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Take Two Estimates Lowered After Disappointing  Duke  Sales
Take Two Estimates Lowered After Disappointing Duke Sales
July 5, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Analyst firm Wedbush Morgan has lowered its fiscal Q1 revenue estimates for Duke Nukem Forever publisher Take Two Interactive, saying that the game's sell-through may be as low as half of its initial expectations.

The firm is now estimating Q1 revenues at $350 million, down from its initial estimate of $375 million, with Duke Nukem Forever sales estimated at 1.5 million versus initial estimates of 3 million. Those estimates are roughly in line with those made by Sterne Agee, which puts the game at 1.5 to 2 million.

On the upside, the firm says that L.A. Noire has likely sold through more units than anticipated, and has raised its estimate on that title from 3.5 million to 4 million units sold.

Regardless of what the firm calls a "disappointing Duke sequel," Wedbush Morgan still anticipates that Take Two will deliver consistent profits.

"Of the major publishers, Take-Two has had the fewest 'misses' in terms of game quality over the last two years, and as a result, delivered a profitable FY:11 without a GTA release," said analyst Michael Pachter. "It has over a dozen core franchises, and if it can streamline development, can be expected to increase franchise releases to three or more per year."

The firm continues to expect the company to debut Grand Theft Auto V in fiscal 2013, due to two primary factors: a recent extension of its contracts with series creative leads Sam Houser, Dan Houser and Leslie Benzies, and the company's guidance of earnings per share at over $2 for the period. Wedbush Morgan estimates a holiday 2012 release.

Duke Nukem Forever earned below average reviews, and has a current Metacritic rating of 49 out of 100.

Despite its disappointing sales, Take Two has committed to continue expanding the Duke Nukem IP, hinting that it may take the character to products beyond traditional games.

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Akil Henry
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Didn't they do that already? on PC and 360?

Paul Lazenby
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The problem was in the marketing. With Duke to succeed in today's audience you expect irreverent, what they gave us was just mainstream bathroom humor. Completely missed opportunity.

Justin Meiners
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They call 1.5 million dissapointing sales? This isn't gears of war those numbers sound pretty solid to me 3 million is a severe overestimate.

Bill Fowler
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Regardless of whether 1.5 million is "solid", meeting (or at least approaching) your sales estimates is what's really crucial to any public company.

Robert Schmidt
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I really want to see the post-mortem for this game.

Wylie Garvin
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Please yes!

Jonathan Murphy
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It's ok. Sequels for everyone! A much better gamble than new IP. //Sarcasm heavy post.

Michael Thornberg
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Everyone knows they only allowed Gearbox to buy the IP if they finished the "Forever" game. They just wanted something back. To talk about "expectations" in this context is utter hypocrisy. They got much more back than they "expected", anything above 0$ is a plus in their books. Now that Gearbox fulfilled their promise, let's reboot the IP and get the real game instead. Let's pretend "Forever" never happened.

Paul Shirley
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Reboot? Maybe. The problem is it won't matter how many gameplay screwups they fix, reviewers have overwhelmingly rejected everything that Duke stands for. It will take a brave company to reboot Duke in a form that Duke fans will accept. If the fans dont want it then there's no value to the franchise.

Coupled with the poor execution of Forever, there aren't going to be any new fans and the old ones may not be very forgiving.

This franchise is close to death and it appears 'contractual obligations' killed it.

David Paris
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Agreed with Paul on this one. I don't see this franchise having value again. It was too thoroughly eviscerated by this release.

Glenn Sturgeon
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Realy the developement time is close to irrelevant since they restarted completely at least once and scrapped most of thier plans a couple of times. aka restart with same tech.

After finaly getting to play the PC demo i can only say Gearbox was dreaming it'd sell 3million with what they released. The game was botched in alot of ways with a mass conflict between it being made while in development as a pc only title, but it ended up compromised for, but not optimised for consoles. So what they ended up with was a game that ran like poop on the consoles and had extremely slow max mouse speeds and only 2 gun carring option on pc. Thats on top of it not being fully finished graphicaly, the not too distant textures were "harshly blurry" on max settings. Why didn't they finish that? Epic's Unreal2 game looks great even by todays standards. Duke supposedly runs on the Unreal 2.5 engine. Then the driving parts felt like generic "filler". All that wrong and they thought it'd sell 3 mill copies? I guess that just shows, if you work on a game your judgement of the "product" becomes biased.

If they wanted 3 mill sales, the least i'd imagine they would have needed to do is finish the graphics, spend time optimizing a version of the code to run well on consoles and having at least good input feel for the pc version.

I like duke so i'm a bit biased but i can't defend what i played with any real strong points beyond the guns are nice. They don't have the modern "shoot like poop while you move" aspect and stealing the rail gun from id's quake series was a great ideal. Thats one of the best guns in gaming history!

If the game has sold 1.5 mill in a couple of months, at least they can say they are selling better than the 360 in japan!. I mean they should be kinda glad as it seems 3D Relms may have dumped alot of money into the game. But its seems gear box didn't, unless it was by buying the franchies license.

I also think they should be kinda ashamed for selling the game in its current graphic state and (unoptimised state for consoles from what i've read) to people at full price and possibly damaging the image of a sequal being a high end FPS. (i personaly wanted id or Raven to get the franchies when 3DR fell)

All that said, yeah i'll still buy Duke, when it drops to $20.-30 & after experiencing the demo i think DNF should have been a $30 title at launch or better yet truely finished.

I mean no offence to the people who kept the game alive!!

As i have great respect for thier love and dedication to the franchies!!!

Maybe you guys can help Frederik "Fresch" Schreiber do that great new version of D3D and show people what you realy can do with Duke! Fred will need the help. Either way I'll see ya next game and Hail to the king baby!!

Buck Hammerstein
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glenn, i started to read your long post but it didn't begin very well so i passed on the task of reading to another studio.

that studio got lost on the direction your post was going and it passed the task onto another studio.

by the last paragraph five studios had read or reread your writing for 15 years and no one really had an idea of whether it was a good post or not anymore...

...selling the idea that this post was worthy of reading was MARKETING's JOB!!! so marketing would like to add this tag to your post:

"Best DUKE Post Ever"

"Non Stop DUKE Action In Every Sentence"


ahhhh, marketing almost writes itself.