They're not having a grand ol' time at Take-Two


Strauss Zelnick told Wall Street analysts Tuesday that retail is stabilizing and the video game industry has shown resilience during the recession.

Nonetheless, Take-Two Interactive, the company Zelnick chairs, swung to a fiscal second-quarter loss on revenue that plunged 57% compared with a year earlier, when "Grand Theft Auto IV" was breaking sales records.

Take-Two said it lost $10.1 million on revenue of $229.7 million in the quarter, compared with a $98.2 million profit last year on revenue of $539.8 million.

The company also delayed until next year the release of two games, "Mafia II" and "Red Dead Redemption," and sliced its full-year revenue guidance to as much as $1.25 billion, about $100 million less than its previous target.

Take-Two CEO Ben Feder boasted Tuesday that "GTA IV" scored the biggest opening for an entertainment product, including movies, when it sold $400 million worth of product during its first week a year ago.

Also a year ago, Take-Two turned down a bid from Electronic Arts to purchase the company for $26 a share. On Tuesday, Take-Two shares closed 2% lower at $8.83.

The company is battling the perception that it is a one-trick pony given its reliance on the massive "GTA" franchise. Its other successful titles include "BioShock" and games from its 2K Sports subsidiary. (partialdiff)