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Duke Nukem released Dec 31st?


Shortly after the stock markets closed yesterday, Take-Two Interactive announced a $50.2 million loss for its second quarter. Today when the markets reopened, the publisher took a beating worthy of that doled out in one of its more violent games. At the closing bell, its share was down $2.94, or 17.53 percent, falling to $13.83. The final figure was just $0.19 above the stock's 52-week low of $13.64, but the share value had sunk to $13.74 during the day.

But while traders panicked, analysts were more sanguine on Take-Two's fortunes. Friedman Billings Ramsey's Shawn Milne lowered his target price for the company $16 to $14, but maintained a "Market Perform" rating. UBS's Mike Wallace seemed indifferent to the news. "No excitement here," he said in a note issued today, in which he maintained his "Neutral" valuation of the company.

Of more interest to gamers was some major news buried in a 10-Q filing Take-Two issued to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday. Toward the bottom of the form in the "Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements" subsection, was a major development regarding one of the most famous--or infamous--PC games of all time: Duke Nukem Forever.

According to the 10-Q, March saw Take-Two and 3D Realms renegotiate the original contract for Duke Nukem Forever, which began back in 1997. Under the original deal, 3D Realms was to receive some $6 million from Take-Two to develop the title. Now, the Texas-based developer will receive $4.25 million for the oft-delayed game, when it is completed.

When will that be? Well, 3D Realms has an incentive to get Duke Nukem Forever done by the end of the year. The 10-Q also reveals that Take-Two has offered the studio $500,000 in the form of a promissory note if the game sees "commercial release" by December 31, 2006. The deal applies only to the PC version of the game, although it was announced for the Xbox and the PlayStation 2 in 2001 and is rumored to be in development for the Xbox 360.

Posted by Ed. on June 12.


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