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Publisher Take Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), which includes 2K Games, Rockstar Games, and mobile developer Zynga, reported its Q1 2023 earnings today, and it was a bit of a mixed bag for the company. On the one hand, net revenue for the GTA V publisher was up to $1.1 billion, but the publisher suffered a $104 million loss for the quarter due to costs from buying Zynga (a $12.7 acquisition which will be partly paid out over time) and other expenses. At this point, 94 percent of Take Two’s revenue is digital, with 75 percent coming from live-service-style “recurring consumer spending.”
For core gamers, the most interesting stat will be that Grand Theft Auto V has “nearly” sold a mind-boggling 170 million copies. Last we heard around 18 months ago, GTA V had sold 140 million copies, meaning the game is still moving at a frankly ridiculous rate, with 200 million units sold no longer just a possibility, but seemingly an inevitability. Meanwhile, Red Dead Redemption 2 has surpassed 45 million copies sold (which is apparently not enough to convince Take Two that a next-gen console update or continued Red Dead Online support is worth it).
Despite the continued success of GTA V, Rockstar is actually Take Two’s smallest division now. For the full 2023 fiscal year, Take Two expects Zynga to contribute 45 percent of their net bookings. The rest of the pie chart is divided up between 2K Games (37 percent), Rockstar (17 percent), and their indie publishing label Private Label (a quaint 1 percent). Take Two expects to eventually generate a bonus $500 million of annual revenue by creating synergy between their traditional games business and Zynga (advertising using Zynga titles, creating mobile versions of their franchises, ect.)
Will Take Two’s high-dollar purchase of Zynga end up being worth it? That remains to be seen, and based on the company’s stock price, investors still aren’t convinced. Nevertheless, T2’s transformation into primarily a mobile and live-service-focused company is only accelerating.
What are your thoughts? Will anything be able to stop GTA V? How will the addition of Zynga change how Take Two does business?