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Grand Theft Auto V a sales milestone for Take-Two

Publisher Take-Two had a huge financial quarter, thanks to sales of blockbuster title Grand Theft Auto V that drove over a billion dollars in revenue.
Publisher Take-Two had a huge financial quarter, thanks to sales of Grand Theft Auto V. The game, which released September 17, has shipped 29 million units. Take-Two said the Rockstar-developed title shipped more console software units in six weeks of availability than 2008's GTA IV has sold in its lifetime. For the quarter ended September 30, Take-Two reported a massive boost thanks to GTA V. On a non-GAAP basis (a figure that includes shipments of GTA V), revenues rose 340 percent to $1.27 billion, up from revenues of $288 million for the same quarter a year prior. Non-GAAP income was $325.6 million, up from $10.2 million. Take-Two also expects Grand Theft Auto Online, the free game included with GTA V and launched October 1, will help keep players engaged with the franchise as time goes on. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a statement, "We currently have more than 10 unique titles planned for next-generation consoles, including multiple releases slated for fiscal 2015. As a result, I am confident that we will be able to achieve Non-GAAP profitability in fiscal 2015 and every year for the foreseeable future." Zelnick congratulated developer Rockstar, calling the game a "cultural phenomenon," adding that Take-Two's major franchises such as BioShock, NBA 2K, Borderlands and GTA are growing in sales, even as major franchises from other publishers are hitting tough times. Zelnick said the big GTA V sales are thanks to a high-quality game, a large current-generation install base, and a release window that lacked any real competition. While today's 29 million figure refers to shipped units of GTV V, and not sold-through to consumers, Zelnick said in a conference call that he expects demand will remain high, and hinted that sell-through will reflect high, ongoing demand. On the back of strong sales, Take-Two upped its non-GAAP financial outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 to $2.2-$2.3 billion. Net income is expected to be $3.50-$3.75 per share. If the company hits those figures, it will be a record for Take-Two. GTA V wasn't the only game generating revenue during the quarter. Franchise catalog sales of GTA, Civilization, NBA 2K and Borderlands contributed $118.9 million in sales. Zelnick also mentioned "multiple unannounced titles" for fiscal 2015, with titles in the pipe for new and emerging platforms.

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