Continued strong sales inside “Grand Theft Auto Online” alongside strong ongoing demand for “Grand Theft Auto V,” helped publisher Take-Two Interactive Software beat Wall Street expectations for revenue in its first quarter of 2019 compared to the same time period last year.
The company’s net review was $388 million compared to $418.2 million for the same quarter last year.
“Fiscal 2019 is off to a solid start, with first-quarter operating results that exceeded our expectations,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “This performance was driven by better-than-expected recurrent consumer spending on ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’ and ‘NBA2K18,’ as well as robust ongoing demand for ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ which is now approaching 100 million units sold-in to date. Accordingly, we are increasing our operating outlook for fiscal year 2019.”
About 81 percent of the publisher’s total net revenue came from digitally-delivered content, up from 64 percent in last year’s fiscal first quarter.
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Since the start of the quarter in April, Rockstar Games released a number of major updates for “Grand Theft Auto Online,” including the “GTA Online” After Hours update that had a bigger week-one audience than last year’s Doomsday Heist update, which went on to be a record-breaking update.
“Grand Theft Auto V’s” success shows now sign of slowing despite being nearly five years old. This is the longest gap between Grand Theft Auto releases since the launch of the franchise in 1997. Zelnick declined to say if the continued success of the game would have any impact on the release of a sequel, noting that currently Rockstar Games is focused on “Red Dead Redemption 2” which is due out on Oct. 26.
Little is known about “Red Dead Redemption 2’s” online component, but Strauss said that the developer’s plan for the game’s online play is to “engage and captivate consumers with the best content.” He also noted that Take-Two didn’t really know what to expect when “Grand Theft Auto Online” launched five years ago.