Take Two Show Big Profit, XCOM Still Happening

By John Walker on February 6th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

It’s not all doom and despair in game publishing, you know. While we’ve seen the very sad loss of THQ, and are surrounded by reports of others in lots of trouble, Take Two have just announced a increase in revenues of a whopping 244%. That’s a milliontysquillionty pounds, and it’s in a year without a GTA game to send their shares rocketing. That’s impressive stuff, especially for a publisher known to struggle without Rockstar’s powerhouse on the schedule, and it’s thanks to Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Oh, and the FPS XCOM is still a thing.

Those revenues are for the last three months of last year, compared to the same in 2011, with total revenues of a whopping $414.8m. And it translates to profits too, seeing 2011’s final quarter of $14.2m rise to $70.9m in 2012. And according to my calculator, that’s more. Take-Two are quick to boast of the sales for Blands 2 and Hoop Dreams XXVII, with 6 and 4.5 million copies sold respectively. However, while declaring XCOM a “successful launch” and citing it a hit, they didn’t give sales figures on that title. Shame, as it would have been interesting to know.

The odd thing to come out of all this is the news that XCOM, the blankly-named first (or is it third?)-person shooter no one is sure they want, is still in development at 2K Marin. After last October’s rumour that it might be switching perspectives, and last May’s news of a second big slip, we’ve heard not a thing, until now. And now all we’ve heard is that work persists. I wonder if it’ll have anything in common with the 20 minutes we were shown way back in August 2011?

The future looks bright to Take-Two too. This year, accepting possible major slips, they’ve got BioShock Infinite and the somewhat delayed GTA V in September, the former likely to do good monies, the latter inevitably going to sell more copies than Kinko’s. And of course there will be NBA 2K14 as well.

It’s splendid to see a publisher showing growth at the moment, especially one that’s not always had the best time with organising its accounts. Let’s hope we see more stories like this over the year.

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48 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Skeletor68 says:

    I’d actually really like to see this FPS now. We got the sweet strategy game so where’s the harm? Maybe the general consensus that people like the idea of a desperate struggle and impending doom from the strategy game will bleed over to the FPS?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Stay right where you are. There’s nothing to be alarmed about. An Angry Internet Man squad has been dispatched to your location to effect an attitude adjustment. It only hurts if you fight it.

      • dontnormally says:

        teehee !

        [edit] Would not this have been the appropriate time for you to have used “affect”?

        • Premium User Badge

          Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          Hello? Angry Internet Man squad? I have another job for you.

          • Grygus says:

            Thank you for holding. Your call is important to us, and all calls of such obvious caliber as yours will be served in the order in which they were received.

          • yurusei says:

            >Connecting to Angry Internet Men Squad
            >Protocols established. Securing connection
            >Finalizing Connection.
            >Connected.

            Lord Custard : Hello Commander…

    • mattevansc3 says:

      The only problem I see is where did the upgrades go? In TFTD they explained that lasers don’t work underwater and the Elerium became inert after the Mars mission. How do you explain advanced alien weapons and tech not being in the XCOM strategy game?

      • Premium User Badge

        FhnuZoag says:

        Presumeably whatever unobtainium powers the stuff in any XCOM prequel will have been used up by the time of Enemy Unknown, several decades later. Or maybe that’s what powers the cars and stuff now, handily explaining why everything explodes if set on fire!

        • Eddy9000 says:

          The most recent Xcom isn’t a sequel or prequel on the timeline of the earlier games, the devs specifically mentioned it. That’s why alien contact is described as ‘first contact’ in both the earlier and most recent xcom.

          PS. wtf is Xoom?

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          Ah, yes, BOOM! My squad learned the hard way that petrol pumps do not good cover make.

        • sinister agent says:

          Easier answer: Different aliens. Or earlier aliens, before they’d invented plasma rifles etc, but using technology so advanced it just happened to appear on earth shortly before the huge technological leaps of the Space Age.

    • President Weasel says:

      I also don’t see the harm in the FPS game, although I do hope it sells less well than the excellent squad based XCOM and makes considerably less money.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        As long as the squad based game gets a sequel, or someone makes another similar classic-strategy / modern-grafix game to prove that FPS isn’t the only thing that gamers care about, I’m quite happy to have another good sci fi FPS, and to have it sell even better than the turn based strategy one. As long as the publishers don’t stick their heads up their asses and interpret that particular statistic as meaning they shouldn’t try to make turn based strategy. (presuming that XCOM is, title controversy aside, good by it’s own merits when it’s released)

        We’re really not getting enough good sci fi FPS games lately. Too much spunkgargleweewee and other consoletarded crap.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I agree, the FPS Xcom looked really interesting, I liked the 1950’s setting (Dark Skies anyone?) and the idea of a game based around investigation rather than outright shooty bang-bangs. People were angry because they wanted a turn based strategy but we’ve got that now, what’s the harm?

      Hang on The doorbell’s just rung. Yes? Oh yes that’s me, how can I help you? Yes of course, come in, wow, could I just compliment you on your lovely thick neckbeards? And what’s the logo on your t-shirt? Oh an obscure indie games publisher, silly me I should have known. Anyway would you like a cup of…what the? OH GOOD GOD NO! STOP BEATING ME! NOT THE FACE, OH IT HURTS IT HURTS! DAMN YOU LORD CUSTARD!!! IS THAT ONE OF MY TEETH??

      • Premium User Badge

        Skeletor68 says:

        I completely forgot about Dark Skies, that was great!

        Wait a sec… Oh hi Lord Custard, didn’t see you there. I’m really enjoying your contribution to the RPS comments so far. Hold on, what… you’re going to put your monocle where? No, put down the cane… please… NO!

      • Premium User Badge

        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Your opinion (choose one)
        ( ) Has been changed to the correct opinion
        ( ) Has not changed (Please list, on a separate sheet, all unbroken bones)

      • mike2R says:

        “the idea of a game based around investigation rather than outright shooty bang-bangs”

        This. If it was done right it could be something special. I really like the idea of, rather than always going for complete level clearence, having to cut my way in with a small squad to try and obtain a $next_item_on_research_tree or save some civilians, and escape before the big bads stomped my insignificent arse.

      • buzzmong says:

        The problem being that the awesome investigation concept that was paraded when the game was announced got changed to some godawful mini squad “kill all the things” type game shown in the last trailer and recent-ish previews.

        I can only hope their silence after that last trailer was widely panned and the rumoured further changes have resulted in the game going back closer to its original investigation premise.

    • Premium User Badge

      Surlywombat says:

      This game was announced long before the enemy unknown. Hence the brouhaha.

    • Bo Steed says:

      It’s not a true Xcom game unless I can get into cover, then stand up, take a step back directly through what’s left of a wall, then shoot through a moving van to kill an alien. I also require the ability to completely screw my entire team by firing a rocket directly at the one piece of destructible cover four of us are hiding behind. For bonus points, I’d like to be able to completely miss a stationary alien from two meters away with a shotgun. THE LAST GREAT HOPE FOR HUMANITY.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      The harm is obvious: the inevitable commercial failure of the FPS will prove that the market for the XCOM franchise has died leading to the cancellation of plans for a successor TBS, cf. Red Faction: Armageddon.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        06/02/2013 at 17:27 Llewyn says:

        “The harm is obvious: the inevitable commercial failure of the FPS will prove that the market for the XCOM franchise has died leading to the cancellation of plans for a successor TBS, cf. Red Faction: Armageddon.”

        While you’ve got your crystal ball out would you mind letting me know Saturdays lottery numbers?

  2. Frosty840 says:

    Just before the FPS-XCOM project went completely dark, GamesTM had a really good, in-depth look at what was there, the feedback the developers were listening to and the direction the project was taking in response to the feedback they’d been seeing to the Firaxis XCOM.
    Honestly, I was really looking forward to playing the game I saw in that preview. Hopefully the thing is still on track…

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      Are you still reading GamesTM? It was a great magazine when I was still reading it (about two years ago). I’ve been reading RPS since my subscription ran out and now feel kinda bad about abandoning it.

  3. omicron1 says:

    It’s good to see one of the Good Guys ™ still on its feet. Although I can’t help but notice that a five year old game made by six people with the approximate graphics budget of an episode of Mystery Science Theater still managed to make more than half the revenue, and significantly more profit, than the House that Sid Built.

    • Carbonated Dan says:

      Please clarify which game you mean when you say “a five year old game made by six people with the approximate graphics budget of an episode of MST3K”

      • omicron1 says:

        Minecraft.

        • Grygus says:

          I don’t think Minecraft’s success should be a barometer for anything; Mojang themselves are unlikely to ever repeat that, let alone anyone else.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            No, don’t you see? Block building is the new big genre. Clearly all the big publishers need to start funding multimilion dollar triple A competitors to chase after that sweet, sweet Minecraft money.

  4. mckertis says:

    What they should have done, is hire Jake Solomon for marketing, that guy can (and did) sell any crap you can think of, as fairly represented by the recent poorly made Firaxis title. Nice to know that good old USian tradition of used car salesmen still lives.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      He had a sympathetic audience. Certain three-letter websites made a concerted effort to manufacture a success. It’s obvious enough from the meercat’s blogging elsewhere, where he essentially said that it doesn’t matter if the Firaxis TBS title is actually any good; the important thing for him and his colleagues was to pretend it was good so it would succeed and lead to more TBS titles.

  5. Low Life says:

    I’m still fond of the idea that the shootery XCOM was just a marketing trick, making people fear the worst, therefore making them more happy about the strategy version than they otherwise would’ve been. Somewhere there is a marketing guy who is just devious enough to come up with something like that.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      Hadn’t heard that little theory. I love it!

    • Strangerator says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

      “Other formulations of the process created after Overton’s death add the concept of moving the window, such as deliberately promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous “outer fringe” ideas, with the intention of making the current fringe ideas acceptable by comparison.”

      This is a thing, actually.

  6. Joshua Northey says:

    I just hope they make a second iteration of the strategy game. Could have it on a Solar System scale. that would also actually make the size of the away teams make some sense, since propellant is costly from an engineering perspective.

    • Strangerator says:

      Would UFO crash sites on Jupiter still have the forest maps???

  7. luukdeman111 says:

    Take two must be one of the best publishers still around…. Good to see them having success!

  8. kwyjibo says:

    Mad Men vs Aliens.

    This is the game I’ve been waiting for.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      Don Draper will find a way to sleep with squaddies on both sides.

  9. Palehorse says:

    Why the hey is T2 not releasing XCOM sales data? I get that you normally trumpet those figures for games that sell extra well, but is the opposite then true of games that do okay-ish?

    I think the presumption is that it did well enough, if not spectacular…is there strategy in not releasing the numbers then?

    Can someone explain this?

    • Grygus says:

      My guess is Steam. As I understand it, Valve doesn’t like for Steam sales numbers to be revealed.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Wait for the quarterly and annual financial reports to get more sales numbers/money-made figures.

  10. Totally heterosexual says:

    I actually kinda liked the way it looked. Though the amount of content will be the deciding factor.

  11. Strangerator says:

    Will there be technology research decisions to be made, that have meaningful gameplay impact? Will “squaddies” be able to permanently die? Will I be investigating creepy alien stuff without having to blow things away at every turn? Will a goodly portion of “missions” be the result of random generation or will this be a linear string of missions?

    Many questions to be answered yet, but I haven’t given up hope that this could be good.

  12. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    I’m glad, after THQ cratered, that there’s still a big, but relatively independent, publisher making monies off games which don’t insult gamers.

    A touch sad that their big three are all old ideas, though. Take 2 can definitely spend some of those monies on developing some new game IP.

    • Strangerator says:

      I agree with the sentiment, but in theory the XCOM first person game could potentially give us some somewhat original types of gameplay. I’m not 100% sold that it will, but even “somewhat original” would be a breath of fresh air from a big game company.