Bloomberg News

Take-Two's `Grand Theft' Lifts Video-Game Sales 41%

June 12, 2008

U.S. video-game sales increased 41 percent in May, led for a second month by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO:US)'s ``Grand Theft Auto IV.''

Consumers purchased 1.31 million copies of the game at U.S. stores last month, Port Washington, New York-based researcher NPD Group Inc. said today in an e-mailed statement. Video-game hardware sales rose 34 percent, led by Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

``Grand Theft Auto IV'' may generate more than $1 billion in sales by the end of this year, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said in a June 10 note to investors. Take-Two said last week that consumers had purchased 8.5 million units worldwide from the April 29 release through May 31.

``The U.S. video-games industry has generated $6.6 billion in sales so far this year, which exceeds total 1997 annual revenues,'' NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in an e-mailed statement. ``The industry is on pace to achieve revenues in the $21 billion to $23 billion range for 2008.''

Sales of games, hardware, software and accessories increased 37 percent to $1.12 billion from $816.3 million, NPD said.

Among the consoles, U.S. retailers sold 675,100 Wii players, 208,700 PlayStation 3s from Sony Corp. (6758) and 186,600 of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US)'s Xbox 360, NPD said.

The success of ``Grand Theft Auto IV'' isn't ``translating into big hardware sales for either the PS3 or the 360,'' Frazier said. Father's Day and graduation gift-giving may change that, she said.

`Wii Fit'

Nintendo's ``Wii Fit'' was the month's third-best selling title with 687,700 copies purchased, NPD said. The game measures players' fitness, including weight and body-mass index, during activities that include simulated skiing, yoga and push-ups. Exercises are performed on a floor pad that connects wirelessly to the console.

``Wii Fit'' is available only for the Nintendo console. ``Grand Theft Auto IV'' was released in versions for Xbox 360 console and PlayStation 3.

New York-based Take-Two is resisting a hostile, $2 billion takeover attempt by Electronic Arts Inc. (EA:US), the largest publisher of video games. Electronic Arts' $25.74-a-share tender expires June 16.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, gained $1.12 to $28.24 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading (MSFT:US). U.S.-traded shares (SNE:US) of Tokyo-based Sony fell 1 cent to $47.82 on the New York Stock Exchange. Nintendo rose 500 yen to 57,000 yen in Osaka.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.


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Companies Mentioned

  • TTWO
    (Take-Two Interactive Software Inc)
    • $23.2 USD
    • 0.24
    • 1.06%
  • MSFT
    (Microsoft Corp)
    • $44.44 USD
    • -0.43
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