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GTA Online issues highlight “expertise gap”, Take Two trailing on digital – analyst

Monday, 28th October 2013 23:23 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Grand Theft Auto 5 represents the vast majority of Take Two’s revenue this quarter, analyst firm IHS Electronics & Media has predicted, but warned that massive retail sales can’t compensate for a lack of digital strategy.

IHS’s senior games analyst Christine Arrington said Take Two will likely announce it has shipped 21.5 million copies of GTA 5 during its second quarter financials release tomorrow, resulting in revenue well above the company’s forecasts.

But the analyst warned that Take Two’s reliance on retail sales is a concern, estimating that the publisher derived just 8% of its total revenue from online and mobile sources, “by far the lowest of the major western publishers IHS tracks”.

During the same quarter, IHS expects EA to generate 47% of its revenue from digital and mobile sales; Activision Blizzard to generate 62% from digital sales; and Ubisoft to generate 34% of its sales from digital and mobile.

“In this context, Take Two has far to go before its heavy reliance on retail sales is mitigated by diversification into digital, online and mobile opportunities,” Arrington said.

“Monetising the online portion of GTA 5 offers Take Two the opportunity to build its digital business relatively quickly and to claw back its position against its direct competition.

“However, the problems Take Two has experienced in deployment and roll-out of GTA Online highlights the expertise gap that needs to be filled when implementing ambitious online games experiences across significant user bases.”

The analyst said building “expertise in large scale online games architecture” takes years of investment and Take Two wasn’t up to snuff with GTA Online’s launch.

“This will have set back the company’s ambition to significantly drive up sales from digital activities in the final quarter of 2013,” she added.

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4 Comments

  1. RussellGorall

    Just goes to show you…

    Rockstar releases a broken game and gets applauded for it.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    @1

    You mad?

    GTA V is by far GOTY and with the amount of content that is in this game SP and MP I am surprised, it hasn’t imploded on itself.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. thomasj

    Kind of a gross article. The point it makes about the rollout of the game is valid, but otherwise it seems to be complaining that the microtransactions aren’t in your face enough, where from where I’m sitting the fact that you can buy game money with real money is already problematic enough, but I ignore that because it’s a great game.

    It’s a shame that R* had so many issues with the launch because the online portion of the game is wonderful now that they’ve sorted out all the major issues. They sold the majority of their games from retailers because the game is HUGE, and I think an 8GB download is a lot for people to swallow. On top of that, when they did try and put out an online pre-download, it got hacked, so I can see why they wouldn’t want to take the risk. I do believe the future is online, but as long as consoles have a retail option, like both the PS4 and Xbox One inexplicably do, what difference does it make for game devs?

    #3 10 months ago
  4. naffgeek

    I have racked up 61hrs online at the moment and have lost progress twice (not for a week or so though).

    I have never enjoyed any game as much as I am enjoying online and quite frankly think it is a technical marvel.

    The fact that they will continually support it is just the icing on the cake.

    Also the micro-transactions thing isn’t even an issue as you can build up cash really quickly doing jobs/missions/events especially races/deathmatch/survival.

    I have just bought my second apartment and have 2 sports cars i have purchased all through normal play.

    Its the best implementation of microstransactions i have seen so far as you don’t have to buy them at all but can get cool stuff if you haven’t the time (it isn’t like other games where you have to grind for hours)

    Personally my fave game ever.

    #4 10 months ago

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