Regardless, GTA V was a major home run hit.