Take-Two reports FYQ4 bookings of $1.35B as GTA VI gets fall 2025 launch window


Take-Two Interactive Software reported results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31, with bookings hitting $1.35 billion, down 3% from a year ago. Take-Two also said its Rockstar Games label expects to ship Grand Theft Auto VI in the fall of 2025.

For the quarter, Take-Two highlighted outperformance of NBA 2K24 versus expectations, as well as strong results from Zynga’s in-app purchase revenues led by Toon Blast and Match Factory. And both the Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto series continued to generate revenue. GTA V, launched 11 years ago, has now generated more than 200 million copies sold.

“We concluded Fiscal 2024 with strong fourth quarter results, including net bookings of $1.35 billion, which exceeded the high-end of our guidance range,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two, in a statement. “Many of our key franchises outperformed, including NBA 2K24; Zynga’s in-app purchases, led by Toon Blast and our newest hit, Match Factory!; the Red Dead Redemption series and the Grand Theft Auto series.”

He added, “As we enter Fiscal 2025 with positive momentum, we expect to deliver net bookings of $5.55 to $5.65 billion. Our outlook reflects a narrowing of Rockstar Games’ previously established window of calendar 2025 to fall of calendar 2025 for Grand Theft Auto VI. We are highly confident that Rockstar Games will deliver an unparalleled entertainment experience, and our expectations for the commercial impact of the title continue to increase. Looking ahead, we believe that our company is poised to achieve new levels of success, and we expect to deliver sequential growth in net bookings for Fiscal 2025, 2026, and 2027. As we deliver our pipeline, we are confident that we will drive our scale, enhance our margins, and deliver industry-leading returns for our shareholders.”

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Take-Two said previously it was reducing headcounnt in some areas, affecting divisions such as Private Division, with the cancellation of several titles.

As of March 31, 2024, the headcount was 12,370, including over 9,600 in-house development studio staff. That’s still above the numbers in the previous quarter, which was about 12,000 and 9,300 respectively. But Take-Two said most of the layoffs happened in the last month, after the end of the quarter. The layoffs were about 5% of the company, or roughly 600.

In an interview with GamesBeat, Zelnick said, “We have a three-part strategy to be the most creative, innovative, and the most efficient company in the entertainment industry. And I think the industry in general, we bulked up some of our fixed costs with all the enthusiasm during the pandemic. And post-pandemic demand was muted, compared to the pandemic. It is certainly still higher than it was consistent with our expectations then.”

He added, “We thought (we had) an obligation to take a look at our structure, once again, to make sure that it’s tuned for success. It’s always painful to do that. The hardest thing I do is part ways with friends and colleagues. It’s a decision not made lightly. Our obligation is to look at our company and make sure that we are positioned for the future and the future is awfully bright.”

Industry situation

Zelnick said part of the reason for the bright outlook is that the company narrowed its outlook for the launch of GTA VI to the fall of next year.

“Everybody is excited about that,” he said. “We’ve always had a lot of confidence.”

And there are other great titles coming, and Zynga has a new hit in Match Factory.

“We’re protecting top line growth over three years (Fiscal 25, 26 and 27). It’s a great spot and we want to make sure that being in that great spot translates into results.”

I asked if Advanced Micro Devices’ weak outlook for games (which includes chip sales for PC graphics cards as well as PlayStation and Xbox game consoles) for the second half meant that we are in a down-side of the console cyle.

Zelnick noted that IDG said that 81 million of the latest consoles sold through the end of the summer in 2023, and that could rise to 111 million by the end of December.

“So that certainly doesn’t feel like we’ve reached a peak,” he said.

As for existing IP versus brand new games, I asked about Private Division, which is more indie-focused as a label, and how it seems to be de-emphasized now. He said the approach to new IP will be on a case-by-case basis. He said Take-Two is always looking and willing, though the decisions happen within the labels.

“We continue to balance carefully our investment in existing franchises new intellectual property. If you’re cynical about the business, you will only do new iterations of old franchises. All franchises, no matter how great,” can decay over time, he said.

“If you’re not constantly creating new IP, ultimately you’re going to be out of business. The reason we’re in the position we are today” is that the company took risks, Zelnick said.

I asked about a $140 million investment into capital expenditures, office space and game technology had something to do with AI. He said the firm has been investing in AI for 20 years. As for generative AI, he said the company is investing in it but isn’t talking about any particular tools now.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2024 results

Take-Two Interactive chief executive Strauss Zelnick.

Total net bookings decreased 3% to $1.35 billion, compared to $1.39 billion during last year’s fiscal fourth quarter.

In FYQ4, Take-Two said it had better-than-expected results from NBA 2K24; Zynga’s in-app purchases, led by Toon Blast and Match Factory; the Red Dead Redemption series and the Grand Theft Auto series.

Net bookings from recurrent consumer spending decreased 2% and accounted for 79% of total net bookings. In other words, existing games accounted for a lot of the revenue.

The recurrent consumer spending (RCS) was above the company’s own outlook, driven by the outperformance of NBA 2K, Toon Blast, and Match Factory. RCS declined for Grand Theft Auto Online, although it was up for virtual currency and GTA+. NBA 2K was in line with the prior year; and mobile increased slightly.

GAAP net revenue decreased 3% to $1.40 billion, as compared to $1.45 billion in last year’s fiscal fourth quarter. Recurrent consumer spending decreased 2% and accounted for 79% of total GAAP net revenue.

The GAAP net loss was $2.90 billion, or $17.02 per share, as compared to $610.3 million, or $3.62 per share, for the comparable period last year. The GAAP results include impairment charges of $2.18 billion related to goodwill and $304.3 million for acquisition-related intangible assets, and business reorganization expenses of $93.3 million related to our cost-reduction program. Take-Two did not say which intellectual property or division or label this was related to, but it could by Zynga, which was acquired for $12.7 billion in 2022.

Net bookings is the main operational metric and defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically during the period, and includes licensing fees, merchandise, in-game advertising, strategy guides and publisher incentives.

During the quarter, the company launched WWE 2K24, which demonstrates 2K and Visual Concept’s ability to raise the bar further for our popular wrestling series. Digitally-delivered net bookings declined 4% and accounted for 96% of the total. The decrease was largely driven by a modest decline in net bookings, as well as mix of business. In the period, 82% of console game sales were delivered digitally, up from 78% last year.

Fiscal year results

NBA 2K24 fell short in FYQ3 for Take-Two.
NBA 2K24

For the full fiscal year ended March 31, 2024, Take-Two said total net bookings increased 1% to $5.33 billion, as compared to $5.28 billion during last fiscal year. Net bookings from recurrent consumer spending increased 2% and accounted for 78% of total net bookings. The same games were the biggest contributors for the year.

GAAP net revenue was flat at $5.35 billion when compared to last fiscal year. Recurrent consumer spending increased 1% and accounted for 79% of total GAAP net revenue. The GAAP net loss was $3.74 billion, or $22.01 per share, as compared to $1.12 billion, or $7.03 per share, for the comparable period last year.

The GAAP results include impairment charges of $2.34 billion related to goodwill and $577.4 million for acquisition-related intangible assets, and business reorganization expenses of $104.6 million related to our cost-reduction programs.

RCS for mobile increased high single-digits; NBA 2K virtual currency and seasons were up slightly; and Grand Theft Auto Online virtual currency and GTA+ membership was flat.

Overall, 86% of unit sales were purchased digitally in FY24, as compared to 84% in FY23. This includes 78% of console game sales, up from 74% last year. Nearly 100% of units for PC are delivered digitally.

Non-GAAP adjusted unrestricted operating cash flow was $42 million as compared to the outlook of approximately $100 million. The shortfall is due to higher external developer advances, cash tax and interest payments.

Operating expenses increased 69% to $5.8 billion due to an impairment charge of $2.3 billion related to goodwill and a $105 million business reorganization charge related to our cost-reduction programs. On a management basis, operating expenses rose 15% year-over-year and were slightly above guidance.

Roadmap for games

Star Wars: Hunters arena action.
Star Wars: Hunters arena action.

In terms of the future line-up, Take-Two said its game pipeline for FY26 (the year ending March 31, 2026) and FY27 has 24 titles planned, including 15 immersive core releases — six of which are sports simulation games — one independent title, five mobile games, and three new iterations of previously-released titles.

Rockstar Games

The Grand Theft Auto series delivered another fantastic quarter, partially driven by an array of free content updates for Grand Theft Auto Online, including new vehicles, drag races, holiday-themed items to celebrate Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, new community series jobs, and more.

Unit sales for Grand Theft Auto V exceeded Take-Two’s forecast, and to date, the title has sold-in approximately 200M units worldwide. More than a decade after their initial releases, Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online grew their audience size by 35% and 23%, respectively, for the full year.

Grand Theft Auto V also reclaimed its top spot as the most watched video game across all platforms according to Streamhatchet, thanks largely to the viewership from the series’ role play community. Rockstar’s premium subscription service, GTA+, also continues to grow, with membership for the quarter almost doubling over the same period in the prior year as Rockstar continues to add valuable benefits to players.

Red Dead Redemption 2 also surpassed expectations and has sold-in nearly 64 million units worldwide. We continue to expand the audience for the series, with Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare recently added to the roster of games included within the GTA+ library.

2K

NBA 2K24 remains the No. 1 basketball simulation experience and it surpassed expectations. To date, the game has sold over nine million copies and engagement is at two million players playing daily.

The NBA 2K brand also continued to expand its audience through several mobile experiences, including NBA 2K24 MyTeam — the new free-to-download mobile experience that allows players to sync progress between console and mobile devices as they play their favorite MyTeam modes on the go, NBA 2K Mobile, and NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition, which is consistently in the Top 5 on Apple Arcade.

WWE 2K24 had an 83 average Metacritic score, a high for the franchise. Players have logged 11 million hours across 110 million matches played. In addition, the Forty Years of WrestleMania Pack has the highest attach rate for a Super Deluxe DLC in the series’ history, with more than 25% of WWE 2K24 players owning the DLC.

Borderlands 3 outpaced our forecasts Take-Two said it is thrilled that Randy Pitchford and Gearbox Entertainment are slated to join officially 2K’s renowned internal studios in the coming weeks as a result of a $460 million deal to purchase Gearbox from Embracer Group. The Borderlands feature film is planned for a release by Lionsgate this summer.

Zynga

Zynga delivered outstanding results for the period, led by robust in-app purchases. Match Factory is accelerating and proving to be a hit, already establishing itself as a Top-20 grossing game on the U.S. Apple App Store and reaching millions of new users with its launch on the Google Play store. The play time is at 60 minutes per user.

Toon Blast maintained its positive momentum, achieving nearly 20% growth of in-app purchases compared to the third quarter, driven by a new Dragons’ Treasure competition and many other features.
Top Troops launched several content updates, as well as a major cross-media collaboration with the popular influencer, MrBeast. The team plans to release additional enhancements to core gameplay and progression systems to drive further growth.

Momentum continues at Rollic, with the studio crossing 3.5 billion all-time downloads and announcing a new partnership with Mattel to introduce a mass-market Barbie mobile game later this calendar year.
Blended monetization efforts in hyper-casual are progressing well within Rollic, which has resulted in Twisted Tangle and Screw Jam both becoming Top-100 grossing games on the U.S.

Looking ahead, Zynga has numerous titles in development and soft launch that we are eager to release worldwide this fiscal year, including Star Wars Hunters and Game of Thrones: Legends.

Outlook for FY25

Streaming games like Google
The world of Red Dead Redemption 2.

With FY25 (ending March 31, 2025) underway, Take-Two expects the coming year will see net bookings of $5.55 billion to $5.65 billion, representing 5% year-over-year growth. Note that this year does not include Grand Theft Auto VI, which is coming in FY26.

The outlook reflects a narrowing of Rockstar Games’ previously established window of calendar 2025 to fall of calendar 2025 for Grand Theft Auto VI.

“We are highly confident that Rockstar Games will deliver an unparalleled entertainment experience, and our expectations for the commercial impact of the title continue to increase,” Take-Two said.

For this fiscal year, he largest contributors to net bookings are expected to be NBA 2K, the Grand Theft Auto series, Toon Blast, Empires & Puzzles, ther hyper-casual mobile portfolio, Match Factory, the Red Dead Redemption series, an unannounced immersive core title from 2K, and Words With Friends.

The company expects RCS to be up approximately 3% compared to FY24, and to represent 76% of net bookings. The RCS forecast assumes high single-digit growth for mobile, a slight increase for NBA 2K, and a decline for Grand Theft Auto Online. The company expects the net bookings breakdown from the labels to be roughly 50% Zynga, 31% 2K, 17% Rockstar Games, and 2% other.

The company forecasts geographic net bookings split to be about 60% United States and 40% international. While the company reduced its headcount recently, the company expects to deploy approximately $140 million, primarily for capital expenditures for game technology and office buildouts.

Take-Two said it has been executing its substantial cost-reduction program, which it now anticipates will result in over $165 million of annual cost savings from current and future expenses. This will enable the firm to run the business more efficiently and achieve greater operating leverage as large-scale titles come to market.

Long-term outlook

GTA VI's main characters.
GTA VI’s main characters.

The company said it is highly confident in its business, led by top creative talent, an industry-leading portfolio of owned intellectual property, a sound balance sheet, and increasingly efficient infrastructure.

The teams are “laser focused on our core tenets of creativity, innovation, and efficiency, and as we deliver our groundbreaking pipeline over the next several years, we are poised also to deliver industry-leading growth and shareholder returns,” the company said.

The company said it expects to achieve tremendous growth, including sequential increases in net bookings in Fiscal 2025, 2026, and 2027. The pipeline for games in FY25 to FY 27 includes approximately 40 titles through FY27.

“Our updated release schedule reflects the actions of our recent cost-reduction program, through which we cancelled several titles to focus our efforts and resources on the franchises we believe represent our best opportunities to achieve significant critical and commercial success,” the company said. “These titles did not include any of our core franchises and were not expected to materially affect our net bookings growth.”

In Fiscal year 2025, the firm has 16 titles in their pipeline, three of which have already been released. There are seven immersive core titles, including TopSpin, NBA and WWE 2K25, and the “next iteration in one of 2K’s biggest and most beloved franchises” — with the first details coming in just a few short weeks at Summer Games Fest Kickoff Live.

Of these titles, TopSpin 2K25 was released by 2K and Hangar 13 on April 26. There are two independent titles from Private Division, the first of which is Moon Studio’s No Rest for the Wicked, which launched on April 18 into early access on PC.

Private Division, along with Wētā Workshop, also announced Tales of the Shire: A The Lord of the Rings Game, which is planned for release later this year. The company has five mobile titles, including NFL 2K Playmakers, Star Wars Hunters, and Game of Thrones Legends. NFL 2K Playmakers was released on April 23 by 2K and Cat Daddy Games for iOS and Android devices.

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