In the world of video games, there are few sure things, but Electronic Arts'
Yesterday, Take-Two confirmed the release of the next game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, pumping the stock 5% to $32.87. The game will be released exclusively for Sony's PlayStation2 in North America on Oct. 19, and in Europe on Oc. 22. While none of this really surprised anybody, Take-Two shareholders were sorely in need of some good news.
The stock, after all, had been under pressure because of continued accounting problems, an ongoing SEC investigation, and weaker-than-expected holiday sales. As a result, Take-Two trades at less than 14 times 2004 earnings, representing a steep discount to its peers, especially for such a strong player in the industry.
And make no mistake, GTA has been a real blockbuster. Grand Theft Auto 3 has sold 10.5 million units, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is pushing 11.5 million units. GTA even spawned a blockbuster knockoff (or just another player in a new genre) in Activision's True Crime. Rockstar North, developer of GTA, had die-hard gamers drooling in anticipation of the violent "psychological thriller" Manhunt this past holiday season.
Perhaps the only mystery is why Take-Two doesn't simultaneously release the new GTA on the Microsoft
Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Electronic Arts.