Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) was trading up after earnings in the after-hours trading session. Shares have since petered out with a drop of almost 6% to $16.88 in late afternoon trading. What has happened is that most of the great gains from Grand Theft Auto 5 have been realized. Based upon what we are seeing, investors and the company (gamers too) are already trying to consider how long they will have to wait before looking forward to a delivery of Grand Theft Auto 6.
When you see the numbers put up from the GTA franchise, you can just assume that a company will do a repeat. Grand Theft Auto 5 already sold-in nearly 29 million units to date. The launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 broke several key video game records. The game generated the highest revenue by an entertainment product in the first 24 hours. It was also the fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion.
Take-Two also went on to say that it has over ten unique titles planned for next-generation consoles between now and its fiscal 2015 which ends in March. The problem is that these are not expected to be the launches of Grand Theft Auto 6.
What is funny is that Grand Theft Auto 6 was reportedly confirmed almost a month ago, but the company was mum on when that would be. Our guess is that it will be in the next 18 to 24 months.
Building a great franchise does not allow for new games of this magnitude to hit the shelves every single year. If that was possible, you would have seen Halo 12 by now.
Take-Two shares are down 6% at $16.90 in late Wednesday profit taking. If Strauss Zelnick wants to not have major profit taking, perhaps he needs to consider telling shareholders that this franchise may have a limitless universe with new titles coming every 18 to 24 months. This stock has traded in a 52-week range of $10.61 to $19.25 and the consensus price target is over $21.
GTA 6 will come. You can count on that. Just don’t expect it immediately.