Take-Two lowers mobile expectations, but GTA V still exists so it's not all bad

As Take-Two assesses its mobile business following its acquisition of Zynga, the company says GTA V is still exceeding expectations.

Net bookings at Take-Two Interactive increased by 53 percent to $1.5 billion during the second quarter of the current fiscal year, and recurrent consumer spending accounted for 80 percent of that total.

According to the company's financial report for the second quarter ended September 30, 2022, that net bookings performance fell within the company's guidance range and was driven by Grand Theft Auto V, which "exceeded expectations" and has now sold-in over 170 million copies worldwide.

Take-Two added that NBA 2K23, which launched on September 9, 2022, has now sold-in almost 5 million units and has delivered "significant growth in virtual current sales and a higher average selling price" compared to NBA 2K22. The basketball sim also delivered "strong" player engagement with over 2 million daily active users.

"We experienced healthy player engagement, driven by exciting new game releases, post-launch content updates, and bold beats for many of our mobile offerings, even as consumers continued to navigate the effects of various macroeconomic and geopolitical factors," reads the report.

Overall, recurrent consumer spending increased by 76 percent year-on-year, while digitally-delivered net bookings rose by 62 percent to $1.4 billion and accounted for 94 percent of the quarterly total.

Take-Two emphasized the importance of digital software by revealing that 73 percent of console game sales during Q2 were delivered digitally, an increase of 8 percent year-on-year.

The company indicated that its integration of Zynga has also been progressing well, stating that it has so far made "excellent progress." Take-Two completed its acquisition of the mobile studio at a valuation of $12.7 billion in May 2022.

Notably, Take-Two said that Zynga president Frank Gibeau and his leadership team have evaluated its mobile portfolio, including exciting games and projects in development, and have subsequently "identified numerous opportunities to enhance our performance."

"These initiatives include reorganizing several teams; sharing development tools, resources, and best practices across our mobile studios; conceptualizing new bold beats; and leveraging Zynga’s highly valuable publishing platform, which is now even stronger following the recent acquisition of Storemaven," said the company. "We are also starting to expand our direct-to-consumer efforts more meaningfully across our mobile portfolio further to enhance profitability."

Those comments are rather timely given Take-Two just downwardly revised its net bookings guidance for the full-year due to a shifting release slate and "lowered expectations" for its mobile business.

As it stands, the company now expects to deliver net bookings of $5.4 billion to $5.5 billion – down from the $5.8 billion to $5.9 billion it previously forecasted – by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2023.

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