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Take-Two Shares Plummet 44

On news that Rockstar was being sued by the city of L.A., the aftermath of Hot Coffee, and the 'unhealthy relationship the board of directors has with its management' Take-Two Entertainment's shares dropped sharply on Friday. From the article: "Cooper said in a note that the company is burning cash at an 'alarming' rate and that he expects 'more title delays, a possible SEC investigation and key employee departures.' This comes immediately after the news that Audit Committee Chairwoman Barbara Kaczynski resigned from the board on January 19, because she felt that management had failed to keep the board informed of key issues."
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Take-Two Shares Plummet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:20PM (#14589651)
    I know a guy down in Vice City who'll get the job done right.
  • Office fire (Score:4, Interesting)

    by allism (457899) <alice DOT harrison AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:20PM (#14589653) Journal
    I wonder if the stock price was affected by the office fire [ign.com] earlier this week? It gives 'burning through cash' a whole different meaning.

    Or maybe the stock price had something to do with the office fire...

    And was I the only one that was surprised that Hot Coffee didn't result in a huge sales boom?
    • Hot Coffee was an interesting little "feature" of the game, but I don't know anybody who would part with the cash necessary to buy the game to see a game version of something that can find live recordings of in plenty of places on the Internet. (And I'm sure I'm not helping Google's case for fighting the government with that. I think the government official just wanted an easy way to find it because they couldn't figure it out themselves.) Great little bonus feature for those who are already in the sales
    • And was I the only one that was surprised that Hot Coffee didn't result in a huge sales boom?

      It did... for starbucks [yahoo.com]

    • Or maybe the stock price had something to do with the office fire...

      I think it was caused by a combination of a salami scam and the theft of a swingline stapler.
  • Barbara Kaczynski (Score:3, Informative)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:33PM (#14589692) Journal
    The article failed to mention that Ms Kaczynski was a token boardmember -- she was the former CFO of the NFL and was supposed to help out with the NFL. EA's 5-year Madden deal did her in.
  • Flaming Coffee (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Zephiris (788562)
    Perhaps everyone involved with the whole San Andreas SNAFU will think twice before trying to put "hidden content" into a game that largely no one wants aside from fourteen year olds who are so craving for nudity that they'd be obsessing about pixelated polygons that take a vague shape (gee, who remembers that 'nude patch' for the Valkyrie in Gauntlet? It's all disgusting the way people are so deperate for it), lying about it, making a really bad patch for the game, then dropping all support, and screwing bo
  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060127/tc_nm/media_ta ketwo_lawsuit_dc [yahoo.com]
    A better article about the lawsuit

    My main problem is that LA is throwing the book at TakeTwo like they released the game with sex scenes in it, which they did not. There was no way to get to those scenes without using the third-party mod. You would think that this would not be a big deal - it's a GTA game for christ's sake.
    • There was no way to get to those scenes without using the third-party mod.

      A good working definition of a "mod" is "original content created and distributed by players." Not "a pornographic mini-game embedded in every commercial pressing of GTA: San Andreas." It became a big deal because Rockstar crossed the line --- the gangster game genre has few friends outside the gaming community.

    • Let's say reader's digest released an issue where there was a centerfold but it was between two pages which were sealed together along the outside, so that all you had to do was run a letter opener between them for a surprise. The principle of the thing is the same (I would however completely agree with you had this just been an internet mod which actually added the content, not which unlocked it).
      • For a surprise?

        It's no surprise if you're installing the HC mod, you know what you're getting, and if you didn't want to see it you didn't have to run your letter opener over the pages.
  • Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abbamouse (469716) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:45PM (#14589772) Homepage
    I have a long memory, and I still haven't forgiven Take Two for releasing BC3K before it was finished way back when in order to cut their losses (at the expense of consumers who bought a literally unplayable mess). Remember, these are the people who decided to respond to years of delay on the game Battlecruiser 3000 by simply shipping what was done (a late alpha or early beta, and that's being generous) and selling it to the public as if it was a completed game. If you don't remember that whole scandal, do a web search for Take 2 and Battlecruiser.

    They just seem to have a habit of releasing things a wee bit earlier than other major publishers and then skimping on the tech support to save a few pennies. Take one of my favorite series, Civilization. 1-3 were playable out of the box, although there were some bugs (Civ III's worst bug was that air superiority missions didn't work correctly). Now look at the first one to be released after Firaxis paired up with Take 2: Civ 4 was so buggy that it was unplayable with ATI cards (ie half the market). Even for nvidia owners there were graphics glitches, random crashes to desktop, memory leaks, and all other manner of nastiness.

    Take 2 has become a huge publisher by pursuing profit at the expense of consumers. Don't expect them to change what seems to be working well for their wallets. It almost seems that Firaxis as the content creators fell down to the level of Take 2, their unfortunate choice of publisher. Given how much enjoyment I've received from previous Firaxis titles, I'm willing to give them a chance to make this game what it should be -- but I really wish they'd taken the high road to begin with.

    I say good riddance to Take 2; I hope the company collapses. If not, I hope the current losses prompt the ouster of top management and a new approach to game publishing and customer service.
    • Isn't Take 2 publishing Oblivion? If so, they better not fucking fold until after my copy comes in. I don't want any delays while Bethesda finds a new publisher. Delays to make the game better, on the other hand... well, they can take their time on that.
    • I have a long memory, and I still haven't forgiven Take Two for releasing BC3K before it was finished way back when in order to cut their losses (at the expense of consumers who bought a literally unplayable mess).

      While it may have been better for Take Two to just kill BC3K outright (and thus teach Smartey Man Derek Smart a lesson), I can't help but think you got what you deserved for trusting in Mr. Smart. IIRC, it took Derek another 2-3 years before BC3K was available in a playable state, and that's

      • Yep, I'm saying Take 2 should have killed the BC3K project and eaten the lost development revenue. Reputable businesses do this all the time -- they kill something that isn't working out (I seem to recall Blizzard doing just that with its planned Warcraft Adventures title when it realized the game wasn't going to be any good). There's a difference between releasing a bad game that might appeal to a few people and releasing a nonfunctional game that even genre fans can't play.

        I never bought the game; I wa
    • "Civ 4 was so buggy that it was unplayable with ATI cards (ie half the market). Even for nvidia owners there were graphics glitches, random crashes to desktop, memory leaks, and all other manner of nastiness."

      Huh? I got Civ 4 the day it came out and it was completely playable with ATI cards (ie half the market). I never had random crashes to desktop or any sort of nastiness with it, pre patch.
  • Oh man, Take Two is in big trouble! What are they going to do?! It's not like they have a cash cow series like Grand Theft Auto to keep raking in the money until 2070...oh wait.
    • Unfortunately, series die out when "key people" leave, because its new products will be entirely derivative and bland. Besides which, it takes money to make money, and if you're approaching the depths, you cannot develop a game without attracting investors. You cannot attract investors with a company that's gone from earning to burning money.
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @07:01PM (#14590605) Homepage Journal
    ....have any effect on it?

    I wonder if they were banking having Liberty City Stories being their next cash cow(like GTA3 on up did), but fell way short of expectations.

    It's understandable. They latched onto a next-gen portable(PSP) thinking it would sell like hotcakes, but it didn't. Not so much the fault of the game itself, but moreso the PSP itself not doing so well.

    If I were them, I would have hired the multi-theft-auto developers full-time and make some sort of MMORPG stat to milk out the last of the GTA franchise. A multi player GTA would be more fun than LCS.

    • The multi-theft auto developers don't do as much as you seem to think. All of the GTAs have had a buggy multi-player mode included but locked away. The multi-theft guys just release a mod to unlock it and they fix a few of the bugs (and there are still tons of them at all times).
    • GTA:LCS must have not sold as well as expected, considering Take Two's bringing it to the PS2 by May [gamespot.com].

      But even if Take Two crumbles into the ground, I doubt there's any stopping a next-gen GTA. Someone will get a hold of the franchise and the people who make it, whatever the cost.
    • The thing that really annoyed me about GTA:LCS is that it's a huge step back from Vice City and San Andreas. It's cool to be back in the original GTA3 universe, but losing most the improvements made in VC and SA is really annoying (no stats, no swimming etc.).

      That said, this lawsuit is insane. I think now would be a good time to buy Take 2 stocks.

  • After the next installment of the GTA series on the PS3(?) sells a 100 zillion copies Im sure their value will bounce right back.

    Seriously, whilst this comapny might have taken a few knocks of late, they have excellent form and if there was one developer you could bank on having more hits in the future then it's these people. They could release GTA: Antarctica and it'd sell.

  • The city also claims that Take-Two "marketed the 'Grand Theft Auto' series in a fashion that encourages the creation of (software modifications), which has added to the counter-culture image of the games, enhancing their popularity and hence their profitability."

    Whats with this? Should Activision, ubisoft, etc, start shaking in their boots?

    Seems like they are just trying to fill up the page with more waffle.
  • leave them alone (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Karem Lore (649920)
    For the love of God, leave them alone...This is pathetic. Even if Take Two go down the game makers will just re-combine to create a new outfit and still produce morally questionable games. But please, the hot coffee fiasco is just mindless waste of taxpayers money...
  • My View (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Sunday January 29, 2006 @07:14AM (#14592724) Homepage Journal
    It seems as if hot coffee did a lot of damage to them, over something so trivial as what it actually was. This can be attributed to the media twisting it, I have read newspapers and websites that had the ordacity to claim that the hot coffee mode was standard in the game and was unlocked in the options and other similar lies, along with the whole war on porn/violent video games this has made for an unhealthy media climate which does not like the GTA games one bit.

    It also reminds me of the treatment of hentai [hentai.co.uk] in the western world, with papers claiming that it is promoting rape/murder/violence to the young audience that view it, which has resulted in some distrubution firms having to close due to massive losses and protests at the sale of their products.

    I think at the end of the day Take Two and Rockstar need to sit down and work through their problems, because if one falls it has the potential to bring the other down with it, and with so many people waiting for the next installment in the GTA franchise, they would be missing out on a lot of money.
  • No big deal (Score:2, Funny)

    by ShadowMarth (870657)
    So what? I mean, does anyone actually think that this is the end? Even should Take-Two go down (which is likely at this point), it will simply be bought by a larger development company (Microsoft). On the bright side, Jack Thompson is losing money on his stock...
  • bought shares of TT which means he lost money... We should always look on the brighter side of things :D
  • Mood selling...shares have since rebounded more than 10% [yahoo.com] in a single day and are looking to continue to climb.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.