Publisher Take-Two Interactive posted a $55.5 million loss for its third fiscal quarter today as quarterly revenue dropped 68 percent year-over-year, largely due to a significantly weaker release schedule.
In the company's third quarter of 2008, it had just released Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto IV, while the quarter ending July 31, 2009 saw only Birthday Party Bash for Wii; The BIGS 2 across multiple platforms; and Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition, a PC rerelease package.
In the same period last year, Take-Two took net profits of $51.8 million on revenue of $433.8 million.
The company balanced out the less-then-stellar results by reminding investors of its Rockstar-heavy fourth quarter, and an increasingly-loaded first half of 2010, which will see the launch of several titles formerly planned to launch this year.
Fourth quarter 2009 games include Borderlands; the new The Ballad of Gay Tony downloadable expansion for GTA4, which will also be sold packaged with previously-released DLC The Lost and Damned at retail; and the PSP and iPhone ports of Nintendo DS title Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
In the first half of next year, the company plans to launch BioShock 2, Mafia II, Max Payne 3, and Red Dead Redemption -- all sequels, and most of them delayed from 2009.
In a conference call following the financial results, CEO Ben Feder said the company doesn't expect any of those games to launch before January 31, 2010, but that they are still slated to hit shelves before the end of June.
Responding to an analyst query, chairman Strauss Zelnick also said the company is developing games for both Microsoft's motion-sensing Natal camera device and Sony's motion- and pointer-driven controllers.
"Yes, we have dev kits; yes we're working on them," he said, but "obviously we can't comment on games we haven't announced."