Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar, 2K and Private Division, seems to be making something big.
Regarding the changes from last year, they have told shareholders to expect an important and large release slate in the pipeline. Last year, we promised a total of 93 games over the next five years, and more recently, an “immersive core release” over the next three years.
During today’s earnings announcement, Take-Two continued to offer expectations in a similar fashion. Between April 2022 and March 2024, we are preparing over 60 new releases. 23 “immersive core” titles similar to 2K sports games, GTA, Red Dead Redemption. Six games from Private Division, an independent game publishing label. 20 mobile games, arcade titles like WWE Battleground, or 4 “mid-core” games that are generally narrower than GTA and others. Nine games that are either port or remastered.
Midnight Sons-Opening Night Live Screenshots
This is a significant increase from what Take-Two has produced in the past, especially in the immersive core sector. In recent years, Take-Two has mainly produced big games several times a year, mainly with 2K releases a year, followed by sporadic GTA or Red Dead releases. On average, to reach 23 in that time frame, you need to create 7-8 blockbuster games each year for that period. It’s a lot of GTA.
This beginning can be seen in the current slate of Take-Two, which released NBA 2K22 in September, WWE 2K22 in March, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands in March. Looking next year, Midnight Sons (just late in 2022) and Carval Space Program 2 planned for 2023 (Take-Two counts as an immersive core despite being under the private sector label) I know about). It’s also a fairly safe bet to expect the company to continue to offer NBA2K and WWE2K games on a fairly regular basis, with some NFL games being postponed after March 2022 (although “arcade”). (May correspond to) “Banner).
Take-Two’s investor slide presentation shows how we are preparing for this cascade. Take-Two is a slide showing the number of new hires by fiscal year, showing that from 2012 to 2017, only a few hundred people were hired each year. However, in 2017 we hired about 700 people, and in 2019 and 2020 we hired similar people. Today’s earnings report includes details that Take-Two brought in 350 new developers this quarter alone, and does not include an increase in senior hires. In a conversation with IGN, CEO Strauss Zelnick said Take-Two currently has approximately 7,200 employees worldwide. As of the 2020 annual report, the company had about 5,800 people. This is a surge of 1,400 people since March last year, as well as during the pandemic.
Take-Two certainly has the resources for this surge. Netbooking is growing steadily year by year, and we expect it to grow again this year. Just last quarter, we brought in a net booking of $ 985 million. This is an increase of only 3% over the previous year. But that’s pretty important given that we’ve been able to sustain net booking growth since the release of Red Dead Redemption 2.
Meanwhile, GTA V continues to sell absurd quantities alongside Red Dead Redemption 2 (39 million total) and NBA 2K22 (5 million total), with an additional 5 million units in the previous quarter and a total of 1 in its lifetime. We have sold 555 million units. Even small titles like The Outer Worlds (4 million total) are doing very well. Despite postponing Marvel’s massive game to next year, it’s enough for the company to raise its full-year earnings forecast today. Usually, the prediction is a hit.
Putting all this together reveals a significant increase in game announcements from Take-Two. If everything is sold in time to achieve these forecasts, it will probably start sometime next year. Many of these big releases are 2K Sports titles, which could be more adventurous new ideas like Midnight Suns and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, but rumors are swirling about GTA 6. This is a game that definitely fits the description of “immersive core”.
Fortunately for fans, GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition came out later this month and remains hopeful for now.
Rebekah Valentine is an IGN news reporter. You can find her on twitter @duckvalentine..