Rockstar Games announced today that it has delayed the upcoming long-awaited Max Payne 3, moving it into the new fiscal year and, as a result, causing Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive to forecast a net loss for the current fiscal year.
Max Payne 3 was originally slated to release in March of this year for Windows PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It will now launch in May, Rockstar said in a statement.
This is the latest in a string of delays for the game. It was previously scheduled for a late 2009 release, before being pushed back to 2010, and then again to 2011. Rockstar then revealed the game would release in March 2012.
Take-Two has now reduced its revenue expectations for the current fiscal year by around $210-230 million, from its originally projected $1.0-1.1 billion for the year.
It has also reduced its income per share expectations by $0.60-0.70, from its original estimates of $0.10-0.35 per share for the fiscal year, therefore forecasting a loss.
Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two, explained, "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.
"We are confident that consumers will once again be amazed by Rockstar's ability to take interactive entertainment to another level," he added.
He noted that Max Payne 3 now joins a strong fiscal 2013 line-up for Take-Two, which includes the likes of BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Spec Ops: The Line, XCOM and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Despite the forecasted loss, Macquarie Securities said Take-Two remains its favorite video game stock for the next 6-9 months, and that the Max Payne 3 delay does not affects its view of the company. It believes investors will focus on the publisher's potential in the 2013 fiscal year.
The firm commented, "While all eyes will justifiably be on catalysts around Grand Theft Auto announcements (we note that it is the first major GTA release with significant online revenue potential), we are also quite bullish on other expected titles, including Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, NBA (including a potential Asia launch), and others."