800 Million Reasons to Love Take-Two and Grand Theft Auto 5

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It seems that the good only gets better for some of the lucky few. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) is seeing some joy and reward on its epic launch of Grand Theft Auto 5. It appears that our assumption about much of the great news being factored in too soon in video games might have had some truth after all, but the reality is that a new hurdle has been set for video game debuts.

The official tally is that Grand Theft Auto took in a whopping $800 million in retail sales on its first day of sales. We had already expected this to be one of the top-selling games and expected it to be a best-ever for the Grand Theft Auto game franchise. Still, when we pondered that the benefit of consoles was already being reflected, Take-Two shares were up at $19.00 or so. Shares were up 5% earlier in the day, but the mid-afternoon trading on Thursday showed that shares were up 1.6% at $17.48.

We would have easily expected $400 million and even well over $500 million, but $800 million in a massive sum that was even that much more massive than we expected. Now Take-Two holders have to be wondering if Take-Two and Rockstar Games can crank out GTA 6 without any hiccups and perhaps sooner than expected. With the next generation of gaming consoles upon us, there will be high competition from publishing houses showing off their video game programming and graphics abilities.

When you have a hit series there is only one thing to do. You can either try to reinvent or you can launch a better version of the prior success. The latter usually is the path chosen, and generally the more successful.