Take two plans to spend $ 89 million on marketing in the 12 months to March 31, 2024. This is more than double the marketing budget for any other year over the next half decade, according to the company’s recent 10-K SEC file. Why does Take-Two plan to spend so much more on marketing in fiscal 2024? One of the most likely explanations is that the publisher plans to publish Grand Theft Auto VI, according to analyst Jeff Cohen of investment company Stephens.
Each year, Take-Two files a 10-K with numerous financial details, including its marketing spending plans for each year for the next five years. In its previous 10-K, Take-Two informed investors of an increase in marketing costs for fiscal 2023. But this spending has now moved to fiscal 2024. This movement in spending likely reflects developer Rockstar Games » current plans for the release of Grand Theft Auto VI.
Cohen points out that this marketing measure previously predicted other versions of Rockstar.
“We don’t know exactly what we should read about this change, but we note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 before the announcement of this game,” Cohen wrote in a note to investors. “[Take-Two management] spoke with confidence of the pipeline over the next five years and the performance of existing live services has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains a priority for investors, especially with stocks near their peaks. “
If Cohen is right, Rockstar is currently planning to release GTA VI between April 2023 and March 2024. Of course, that could change if the game is delayed. And with the continued success of GTA Online, the online component of Grand Theft Auto V that performs millions of microtransactions, Rockstar is in no hurry.
Does Grand Theft Auto VI in 2023 make sense?
Grand Theft Auto VI in 2023 might seem far away. After all, it’s 10 years after the launch of Grand Theft Auto V in 2013. But this timing is probably due to a number of factors.
First of all, since Grand Theft Auto VI is not ready for the current generation, Rockstar will want to wait until the new generation consoles are better established. The studio does not want to leave money on the table by selling 25 million people to the next generation in 2022, when it could reach a larger customer base a year later, when people buy more. consoles.
Rockstar is also in no rush to replace Grand Theft Auto V. The game continues to sell month after month and GTA Online generates a ton of revenue. A GTA VI must regain this momentum transparently. It is therefore important that Rockstar succeeds in the game. It is even more crucial to determine how to evolve the GTA Online audience towards any potential follow-up in GTA VI.
It will take time to design and execute this plan. And a 2023 version offers a lot of clues to understand it.