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Record year sees Take-Two breaking the billion dollar mark

Take-Two has joined the billion-dollar club, having posted net sales of $1.04 billion as part of its record financial results for the 12 months to October 31st 2003 - up 31 per cent on the same figure last year.

Take-Two has joined the billion-dollar club, having posted net sales of $1.04 billion as part of its record financial results for the 12 months to October 31st 2003 - up 31 per cent on the same figure last year.

The company's fourth quarter net sales were up 28 per cent to $278.5 million, while net income for the quarter was up 19 per cent to $26.6m. Profits for the full year rose by a massively impressive 40 per cent, and came in at over $100 million.

It's been an eventful year for Take Two, seeing as it did the acquisition of publisher TDK Mediactive, the launch of several high profile games such as Max Payne 2, and the successful launch of its Grand Theft Auto franchise in Japan through a distribution agreement with Capcom.

In fact, according to today's trading report, GTA3 had sold 300,000 copies by the week ending December 7th, a very respectable performance given the generally frosty welcome Western releases usually receive in the region.

Aside from the actual financial figures, it's the product announcements and release date information in Take Two's announcement that makes it interesting. Chief amongst today's revelations is the news that Rockstar will publish Rockstar San Diego's (formerly Angel Studios) Red Dead Revolver for PS2 and Xbox in its second fiscal quarter 2004. RDR had originally started life on Capcom's books prior to the Take-Two acquisition.

Rockstar also plans to publish Xbox and PC versions of controversial slaughter-'em-up Manhunt during fiscal 2004, along with a Game Boy Advance version of Grand Theft Auto. GTA will, of course, be returning to console and potentially PC screens as well when Rockstar North completes the next instalment in the series in Take-Two's fourth fiscal quarter.

Following the success of GTA3 in Japan, Vice City will also be released there on PS2 and PC in March. Finally from Rockstar we have The Warriors (based on the Paramount film of the same name), which is due in the company's third fiscal quarter.

Gathering meanwhile will apparently be taking over publishing duties on Destruction Derby Arenas, as well as publishing Vietcong expansion pack Fist Alpha as previously announced and Vietcong: Purple Haze (game and expansion in one pack).

Other Gathering releases for the next fiscal year apparently include a Hidden & Dangerous sequel (whether they mean the already announced expansion pack or another sequel is perhaps up for debate), several new properties from Gathering's distribution arrangement with Destineer Publishing and Robotech and Spy vs. Spy from TDK Mediactive's portfolio. Not included in the statement was the recent news of a Mafia sequel, as well as console ports of Vietcong and Hidden & Dangerous 2 - expect official confirmation to emerge soon.

Global Star will publish Carve (Xbox), Motocross Mania 3, a new console Virtual Pool title and, brace yourselves, Army Men: Sarge's War (PS2, Xbox), along with Corvette (Xbox) and UFC: Sudden Impact (PS2) from TDK's portfolio. Finally, Take-Two plans to release another title from TDK's portfolio - Star Trek: Shattered Universe for PS2 and Xbox - in the first fiscal quarter.

Take-Two's expectations for next year are needless to say fairly substantial, although it's worth noting that the next GTA title will have presumably only just been released when next year's figures are posted. The company has advised that it cannot predict what if any impact the ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the company's accounting practices will have on their 2004 results.

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.