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Take-Two delays 'Grand Theft Auto IV'

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. on Thursday delayed its most important upcoming video game, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” and warned that it would post a full-year loss, before one-time items, sending shares down 12.5 percent.
"Grand Theft Auto IV," the much-anticipated title from Rockstar games, will miss the critical holiday season.
"Grand Theft Auto IV," the much-anticipated title from Rockstar games, will miss the critical holiday season. Rockstar Games / Rockstar Games
/ Source: Reuters

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. on Thursday delayed its most important upcoming video game, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” and warned that it would post a full-year loss, before one-time items, sending shares down 12.5 percent.

“We are very disappointed to reduce guidance after having previously reaffirmed it,” Ben Feder, the chief executive who is part of a new management team at the troubled company, said in a statement, referring to the company’s previous assessment, in June.

The game, which had been scheduled for release in October, is now planned for release in the second quarter of Take-Two’s fiscal 2008. That means it will not be on store shelves in time for the holidays, dealing a blow to Microsoft and Sony Corp, who had been banking on the must-have title to help lift sales of their respective gaming consoles, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Chairman Strauss Zelnick, who helped lead a shareholder coup that ousted former management earlier this year, said ”certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms.”

The company said that for the fiscal year ending October 31, it expects revenue of $950 million to $1 billion. It also forecast a loss of $1.25 per share to $1.35 per share, excluding one-time items.

Including costs for stock-based compensation, restructuring, and legal matters, Take-Two forecast a 2007 loss of $2.10 per share to $2.20 per share.

In June, Take-Two said it expected revenue of $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion for the year, with break-even results before one-time items.