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Take-Two: Rockstar Brought In 40% Of  Revenue For Quarter

Take-Two: Rockstar Brought In 40% Of Revenue For Quarter Exclusive

March 11, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

Although uncharacteristically-tight lipped in the face of a $50 million first quarter loss, Take-Two did reveal some details on how its revenue contribution breaks down by label during its Gamasutra-attended post-earnings analyst call.

75 percent of Take-Two's revenue comes from publishing and 25 percent from distribution, the company said on its financial call -- and of its publishing revenue, the lion's share came from GTA house Rockstar Games in the quarter ending January 31st, 2009.

Grand Theft Auto IV has shipped 13 million units to date. The $60 million that the entire franchise collectively brought in on the quarter -- particularly due to its PC release -- helped make up the majority of the Rockstar label's total of 40 percent of the publisher's revenue.

By contrast, according to Take-Two executives including Strauss Zelnick speaking on the call, 2K Games and 2K Sports accounted for 25 percent each, plus 10 percent from the 2K Play label.

This revenue make-up, though a single quarter snapshot, helps illustrate why it was so essential for the company to negotiate a substantial profit-sharing contract in order to retain key Rockstar members -- which is already in effect for the Lost & Damned downloadable episode, Take-Two also revealed.

Analysts like Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter project Lost & Damned could sell 2 million units by the end of the company's fiscal year in October -- and Pachter has also estimated that the Rockstar employees involved in the contract could take as much as 35-40 percent of the profits.

Take-Two currently has 29 titles in its upcoming game pipeline, and says "an array" of titles are in development at Rockstar including Red Dead Redemption, Beaterator, and a downloadable episode for Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

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