Mafia II unlikely to achieve profitability

Despite having shot straight to the top of the ELSPA GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 this week, US analyst Michael Pachter thinks that 2K Games’s Mafia II will ultimately fail to deliver for the publisher.

The continued strength from Red Dead Redemption is offsetting weakness from weak Mafia II sales,” he told investors ahead of Take Two’s upcoming financial report.

Mafia II’s average Metacritic score of 74 is well below expectations, and consumer interest appears to be waning, as the game’s position has dropped in many best-seller lists in its first week. With six years in development, we believe the game is unlikely to achieve profitability.”

Further to his warnings about 2K’s crime sim, Pachter also predicts that the long-awaited LA Noire is unlikely to hit shelves in 2010.

Game delays have become the norm at Take-Two, and we expect the company to announce a shift in release dates for LA Noire out of 2010 and into 2011,” Pachter continued. This follows last quarter’s announcement of a similar delay for Max Payne 3. It is important to note that both games have been in development for longer than five years, making their break even hurdles significantly higher than a typical game.”

There’s bad news for Grand Theft Auto fans, too, with the analyst playing down hopes of a GTA V announcement any time soon.

We do not expect any news about the next GTA game, though we still believe it could be released by holiday 2011. Despite a multitude of recent game announcements, Take-Two’s share price has taken a battering recently, reflecting investor disappointment that there has been no update on the next Grand Theft Auto, which appears to have potentially slipped to 2012.”

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