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Take-Two shares rise on new Grand Theft Auto anticipation

Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Take-Two Interactive shares surged as much as 9.4% in premarket trading Wednesday, as investors received the first confirmation that the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise is on the horizon. The company is slated to report its fiscal second-quarter 2024 earnings after the bell.

In a Wednesday morning post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Rockstar Games president Sam Houser said “the first trailer for the next Grand Theft Auto” would be released in early December, to coincide with the studio’s 25th anniversary. The title for the next game hasn’t been announced yet but has been referred to by fans as GTA VI, or GTA 6.

Bloomberg said on Tuesday night that the company would officially announce it as early as this week. That may provide more information on when the game will be released.

Take-Two has suggested it could launch in 2024. The company in May said it will enter its next phase of growth in fiscal 2025, which begins in April 2024, as it plans to “deliver several groundbreaking titles that we anticipate will set new standards of quality and success and enable us to deliver over $8 billion in Net Bookings and over $1 billion in Adjusted Unrestricted Operating Cash Flow.”

GTA V was announced in 2011 and released in 2013. It remains popular 10 years later.

The current release of the game, “Grand Theft Auto V,” is the second best-selling game of all time by units sold after Microsoft-subsidiary Mojang’s Minecraft. It’s developed by Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar. Rockstar’s franchises, which include Grand Theft Auto but also Red Dead Redemption, have helped fuel Take-Two’s share price growth and $23.16 billion market cap.

Earlier this year, the company signaled that 2024 and beyond would be a “significant” period for the company. “We continue to believe we are positioning our business for a significant inflection point in fiscal 2025,” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a statement at the time.

Investors and consumers alike have long awaited the release of the next Grand Theft Auto game. GTA V was lauded for its graphics and playing style, and to this day continues to contribute ongoing revenue to Take-Two through its online platform.

In August, when the company reported its fiscal 2024 first-quarter earnings, total net bookings grew 20% year over year to $1.20 billion. Among the largest contributors, the company said in a release, were Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V.

Take-Two wasn’t immediately available to add further comment.

Take-Two shares are up nearly 31% year to date.

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