Grand Theft Auto' Game Publisher Plans New Title

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Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. confirmed it would release a "Red Dead" videogame next fall after investors drove up the company's shares 5% Monday on earlier hints that the announcement was imminent.

Without a new installment of Take-Two's biggest franchise, "Grand Theft Auto," on the horizon, gamers reacted positively to Twitter posts from the company's Rockstar Games studio teasing the return of the series. One tweet posted Sunday featuring artwork from the franchise garnered 61,000 retweets within an hour.

"It's a positive indicator that there's this much excitement about a game coming out next year," said Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter. That Take-Two announced the game now, as rivals are preparing many big-budget releases for the holidays, signals that the company is confident it will be a hit, he said.

Macquarie estimates the new title, for the latest consoles from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp, will sell about 12 million copies in its first three months. In addition, Take-Two plans also to release an online multiplayer version, which may be free but might generate significant revenue over time via sales of virtual goods, Mr. Schachter said.

"They are learning a lot of lessons from 'Grand Theft Auto,'" Mr. Schachter added.

The fifth installment of the gritty crime drama series was released in 2013 in tandem with the online version. Take- Two credits the latter as its largest contributor of recurring customer spending, as fans snap up a steady flow of newly released digital accessories such as souped-up yachts and high-powered weapons.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at

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