‘Grand Theft Auto V’ sold 20 million units in 2020, the most since its 2013 launch, Take-Two CEO says

Nearly eight years since the launch of “Grand Theft Auto V,” the largest recreation below the Take-Two Interactive umbrella is promoting higher than ever, CEO Strauss Zelnick advised CNBC’s Jim Cramer Tuesday.

The online game, the newest main launch of the “Grand Theft Auto” title collection from the recreation developer’s Rockstar Games division, sold about 20 million units in 2020 and has now sold 140 million units since its launch, in line with figures launched in Take-Two’s company earnings stories.

“We’re grateful for the incredible work that Rockstar Games has done with ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto Online,'” Zelnick mentioned in an interview on “Mad Money.” “It’s absolutely amazing that ‘Grand Theft Auto’ has sold more units in calendar 2020 than it did in any year since its original release in 2013. It’s just extraordinary.”

Since the first launch of the action-adventure franchise in the late 1990s, Rockstar Games has sold greater than 335 million units of the collection, Take-Two mentioned in its newest quarterly report out Monday. In the firm’s fiscal third quarter, Take-Two introduced in $814 million in internet bookings and produced earnings per share of $1.24, beating analyst estimates.

Net bookings account for each digital and bodily gross sales.

During the three-month interval that ended Dec. 31, Take-Two’s internet bookings have been down 8% from the $888 million that was reported in the year-ago quarter. Despite the drop in enterprise final quarter, internet bookings have been up 22% in the first three quarters of its 2021 fiscal 12 months. Recurrent shopper spending, income that’s anticipated to proceed in the future, elevated 30% and made up for 58% of internet bookings, the firm mentioned.

Net bookings development was powered in giant half by the “Grand Theft Auto,” “NBA 2K” and “Mafia” recreation franchises.

“Grand Theft Auto,” which income has grown $227 million in Take-Two’s present fiscal 12 months, is not the firm’s solely winner.

“We do have a lot of other franchises: 11 franchises have each sold at least 5 million with an individual release; 67 franchises that have had at least one 2 million unit release,” Zelnick mentioned. “I don’t think any other company can say that. And we’re trying to create more.”

Zelnick says the online game trade, very like the subscriber development seen in video streaming subscriptions, has benefited from customers in search of extra at-home leisure amid the pandemic. After attracting new avid gamers and reactivating beforehand current avid gamers, Take-Two expects the traits to proceed post-pandemic, he mentioned.

“We don’t need to eat everyone’s lunch to be successful, however there has been a systemic shift in favor of interactive entertainment, which remains the most rapidly growing part of the audiovisual entertainment business,” he mentioned. “I think that will continue.”

Take-Two raised its outlook for the 2021 fiscal 12 months, which is ready to shut at the finish of March. The firm expects internet bookings to vary between $602 million and $652 million in the present quarter, whereas guiding between $3.37 billion and $3.42 billion of internet bookings for the fiscal 12 months. Take-Two beforehand forecast internet bookings of between $3.15 billion and $3.25 billion.

Shares of Take-Two sold off greater than 6% Tuesday, bringing the inventory to $200.31 at the shut. The decline pulled the inventory down 3.6% year-to-date.

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