According to the NPD Group, overall video game sales were down 29 percent in June compared to last year ($699.8 million to $989.5 million). Hardware sales were hit hardest, tumbling a massive 45 percent, though game accessories — such as gift cards and Skylanders figurines — were up slightly.
Rockstar Games is considered a nearly bulletproof game developer. They take their time crafting their games, and their releases are always major events. The company’s last three blockbuster titles — Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption and last year’s L.A. Noire — enjoyed chart-topping success, a testament to the company’s dedication to quality and terrific sense of timing.
But the release of Max Payne 3 is putting their impressive streak at risk.
Rockstar Games, though, has an interesting way of dealing with the problem: isolate the troublemakers and force them to play against each other.
The company’s Rockstar Games division announced this morning that the game, originally set to launch this March, would now not bow before May. That marks the fourth delay, if you’re keeping score at home.
Rockstar Games co-founder and vice president of creative Dan Houser doesn’t spend a lot of time on the interview circuit, and you’ll almost never find him on a panel of industry experts. Instead, he prefers to let the company’s work do the talking.
In this rare interview, Houser outlines how the company makes its decisions — from booting Max Payne into the future to deciding not to give players much of a window into its games prior to their release. He also discusses lessons learned from Red Dead Redemption and the creative bible for the Grand Theft Auto series.
There hasn’t been a new game in the series for eight years. And while Rockstar Games announced two years ago that a third installment was on the way (and initially planned for a holiday 2009 release), the only time it has mentioned the game since is to announce delays. Over the course of the past week, though, the hype machine started to churn once again.
Take-Two didn’t just surpass analyst’s expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter yesterday; it crushed them. And in the process, it did something observers and investors have been hoping it could pull off for a decade: It turned an annual profit in a year with no new “Grand Theft Auto” in its catalog.
t’s a monumental achievement for a company that has been accused for years of being a one-trick pony. And it has investors wondering if the time has come to reconsider investing in Take-Two.