Take-Two: L.A. Noire sales solid but below Red Dead Redemption
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. posted lower sales and a loss for last quarter as sales of its latest big title, L.A. Noire, fell short of last year's blockbuster release, Red Dead Redemption.
The New York game publisher recorded $334.4 million in revenue for its first quarter, which ended June 30 -- down 11% from $375.4 million a year earlier. It lost $8.6 million, or 11 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $27.4 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.
Nevertheless, Take-Two said it expected to end its fiscal year in the black for its second year in a row. Doing so would demonstrate that Take-Two can still succeed during years when it does not have a major release of its Grand Theft Auto franchise, which in the past has made up the bulk of the company's profits.
Last year, Take-Two's release of Red Dead Redemption proved to be a critical as well as a commercial hit, with 11 million copies sold to date. This May, Take-Two debuted L.A. Noire. Although that title has not sold as well as Red Dead Redemption, it has sold 4 million copies so far, said Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two's chief executive.
"It's a great result," said Zelnick, who cautioned against side-by-side comparisons between any two titles.
Another title released last quarter, Duke Nukem Forever, was largely panned by reviewers, scoring just 54 points out of 100 on Metacritic, a site that aggregated 47 reviews of the game. Nevertheless, Take-Two expects the game to be profitable and is likely to continue the franchise, Zelnick said in an interview.
The company's shares dropped $1.07, or 8.8%, to close at $11.07 on Monday before earnings were announced.
-- Alex Pham
Image: Screen shot from L.A. Noire. Credit: Take-Two Interactive