Take-Two has reduced its 2005 financial forecast following the delayed release of PSP title GTA: Liberty City Stories in some European territories and "lower than anticipated" retailer orders.
The company now predicts USD 1.180 billion to USD 1.185 billion in net sales and diluted net income per share of USD 0.53 - 0.56 for the fiscal year ending October 2005.
In addition, due to the company's expectations of "a continued cautious US retail environment through the holiday season", as well as the difficulty in predicting "the pace of manufacturer shipments and consumer adoption of new hardware platforms," Take-Two's 2006 forecast has also been reduced.
For the fiscal year ending October 31 2006, net sales of between USD 1.35 billion - 1.45 billion are expected, with diluted net income per share standing at USD 1.14 - USD 1.34.
Take-Two also forecasts reduced first quarter net sales of USD 300 million - 350 million, due to delayed releases of PC and Xbox 360 RPG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the Japanese version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Elder Scrolls will now launch between February and April next year, while a Japanese release date for San Andreas has yet to be announced.
Take-Two said the Liberty City Stories delay was due to "unexpected delays in final product testing and submission," and that the game will not launch in some European territories until late November. However, Rockstar earlier confirmed to our sister site, Eurogamer, that the game will launch in the UK on Friday November 4 as planned. A further two Rockstar titles are currently in development for the PSP, one of which will be a new Grand Theft Auto title.
The revised forecast also reflects "reduced sales of catalog products and lower than anticipated initial retailer orders of new releases," according to Take-Two, "which have resulted in lower than expected sales in October and in the Company's Jack of All Games distribution business."
CEO Paul Eibeler said it was "disappointing" to have had to reduce the forecasts, but that the company remained "optimistic about Take-Two's overall prospects and the favorable dynamics of our industry."
"We continue to create compelling content, supported by strong creative and financial resources," he continued.
"For fiscal 2006, we are well positioned for the opportunities to extend our brands across the large installed base of current generation platforms, as well as next-generation hardware."