The launch of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on Nintendo DS will be key for Take-Two's future on the giant's market-leading Wii and DS, says Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz.
Creutz, who says he came away from a management visit with Take-Two feeling "bullish" both about the market and the company itself, said in a note to investors that Chinatown Wars will be "an important test of Take-Two's ability to make inroads on Nintendo's wildly successful DS and Wii platforms."
And the analyst suggests Nintendo has something to gain, too: "Nintendo wants their platforms to appeal to all gamer segments(not just casual/family) and views Take-Two's IP as an important driver of core gamer interest," he says.
Creutz also observed that Take-Two's already begun an "increased focus on costs" at Rockstar following the recently-signed profit-sharing deal with the studio's key employees.
Finally, Creutz said Take-Two's management continues to be "frustrated" with used games sales trends spearheaded by retailer GameStop. Take-Two in particular frequently expresses concern at lost revenues due to resales.
Take-Two is "examining ways to ameliorate the problem,
which includes strategies around online play and downloadable content which extend the lifespan of AAA titles," Creutz concludes.