Take-Two posts 36% increase in net revenue for Q1 2023

The company's acquisition of mobile giant Zynga has boosted its forecast. Analyst Craig Chapple weighs in.

This week, mega publisher Take-Two released its earnings report for the first quarter of its fiscal year, and the numbers show a net revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 36% compared to the same period last year. 

The company cites a handful of titles as contributors to the growth, including NBA 2K22, Grand Theft Auto Online, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Also among the heavy lifters is a suite of mobile games that came under the Take-Two umbrella when the company purchased Zynga in January. These are stalwart mobile hits like Toon Blast and Empires & Puzzles, which have performed admirably for Take-Two since the acquisition.

According to mobile analytics group Sensor Tower, Zynga’s top 10 mobile games brought in around $775 million during the first half of 2022. The top three revenue-generating titles by player spending were Toon Blast, Empires & Puzzles, and Merge Dragons.

“Take-Two is already an industry heavyweight thanks to a large and successful portfolio and the evergreen Grand Theft Auto franchise,” Craig Chapple, mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower, told GameDaily. “It’s been steadily expanding its mobile business over the years, with Zynga obviously providing the largest single investment in that space. The acquisition was really a substantial statement of intent for the publisher, instantly making it one of the world’s leading mobile games companies in the process.”

The free-to-play mobile space is far and away the most lucrative sector of the gaming market, so it’s unsurprising that Take-Two would see a boost following its purchase of Zynga. Further, Chapple noted that cross-platform play is becoming more common, with players on PC/console now regularly able to play with those on mobile platforms. Near-ubiquitous device saturation means that almost everyone has access to a gaming platform, so the mobile segment is particularly attractive to publishers.

“The industry continues to move toward a cross-platform future, where games and IP are available to play across platforms,” Chapple explained. “We’ve seen this with games like Fortnite, Genshin Impact, and Zynga’s own Star Wars Hunters, while famous console and PC IPs like Call of Duty and PUBG have had hugely successful mobile releases.”

In a statement, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick emphasized the importance of the company’s growing mobile footprint, and what role it will play moving forward.

In total, Take-Two posted a 41% increase in its net bookings, which totalled $1 billion. Again, NBA 2K22, Grand Theft Auto Online, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands did most of the heavy lifting here, but the company has adjusted its outlook for the year thanks to the strong performance of Zynga’s catalog.

"We remain exceedingly optimistic about the long-term growth potential for the mobile industry, as well as our ability to create greater shareholder value as a combined entity with Zynga,” Zelnick said. “For Fiscal Year 2023, we now expect to deliver net bookings of $5.8 billion to $5.9 billion when including our combination with Zynga.” 

Looking forward, Take-Two has a number of high-profile releases on the horizon, including NBA 2K23, Marvel’s Midnight Suns (which was recently delayed), PGA Tour 2K23, DLC for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and Kerbal Space Program 2, among others.

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Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He's been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at  sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter.