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2K Sports unheralded against EA Sports, says Zelnick

Strauss Zelnick says that 2K Sports titles out-rate and outsell the competition - an unheralded achievement

Despite the fact that the 2K Sports division is not likely to become profitable this year as the company once projected, Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick feels good about where it is going.

"We pride ourselves on our quality," he told the audience at the 28th annual Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference.

"When we go head-to-head with 'Brand X' we out-rate them significantly," he said, referring to EA Sports' titles.

"We outsell them when we go head-to-head. It's sort of an unheralded achievement. This is a tough business."

During the presentation, the company revealed that it had sold 6 million lifetime units in the NBA 2K franchise, 5.5 million units in the MLB 2K franchise and 2.5 million units in the NHL 2K franchise.

Zelnick didn't take credit for Take-Two's investment in the sports genre - something that happened before his management team took over - but he said that he felt like the company was getting close to turning the corner in terms of profitability.

"We feel pretty good about where this is going and we're committed to the business," he said, casting further doubt on suggestions that Take-Two might be willing to sell off its unprofitable division.

"We also have significant visibility into the business because we have long-term licenses and because it is an annual business, unlike many of our other businesses.

"And it is a business that, to a certain extent, can be seen as somewhat less technically complex and challenging which means it is a little more dependable and reliable."

While disappointed by the fact that the sports business probably won't become profitable this fiscal year, Zelnick said that the company was looking for growth being driven by increased hardware penetration.

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