Take-Two, in need of a hit, gets one with Red Dead Redemption
Take-Two Interactive reported Tuesday that Red Dead Redemption, the video game set in the Old West that the company released on May 18, has sold more than 5 million units to retailers worldwide.
That elevates the game to mega-hit status after less than a month on store shelves. The last game to sell more copies so quickly was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, in November.
Unlike Modern Warfare 2 and most video game hits in recent years, however, Red Dead Redemption is not a sequel or established brand. 2004's Red Dead Revolver, on which Redemption is loosely based, sold fewer than a million copies in the U.S., according to the NPD Group.
Red Dead Redemption, which received favorable reviews, is the first major hit for Take-Two's Rockstar Games label apart from its Grand Theft Auto brand. 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV, one of the most successful video games of all time, has sold a total of 17 million units.
The game now will likely become a franchise for Rockstar with sequels, spinoffs, and downloadable content.
It comes at a time when overall video game revenue fell 8% in the U.S. during the first four months of the year, according to the NPD Group.
Based in large part on sales of Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two revised upward its projections for fiscal year revenue ending Oct. 30 to between $880 million and $980 million, from $725 million to $925 million. But it won't be enough, however, to fix some of Take-Two's long-running problems and lift the company into the black. Still, Take-Two narrowed its expected net loss to between 10 cents and 30 cents per share from previous guidance of between 40 cents and 60 cents per share.
During the quarter ended April 30, which didn't include any revenue from Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two's revenue grew 54% from the same period a year ago to $268 million and swung to net income of $16.9 million from a net loss of $10.4 million.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: A scene from Red Dead Redemption. Credit: Rockstar Games.