Earlier today, Take-Two Interactive announced that the release date for Max Payne 3 had been pushed back to the beginning of the next fiscal year. Later on, Rockstar Games announced the new dates to be May 15th and 18th for the North American and international releases, respectively, and May 29th and June 1st for the PC versions for each. Due to the later release window, Take-Two now expects a loss for the 2012 fiscal year. They have reduced their projected net profits by $210-$230 million, and they projected Non-GAAP net income per share by $0.60-$0.70. CEO and Chairman Strauss Zelnick gave the following statement:
We do not take changes to our release schedule lightly, and this short delay will ensure that Max Payne 3 delivers the highest quality, groundbreaking entertainment experience that is expected from our Company. Max Payne 3 promises to be one of our most exciting releases to date, and we are confident that consumers will once again be amazed by Rockstar’s ability to take interactive entertainment to another level.
With Max Payne 3 now slated for May, our robust lineup of upcoming releases for fiscal 2013 is even stronger, including BioShock® Infinite, Borderlands 2, Spec Ops: The Line, XCOM, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and other titles yet to be announced for release that year. Fiscal 2013 is poised to be one of our best years ever, with anticipated substantial revenue growth and Non-GAAP Net Income of over $2.00 per share. We are well positioned to deliver growth and profitability over the long term.
Earlier this fiscal year, Take-Two reported a Q2 loss of $47.3 million and a decrease in sales revenue by $138 million compared to the same period the year before. In the past year, rumors that Take-Two would be purchased circulated several times. Nothing concrete ever occurred, although a couple years prior, EA attempted a buyout for $26 per share.
This is not the first time Max Payne 3 has been delayed since it was announced in 2009. It has been pushed back four times, once every year since the first announcement and a second this year from March to May.
Analysis: I’m not sure how credible a buyout of Take-Two would be given that they resisted a rather then-generous offer by EA. However, the dip in their projected revenue is expected. They were counting on this game to raise money as it’s a major and highly anticipated release. However, their outlook on the next year is well justified; all of those games will likely be fantastic. Unless their entire lineup is pushed back, I imagine they will successfully make up for their loss in the new fiscal year.
I’ve never really played the Max Payne games, but Take-Two generally produces high-quality, high revenue titles. Unless it becomes another Duke Nukem Forever in both the development and revenue senses, everything will probably work out for them in the end.