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Take Two cuts profit forecast and delays Max Payne 3 release

Guidance lowered as Major League Baseball underperforms at retail

Take Two has issued a financial update slashing its profit outlook for the fiscal year following the poor performance of Major League Baseball at retail.

The company now predicts full year revenue of USD 950 - 975 million for the financial year ending October 31, 2009 - revised from USD 975 - 1000 million - and an increased loss of USD 1.10 - 1.15 per share.

Several factors have impacted profits, said the publisher, the largest being poor sales of Major League Basement, which reduced earnings by approximately USD 0.09 per share. Inventory write-downs on last generation software in its distribution period was also blamed, along with retail conditions that have proven "more difficult" than assumptions built into the prior forecast.

While it was noted there was a strong pipeline of titles still planned for launch in 2010, including BioShock 2, Mafia II and Red Dead Redemption, Take Two added that the release of Max Payne 3 had now moved back to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

"Looking ahead, we remain committed to our goal of operating profitably on a non-GAAP basis; however, we do not currently expect to achieve that goal in fiscal 2010," said Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick.

"We have an outstanding product portfolio, exceptional creative talent and a solid balance sheet, and are confident that these strengths will provide a sound foundation for improved performance."

"We continue to pursue a strategy of building a select, diverse portfolio of top quality titles and to invest our resources in the most promising products and most compelling market opportunities," added Ben Feder, CEO.

"The industry is a hits-driven business, and our creative and financial resources are dedicated to making great games. Our focus going forward will be on executing better on this strategy in order to drive improved results. Toward that end, we are continuing to work on maximising the efficiency of our development process and exploring additional ways to reduce costs throughout our organisation while maintaining the investment required for future growth."

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