Take-Two Financials Point To GTA V Release This Fiscal Year

With publisher Take-Two making bold financial predictions for this year, it looks like Grand Theft Auto V will be releasing before March 2013.

During their latest financial report, Take-Two Interactive reported the fourth quarter and full-year results for its fiscal 2012, with overall net revenue falling to $825.8m from $1.14bn last year, and net losses coming in at $107.7m compared to a $53.8m profit in 2011. Digital content also rose from 9% of net revenue to 13%.

While you might think a loss over the year before was a bad thing, it was expected as 2011 saw the release of the widely popular runaway hit Red Dead Redemption. 2012, on the other hand, had L.A. Noire – which still managed an impressive 5 million – and NBA 2K12 as its most succesful titles.

Chairman and CEO of Take-Two Strauss Zelnick said:

Fiscal 2012 was a year of creative, operational and strategic achievement by our Company. We delivered groundbreaking titles, including L.A. Noire and NBA 2K12, which set new standards for excellence; grew our revenue from digitally delivered content and mobile offerings; made substantial progress on our online gaming initiatives; and bolstered our already strong liquidity through a convertible notes offering.

While our financial results were disappointing, the decisions we made position Take-Two for growth and profitability both this year and over the long-term.

But here’s where it gets interesting – Zelnick is not only predicting that this fiscal year (ending March 2013) will be better than 2012, but that it will be better than 2011. Significantly better, in fact. While 2011 raked in $1.14bn in revenue, this year is projected to make $1.75 to $1.85bn in net revenue.

So how does Take-Two expect to do that? Rockstar’s Max Payne 3 has already shipped 3 million, but it still isn’t a big enough title to reach that incredible number. With the XCOM FPS being delayed into fiscal 2014, that leaves Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a Civilization V expansion and less than a week of Bioshock Infinite being on shelves as the heavy hitters for this year. While some of the games are certainly popular, they certainly aren’t big enough to match up to the fiscal expectations.

Zelnick attributes this gap to “yet to be announced” titles, although analysts and internet pundits are all guessing this means Grand Theft Auto V. Even if Agent is somehow coming this year, or Take-Two has a big new IP up their sleeves, only a title with the sales potential of GTA would be large enough to make up for the bold prediction. Zelnick also added:

We have a fantastic lineup of upcoming releases for the balance of the year and the strongest development pipeline in the Company’s history.

So would you like to see GTA V come out this year (some rumors point towards October), or have you already got your eyes on too many games? Share your thoughts in the comments below.