Take-Two Posts Wider than Expected Loss

Take-Two posted a wider than expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, trimming its full-year forecast for the second time in three months. Take Two’s third-quarter net loss widened to $28.8 million, the result of the controversial “Hot Coffee� mod that allowed gamers to engage in a sex mini-game. The loss is up from $14.4 million a year ago. Shares of Take Two dove 4% on the news.

Take-Two said Wednesday it was delaying the release of Bully for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, along with the Japanese launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PS2 until after the current fiscal year ends on October 31. The company has moved the release of Sid Meier’s Civilization IV for the PC to fiscal 2005 from fiscal 2006. Largely due to the Bully delay, Take-Two cut its fiscal 2005 forecast. It now sees revenue of $1.22 billion to $1.27 billion. In July, the outlook called for $1.26 billion to $1.31 billion in net sales.

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Take-Two, the maker of the GTA series, said it will ship a new Mature-rated version of the game available to stores next week for the PC and Xbox. The PS2 version of the title will be out later in the current quarter. Some companies are expected to not restock the game even with the Mature rating. The company is also planning on releasing its PlayStation Portable version, GTA: Liberty City Stories, along with a new game in 2006.

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