Take-Two has talked bullishly of its hopes for the success of Grand Theft Auto 6, amidst a mixed picture of financial results.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick blamed a “softer economy” for a downturn in revenue for both halves of the now-combined Take-Two and mobile giant Zynga.
The now-completed buyout has also left a $117m hole in the company’s bottom line due to business acquisition costs.
“We feel like this is a great start,” Zelnick said. “The integration is going along well… The cultures align nicely. We are certainly seeing the effects of the overall economy, which is soft. And I think we see it more on recurrent consumer spending than we do on games.
“In the case of mobile games, you can obviously play for free and spend only if you want to,” Zelnick said. “So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we would see the softer economy reflected in softer mobile sales versus softer console sales.”
Last night also saw the announcement by Take-Two that it was delaying Firaxis’ Marvel game Midnight Suns for the second time, this time to early 2023.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Take-Two’s financial results show NBA 2K22 has now shifted 12m copies and is selling faster than last year’s entry. GTA5 has sold yet another 5m copies, taking it up to nearly 170m. And GTA Online’s audience has doubled since the first Covid lockdown.
Speaking of GTA, Zelnick referenced the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6, which is believed to still be several years away.
It’s fair to say Take-Two has big hopes for that one.
“With development of the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series well underway, the Rockstar Games team is determined to once again set creative benchmarks for the series, our industry, and for all entertainment, just as the label has done with every one of their frontline releases,” Zelnick said.
A recent report detailed how Rockstar was managing the project’s workload and had slimmed down some ambitious earlier plans to focus on an initial offering featuring a Bonnie and Clyde-style couple in and around the area of Miami (Vice City).