Take-Two Investors Grill CEO on GTA V
Yesterday, the investor call with Take-Two Interactive’s bigwigs went online, and company CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked point blank about the status of Grand Theft Auto V, one of Take-Two’s most anticipated titles, which has yet to be given a release date.
Investor Mike Hickey of National Alliance Securities asked:
“…we’ve heard nothing, next to nothing, on GTA V development over the last couple months. We’ve seen a couple screenshots. The game is believed by the stret to be implied by your guidance for this fiscal year, but what believability do we have that this game is actually going to come out this year?”
“We haven’t talked about a release date. So obviously we can’t talk about the credibility of a release date that we haven’t announced.”
Hickey continued to ask about the company’s communication with Rockstar Games, GTA’s developer. Zelnick said:
“We wouldn’t talk publicly about the way we communicate with our teams internally. We are blessed to be in business with the Rockstar folks and everyone knows that I feel that way. We have the best creative teams in the business throughout our company.”
Zelnick also revealed that despite selling three million units, the sales returns for Max Payne 3 were lower than expected, and that its and Spec Ops: The Line’s failure to meet those expectations has led to a disappointing quarter.
Said the CEO:
“Our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were below expectations, primarily due to lower than anticipated sales of Spec Ops: The Line and Max Payne 3. As a hit-driven entertainment company, not every title that we produce will meet our sales targets.
[…] three million units initial ship is an excellent result by anyone’s standards, and certainly by the industry’s standards, and we don’t want to imply otherwise. And we’re really proud of the work the team did, and it’s a highly rated title that got amazing reviews, and we think it’s a stellar game and so do the consumers […] we’re somewhat disappointed that [sales weren’t] higher than [they’ve] turned out to be at least so far. I think what it does tell us is consumers at this stage in the hardware cycle are more selective than ever. These are expensive propositions for consumers, and with a limited release schedule in the first half of the year—not just ours but the industry’s—there’s less foot traffic, and as a result the bar is going to be higher.”
What do you think? Are you content to let Take-Two and Rockstar keep quiet on this game until they’re good and ready? Have they earned that right with their track record of some pretty damn impressive games? Or are they taking things a bit too far this time around, especially given the financial hole they seem to be in? Sound off, you goobers.