GTA 5, Microtransactions, And The Pandemic Lift Take-Two To A Record Quarter

Take-Two reported its earnings on Monday, and the Grand Theft Auto company is flying high. Take-Two pulled in $831.3 million for its fiscal first quarter, the highest ever amount of money it’s made in a Q1 in the company’s 26-year history. The uptick in sales was driven by the pandemic–people are staying at home, playing more games, and spending more money on them.

Take-Two’s microtransaction business, which is called “recurrent consumer spending,” rose by a whopping 52 percent during the quarter to $482,153,999, led by GTA Online, NBA 2K20, Red Dead Online, and Borderlands 3.

“With more people staying at home, we have experienced, and are continuing to experience, heightened levels of engagement and net bookings growth-to-date,” Take-Two said. “The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business, operations, and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we are not able to predict.”

Grand Theft Auto V continues to be a bright spot for Take-Two. It has now sold a breathtaking 135 million copies, which is up from 120 million the last time Take-Two announced numbers in February 2020. In fact, the 15 million copies sold in the past quarter represents the strongest growth for the game on a unit basis since the game released in 2013, according to GI.biz.

GTA Online continues to grow, too, with its microtransaction sales jumping by 155 percent year-over-year, management told GI.biz.

GTA V and GTA Online are primed to grow further still, as Rockstar Games is re-releasing the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X in the second half of 2021. The new editions come with a range of technical and graphical improvements. Additionally, a free standalone version of GTA Online will be exclusive to PS5 for the first three months.

Take-Two also updated its sales figures for a number of key games. Red Dead Redemption 2 has now sold 32 million copies, while NBA 2K20 is up to 14 million copies. Borderlands 3 has now reached 10.5 million units sold, while The Outer Worlds has sold 2.8 million copies.

One game that did not perform so well was Disintegration, the new game from Halo veteran Marcus Lehto. Management said it underperformed in the market, but the company did not announce any hard sales data for the title.

The uptick in sales for Take-Two amid the pandemic is not exclusive to the company. Xbox recently reported impressive numbers, while Capcom also recently announced that it had its highest-ever revenue and profit in the company’s 41-year history. PlayStation company Sony is the next big gaming company to announce earnings–you can expect them on August 4.

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