The debut was the biggest ever for the company or for "Grand Theft Auto," New York-based Take-Two said in a statement. It also beat the $500 million reported for the last "Call of Duty," which publisher Activision Blizzard said then was an opening-day record.
The fast start is outpacing projections for as much as $1 billion at retail in the first month. Revenue from the first two weeks of "Grand Theft Auto" alone may exceed estimates for all of Take-Two during the quarter that ends in September, according to Michael Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, who has a buy rating on the stock.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the launch," CEO Strauss Zelnick said yesterday at the company's annual shareholder meeting in New York.
"Our initial forecast of 14 million units by the end of the September quarter now appears very conservative," Mr. Olson wrote in a research note. Customers have already purchased 10 million to 12 million copies in the first 24 hours, he said, and the game could sell as many as 25 million units by the end of March.
"Grand Theft Auto" is the linchpin in Take-Two's forecast for fiscal 2014 revenue growth of as much as 53%, to $1.88 billion, and profit of as much as $2.50 a share, projections the company made in July. The product is also testing demand for console-based titles as Sony and Microsoft prepare to introduce new versions of Xbox and Playstation.
~ Bloomberg News ~