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Take-Two Announces Profit, Xbox San Andreas, Indie Studios Acquisition

Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two has announced its fourth quarter and fiscal 2004 financial results, revealing a profit of $62.6 million for the quarter, and fu...
Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two has announced its fourth quarter and fiscal 2004 financial results, revealing a profit of $62.6 million for the quarter, and full year profits of $65.4 million, largely impelled by sales of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, published via Take-Two label Rockstar Games, which was the top selling PlayStation 2 title in the United States in October and November. Take-Two also took the opportunity to announce Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Xbox in the third quarter of fiscal 2005, along with a simultaneous release of the PC version of the title. However, the company accrued a $7.5 million expense in the fourth quarter associated with Take-Two's previously disclosed SEC investigation accounting at the company during 2000 and 2001, in which Take-Two "would neither admit nor deny the allegations of the complaint", but nonetheless paid the government a significant sum to settle the complaint, which centered around financial statements, periodic reporting and internal accounting controls. The company also shipped the relatively successful ESPN NHL 2K5 and ESPN NBA 2K5 during the quarter, under a co-publishing and distribution agreement with Sega, but also highlighted forthcoming products, including Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, which will now ship in the second fiscal quarter, and The Warriors, which has now slipped yet again to the third quarter of 2005. The company also noted the issues it's now facing with a now-impossible ESPN NFL 2K6 product, commenting: "While recent industry developments preclude the release of an officially licensed professional football title, the Company and Sega are evaluating opportunities to publish a title based on the critically acclaimed 2K football game." Other mysteriously described forthcoming products include a "new console title based on a proven brand from Rockstar's internal studios [and] titles based on two of Rockstar's premier brands for Sony's highly anticipated PSP platform." In other, surprise news, Take-Two announced that it has acquired Indie Built, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based development studio focused on next generation console products. The studio formerly known as Access Software, and more recently part of Microsoft Game Studios, has most recently worked on Xbox games including Links 2004, Amped II, and Top Spin.

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