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Rockstar "hard at work on future projects" to be revealed soon - Take Two FY16

Take-Two has reported its financials for Q4 and FY16, with "stronger than expected" results. The firm also said Rockstar is "hard at work on exciting future projects."


Rockstar "hard at work on future projects" to be revealed soon - Take Two FY16

In a prepared statement, the firm said it predicts fiscal 2017, which started April 1, will be "another strong year."

And looking ahead to fiscal 2018, Take-Two expects to grow revenues "based on our robust development plan that extends well beyond the current fiscal year."

"Rockstar Games is of course hard at work on some exciting future projects that will be revealed soon," the financial release noted.

The studio's projects being mentioned alongside FY18 expectations could mean a new game from Rockstar won't be released until after FY18 starts on April 1. During the call to investors we were surprised an analyst didn't ask CEO Strauss Zelnick more on the matter. But, he wouldn't have provided color anyway.

GTA Online sales have expanded quarter-by-quarter since release, exceeding expectations every reporting period.  During Q4 and FY16, revenues for the title were up year-over-year.

Monetary figures weren't provided, but the firm noted in the investors call GTA 5 has now shipped 65 million units. That is a 5 million increase in copies shipped since Q3. During the same period in 2015, it was reported the game had shipped close to 52 million units.

The firm also hasn't ruled out releasing HD remasters for its older titles, GTA being one such example. It is up to the labels though, according to Zelnick, and not a publisher's decision.

Take-Two said on the investors call it is encouraged by the reaction to Battleborn and how it's currently doing on the market. The company wouldn't comment further on future expectations as the title was just recently released.

Last week, Gearbox Software said Battleborn sales were already “tracking just ahead” of Borderlands during the same launch period. The studio said it was “cautiously optimistic” regarding the online shooter’s sales after such as “steady” start.

Annual revenue over the past seven fiscal years has increased for the NBA 2K16 series and 2K Sports will reveal the standard cover to the game soon.

WWE 2K16 has sold 3 million units since release and units sales have grown for the franchise every year since the IP was purchased.

Sales continue to outpace previous iterations in the franchise which were released under publisher THQ. There will be more to share on WWE 2K17 in the coming months.

On the call, T2 said the Mafia 3 presence at E3 2016 will be rather large and other titles such as 2K Sports games and Battleborn would be on hand.

Take-Two reiterated, as it did during Q3 2016, it has a "robust pipeline" of games in the works which span new IP and current IP.

The company's stance on VR hasn't changed over the last few quarters. The firm is still keeping an eye on the tech and if the consumer wants Take-Two titles on VR, the company will provide a product.

Money Matters

According to the firm, full year net revenue grew 31% to $1.4 billion for the 2016 financial year compared to $1.08 billion the same period in 2015. Revenue from digitally-delivered content grew 53% year-over-year (yoy) to a record $697.7 million.

For Q4, net revenue grew to $377 million, compared to $300 million yoy with net revenue from digitally-delivered content up 35% yoy to $194.8 million.

“Fiscal 2016 marked the third consecutive year of stronger-than-expected revenues and profits for Take-Two,” said CEO Strauss Zelnick. “Our results were driven by the continued extraordinary performance of Grand Theft Auto 5, ongoing momentum in our NBA 2K and WWE 2K series and the successful launch of XCOM 2."

The firm also reported its "highest-ever revenue" from recurrent consumer spending on back catalog sales. Over 50% of games published by Take Two for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are now sold digitally, said Zelnick on the investors call.

According to Zelnick, banner digital revenue for the quarter and year-end are a "reflection of the power of titles" like GTA Online as well as PC games, 90% of which "are digitally delivered."

"With frontline console releases, your numbers are more like 20% from digital distribution," he told ahead of the call.

He added he was pleased with the growth of digital distribution, but noted it wasn't part of the company's strategy as it's the consumer who decides how products are purchased.

For the time being though, physical distribution remains "the lion's share of our revenue," he said.

When asked on the call about the firm's outlook regarding new hardware, be it Nintendo NX or PS4.5, a "new console would give us an opportunity to release new titles, whoever it comes from," said Zelnick.

Further comment on the possibility of new hardware coming soon from Sony, or Microsoft, wasn't provided.

Below is a breakdown of Take-Two's release slate for the remainder of 2016:

  • NBA 2K17 - 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC - September
  • Mafia 3 - Xbox One, PS4, PC - October 7
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 - PC - October 21
  • WWE 2K17 - TBA - October

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