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Red Dead Redemption is having a huge launch, but Take-Two Interactive won’t report the results of that success until next quarter. For now, the publisher still has to rely on Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online — and as far as business-sustaining pillars go, it could do worse.

Take-Two confirmed today that it has shipped more than 100 million copies of Grand Theft Auto V. That makes the 2013 blockbuster one of the best-selling games of all time. In terms of units sold, it is behind Minecraft and possibly Tetris.

And the continued performance of the open-world crime game from developer Rockstar is a bright spot. It’s one of the reasons Take-Two continues to report strong quarterly earnings.

“Take-Two delivered better-than-expected operating results, including growth in net bookings, during the fiscal second quarter,” Take-Two chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick said. “This outperformance was driven primarily by Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, as well as the successful launch of NBA 2K19.”


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The ballad of recurrent consumer spending

But it’s not just about new-game sales for Take-Two. In fact, half of the company’s business is about selling digital goods. The publisher noted that 49 percent of its total revenue came from virtual currency, add-on content, or in-game purchases. That is all extra money that Take-Two is making on top of selling a game for approximately $60.

So while revenue was up 11 percent to $492.7 million compared to $443.6 million during the same period last year, digital as a whole was up 18 percent. And that accounted for 73 percent of Take-Two’s revenue.

Once again, the publisher highlighted how Grand Theft Auto contributed to those numbers.

“The largest contributors to digitally-delivered net revenue in fiscal second quarter 2019 were Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K18 and NBA 2K19, NBA 2K Online 2, Monster Legends and Dragon City, and WWE SuperCard,” reads the Take-Two quarterly financial report.

And GTA Online should continue to deliver those kinds of numbers even after the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2. The big question is whether Red Dead Online can produce anything close to its predecessor. If it can, Take-Two’s value could reach new heights.


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