Take-Two Software is a publisher of video games for platforms such as Playstation, Xbox, Wii, and the personal computer. The company publishes its games through two subsidiaries: Rockstar Games and 2K. Take-Two's most coveted franchise, Grand Theft Auto, has sold millions of units across multiple titles, and has been widely criticized (or celebrated, depending on the audience) for its focus on violent and criminal content. The company also produces other popular titles such as Midnight Club, BioShock, and Civilization. In 2009, the company generated $968 million in revenue but incurred a net loss of $138 million.
Take-Two faces challenges during a slow global economy from the weakening demand of video games. In 2009, video game software sales reached $24.5 billion on 604 million units sold. However, estimates for 2013 show sales value dropping to below $17 billion on just 460 million units sold. If the video game market shrinks, Take-Two, along with all other video game developers, will have a difficult time sustaining growth.
Take-Two is a developer, publisher, and distributor of video games. It also competes on a variety of gaming platforms, such as the PC, XBox, Playstation, Wii, and other portable devices. TTWO divides its financial reporting into Publishing and Distribution segments. For more information about these two segments, please see Video Game Industry.
The distribution business handles logistics of distribution for published titles, and also helps distribute other companies' software and hardware through Take-Two's retailer network. The company is able to do this due to the retailer-relationships it has established over the course of many years of operations, selling its games across North America, and thus it is able to offer it as a service to third parties as well.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) estimates that more than two-thirds of all American households play PC or video games, with an estimated 68% of heads of households playing games. They also estimate that the average gamer is 35 years old and has been actively playing for 12 years. ESA studies show that video game popularity has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades and the audience is widening. However, despite this increasing popularity, studies estimate that the market for video games will decrease over the next few years from the as an effect of the sluggish global economy. In 2009, video game software sales reached $24.5 billion on 604 million units sold. However, estimates for 2013 show sales value dropping to below $17 billion on just 460 million units sold. If the video game market shrinks, Take-Two, along with all other video game developers, will have a difficult time sustaining growth.
Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise is one of the most coveted brands within the Video Game industry. It's games has an untarnished track record of both quality and sales. In 2009, GTA games accounted for 30.6% of the company's net revenue. In order to keep revenue stream from this title, Take-Two must continue to publish successful sequels or new hit titles to make up for any lost revenue. Because the GTA series is known for its violence and gore, many parents have decided not to buy these games for their kids (GTA games are rated 17+). Additionally, some countries have even gone as far as trying to ban the game because of its content. Take-Two must be careful not to cross the line with its content, otherwise it will face regulation. If the demand for GTA games falls, Take-Two's bottom line will suffer.
Most of Take-Two's games fit within the traditional "hard-core" gaming category, catering towards the specific 18-35 year old male demographic. While this has fostered a devoted fan base, it has also limited the company's ability to expand beyond into the growing gaming demographics of younger children, females, and older males. Take-Two has taken various steps to address this flaw, establishing the "2K Play" publishing label, obtaining an exclusive license with Nickelodeon to develop games around "Dora the Explore" and "Go, Diego, Go", and creating the Carnival Games franchise.