Monday, October 31, 2005

Oblivion Delayed

Here's the news we were all hoping not to hear (from a Take-Two press release):
Take-Two is reducing its fiscal 2005 guidance to reflect several factors...the reduction in first quarter guidance also reflects the movement of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for PC and Xbox 360 from the first quarter to the second quarter.

Oh, hell.

I know that Oblivion is a complex game, and I'm very confident that it will be worth the wait. I don't even mind waiting. It will be missed at the Xbox 360 launch, though, as I think it had far more substance than any of the other launch titles.

Their "second quarter" is February 1 to April 30.

Here's an interesting note on the press release. It came on the last day of their fiscal quarter, and it was preceded this morning by "speculation" that they were a takeover candidate. Here's what Herb Greenberg of Marketwatch had to say:
SAN DIEGO (MarketWatch) -- This is pretty much what you need to know about this market, especially on the last day of a quarter for a company that has a history of controversy: A rumor-mongering service reported that Take-Two Interactive was the subject of takeover speculation.

As word spread, Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) lifted as much as 8%. After the close, the company itself lowered the boom: That financial results for this year and next will be worse than expected.

That should be no surprise, considering Take-Two has missed earnings and lowered guidance for multiple quarters. The company now expects earnings for the fiscal year ended October 31 to be a range of 53 cents to 56 cents per share, or more than 60% percent lower than the company was touting earlier this year.

Coincidence? Unlikely, at least in my book. So many things Take-Two does (and I don't mean the games themselves) have a whiff of something unseemly about them.

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