Top of his hit-list were expectations that Mafia II is unlikely to make a profit, given the game’s lengthy six-year gestation and lower than expected review scores. The game went into the UK’s all-formats chart at #1 today. He commented:
“The continued strength from Red Dead Redemption is offsetting weakness from weak Mafia II sales. Mafia II’s average Metacritic score of 74 is well below expectations, and consumer interest appears to be waning, as the game’s position has dropped in many best-seller lists in its first week. With six years in development, we believe the game is unlikely to achieve profitability.”He also went on to say in the report to investors that Rockstar’s crime thriller LA Noire is not expected to be released this year, saying:
“Game delays have become the norm at Take-Two, and we expect the company to announce a shift in release dates for LA Noire out of 2010 and into 2011. This follows last quarter’s announcement of a similar delay for Max Payne 3. It is important to note that both games have been in development for longer than five years, making their break even hurdles significantly higher than a typical game.”Lastly, Pachter commented that a GTAV announcement is likely to happen any time soon:
“We do not expect any news about the next GTA game, though we still believe it could be released by holiday 2011. Despite a multitude of recent game announcements, Take-Two’s share price has taken a battering recently, reflecting investor disappointment that there has been no update on the next Grand Theft Auto, which appears to have potentially slipped to 2012.”Whether his predictions will ring true remains to be seen - we think it’s a little early to be making predictions about Mafia II’s lifetime sales, and given the lack of news to date, LA Noire probably won’t be out this year - but he should make sure no horses’ heads turn up in his bed or he might end up sleeping with the fishes. Ba da bing.