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Take-Two:  GTA IV  DLC Slips To FY09,  BioShock  Movie To Release With  BioShock 3 ?

Take-Two: GTA IV DLC Slips To FY09, BioShock Movie To Release With BioShock 3?

June 5, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer

In an investor call following the release of positive Q2 results, Take-Two execs said that Grand Theft Auto IV's Xbox 360 DLC had been moved to Q1 of fiscal 2009, mentioned 'formal talks' with business partners other than EA, and revealed its forthcoming BioShock movie would probably be released closer to the release date of BioShock 3.

In the course of the call, Take-Two chair Strauss Zelnick stressed that the delay of the Grand Theft Auto IV content into fiscal 2009 -- some time between November of 2008 and January 2009, according to the company's fiscal calendar -- was "not about development issues," and instead said the decision was more about "portfolio balancing."

On Non-EA Options

During the call, Zelnick also addressed the ongoing EA acquisition - specifically referencing that Take-Two was looking at all strategic avenues for increasing shareholder value, including staying independent and forming business combinations with third parties.

Zelnick explained that the company was "actively engaged in that process now," and have had "formal discussions with a number of interested parties," but offered no further details on just who those partners might be.

On BioShock Movies, Games

Asked about the forthcoming BioShock movie deal and what financial impact it might have on the company, Zelnick mollified analysts on the call, suggesting that Take-Two had "structured the deal so we have no economic exposure or risk."

In addition, asked if there was any chance the game might be released alongside the planned 2009 release of BioShock 2, Zelnick said that it was "more likely that it would be released coincidentally with BioShock 3."

The comment was the first mention of a third volume in the series, set for an unspecified date in the future - though the company has always maintained it intended to fully exploit its franchise potential. BioShock 2 is currently planned for a Fall 2009 debut.

On 2K Sports

Finally, following news from the executives that its 2K Sports division would not be reaching profitability this fiscal year, as originally hoped, an analyst asked if the company might divest itself of the business to maximize shareholder value.

Zelnick disagreed, concluding of the concept that individual divisions of the firm such as Rockstar, 2K Games or 2K Sports could be split, "I don't think it would max shareholder value to piece apart the company. We really would be loathe to do that. That's not how you create value in this business."

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