Today I've seen reports that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be delayed possibly as far as September 2018. I'm quite confident this is wrong, and here's why.
Yesterday Take-Two Interactive announced its third-quarter earnings for 2017 (which were quite amazing, read more here), and re-confirmed Red Dead Redemption 2's release for 2017. "Looking ahead, our Company has a robust long-term development pipeline and is better positioned for success than at any time in its history," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said. "We expect to grow both bookings and net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2018, driven by our release slate led by Rockstar Games' highly anticipated launch of Red Dead Redemption 2."
Red Dead Redemption 2 is slated to release in Fall 2017, which usually translates to September or October. Fall 2017 is part of Take-Two's Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018); the FY2018 fiscal year starts on April 1, 2017 and ends on March 31, 2018. Now if Take-Two had delayed the game to September 2018, as this article postulates, that would be the next fiscal year, FY2019, not FY 2018. This would clash with the CEO's statements about high profitability for FY18, which would damage shareholder outlook. "Take-Two has now confirmed that Red Dead Redemption 2 will launch in fiscal 2018, between October 1, 2017 and September, 2018. A specific release date was not confirmed," reports PSU, not understanding the company's actual fiscal year calendar.
Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive is keen on pushing farther into the mobile gaming market, which pulls in an estimated $40 billion a year.
So far Take-Two has had moderate success in mobile games with its NBA 2K companion app and the WWE Supercard free-to-play card game. Both apps have generated an impressive and consistent flow of earnings, but the company wants to penetrate the market in a more direct way. Take-Two already understands microtransactions and "recurring consumer spending" all too well: a sizable chunk of its earnings are from microtransaction purchases in games like GTA Online and NBA 2K games. But mobile gaming is different, and takes a more seasoned push.
That's where Social Point comes in. Take-Two Interactive recently purchased mobile games maker Social Point for $250 million ($175 million in cash, and 1.5 million shares of common stock). Social Point makes highly-profitable Facebook games that are laden with microtransactions. During the company's third quarter earnings, CEO Strauss Zelnick talked about Take-Two's mobile gaming future and why Social Point was such a perfect fit: "Our outlook on mobile hasn't changed. We're aware its a 40 billion dollar market, and we're excited to be participants in mobile and free to play now with titles like the NBA 2K companion app, WWE Supercard, and other forms of supporting our titles in regards to recurrent consumer spending. We acquired SocialPoint because we see it as a strong standalone company that's expert in the mobile and free to play market. And they have owned intellectual property in a multiplicity of hits and they know how to engage with consumers and then how to monetize that engagement."
Over three years after its original release, Grand Theft Auto V continues to push boundaries and earn serious cash for Rockstar and Take-Two.
Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive today revealed their Q3 2017 earnings, and GTA V as well as its online component was a big earner. In fact, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V has sold-in more than 75 million units and was the sixth highest selling game on all platforms in 2016.
"GTA V and GTA Online continue to outperform our expectations, as they have in every quarter since their release. GTA V remains the highest rated game of the current console generation with sell-in amounts surpassing 75 million units. According to NPD which combines digital and physical sales, GTA V was the sixth highest selling game in all games on all platforms in 2016," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said during the company's Q3 2017 earnings call.
Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive today revealed strong third-quarter 2017 financials bolstered by repeated success of Grand Theft Auto V and its monetized engagement-driven online GTA Online component.
The earnings call made one thing clear: like EA, Take-Two has a potent formula regarding engagement and recurring consumer spending. This money-making strategy has manifested strongest with GTA Online, which continues to pull in quite a bit of earnings for Take-Two and Rockstar.
Sales and earnings were up in the three-month quarter, and recurrent consumer spending grew to a record high of 55%, signalling that tons of GTA Online, NBA 2K and mobile players continue to spend their money on in-game microtransactions, DLC content, and other in-game based purchases. In the nine-month period across Q1-Q3 FY2017, Take-Two earned $1.4 billion, and below we've transcribed the most important tidbits of the earnings call for your perusal:
UK-based Playground Games is best known for its high-profile Forza Horizon racing series, but the team has opened up a separate games studio to work on an entirely different project.
Playground founder Ralph Fulton confirmed that the new game wouldn't have anything to do with racing. In fact, it'll be an open-world type of game set in an entirely different genre than the studio is used to, and the project might even be the new Xbox IP that Microsoft exec Phil Spencer recently teased. Microsoft's Xbox brand has worked closely with Playground for the Forza Horizon series, and this could be a unique opportunity to create something fresh.
"We feel like we've become pretty good at racing games over the years. We can always get better, we can always strive to get better but we'd love to prove ourselves in a different genre. That's another goal of Project 2, to allow us to do that. It's a great opportunity for us to test ourselves in a different genre," Fulton told GamesIndustry.biz.
While the second studio is working on this unique open-world game, Playground's principle team will continue belting out Forza Horizon games.
"Our business with Forza over the last six, seven years has been great for us. It remains the cornerstone of our business - we're not running away from racing, we still feel passionate about making new racing games and delivering new experiences for our players."
Since Nintendo's new Switch hybrid system is an all-in-one combination of the 3DS' handheld mobility with a Wii U's centralized console-and-tablet hardware, 3DS owners have been worried that their beloved handheld's days are numbered. While Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima says the systems will continue to live on, he also delivers some clues that this competing hardware relationship will come to an end at some point--possibly sooner than we think.
"We believe the 3DS can coexist with Nintendo Switch for the time being," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said during the company's recent Corporate Management Policy Briefing. Just let that sink in a bit...especially that last part, that whole "for the time being" part. It's true that Nintendo will keep making 3DS exclusives throughout the year, but how long will this last? How long until Nintendo decides the 3DS is actively competing against its hot new Switch--the system that represents the total culmination of everything the company has done up until this point, the focal point of hardware, software, and a new non-draconian business model.
Nintendo has also merged its handheld and console teams into one cohesive unit, which strongly hints that the 3DS could be retired in favor of the Switch. "Regarding our software development environment, we have taken the software development teams for home console systems and for handheld systems, which used to be two different departments, and integrated them into one, and this has been very beneficial as they are now developing software as a team in the same environment," Nintendo exec Shigeru MIyamoto said in the briefing.
Nintendo has made a strong effort to ensure its new Switch handheld-console hybrid supports modern games engines and APIs like Unreal Engine, Unity and Vulkan, giving developers tons of powerful and flexible options. Nintendo exec Shigeru Miyamoto affirms that porting cross-platform games onto the Switch can be done 'easily,' and adapting a PC game to the Switch would only take a year.
"Third-party developers who are making software for PC can now easily adapt that software to work on our platform. In the current development environment, Iʼd say that it would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch," Miyamoto said during Nintendo's Corporate Management Policy Briefing.
Miyamoto goes on to proudly state that the company's devs have "mastered" the flexible toolsets like Unreal Engine, and that Japanese devs are now on par to Western games developers: "This ease of software development has also been felt by Nintendoʼs internal developers. Also, even though game software developers in the U.S. and E.U. are often said to have superior skills to their Japanese counterparts when it comes to software development techniques, Nintendo's software developers have mastered state-of-the-art technologies such as Unreal engine, and their skills can now be compared with those of Western developers. Our developers are more excited than ever to create software."
Square Enix recently published its third quarter earnings report, and things are looking good for the Final Fantasy publisher. Total nine-month net sales are up by 24% year-over-year thanks to strong game sales, but the most interesting tidbit is the rather massive earnings spike the publisher expects to see at the end of the fiscal year. In fact, corporate expects net sales to rocket in just three months time, pushing its net sales to just over $2.2 billion.
In a nine-month period from April to December 2016, Square Enix generated a total of 190 billion yen in net sales, or about $1.68 billion USD. Three of Square Enix's four yearly quarters have passed, leaving the last three-month quarter (Q4 2017) which ends on March 2017. The publisher's forecast for the entire net sales of Fiscal Year 2017 is 250 to 270 billion yen, which is at least approximately 60 billion yen over their current nine-month earnings. The timing is key here: Square Enix will have a three month period from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31 to generate that 60 billion yen, or about $533.4 million dollars.
What could be responsible for this massive spike? Square Enix obviously has tons of confidence in their current and future lineup, so I decided to take a gander at Square Enix's confirmed 2017 software lineup calendar for games that release during the Q4 timeline. I found six games: KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, RIDE 2, I Am Setsuna (Nintendo Switch), NieR: Automata (PS4), Kingdom Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 HD ReMIX (PS4), and the newly released Mobius Final Fantasy. Two of these (NieR and Kingdom Hearts) are heavy-hitters. Other releases like Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, Dragon Quest Heroes II, and Final Fantasy XII Zodiac Age will release past the cut-off point. So might we be able to expect a surprise release?
Final Fantasy XV took quite some time to develop and represented a big investment on Square Enix's part. We don't know exactly how much the publisher spent to make the game, nor do we have official details on the game's regional sales figures--there's been speculation that it didn't meet its sales projections in Japan despite strong interest in the West. What we do know for sure, however, is that the game isn't being sold at a loss.
Hajime Tabata, who oversaw Final Fantasy XV's development, recently told DualShockers' Giuseppe Nelva that the experimental action RPG recouped Square Enix's full investment cost in its first day. In lieu of official figures, Square Enix confirmed Final Fantasy XV shipped 6 million digital and physical units across the globe to become the fastest-selling game in the entire franchise.
Square Enix has also just announced its Q3 2017 earnings so we can get a better picture on how its major flagship games like Final Fantasy XV performed during the quarter. The prepared slides show Square Enix games sold a lot better in North America and Europe than in Japan; combined digital and disc sales from April to December hit 20 million in the West and only 3.61 million in Japan and weaker still in Asia.
Bethesda have released their new High Resolution Texture Pack for Fallout 4, which weighs in at a damn hefty 54.7GB - but there are some people, myself included, who can't download it.
Fallout 4's own DLC tab doesn't appear for me, but those with mods installed have no issues. If you're having a problem finding, or being able to download the 54GB high-res texture package, here's a trick that should help you.
Right click 'Fallout 4' in your game library, and click 'View Downloadable Content'.
You should see the High Resolution Texture Pack in the menu, with the checkbox - untick it, close the DLC tab. Reopen the DLC tab, and tick it again - and you should begin downloading the Fallout 4 High Resolution Texture Pack.