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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 12:46 GMT
Vice pays for games publisher
GTA Vice City
Vice City is modelled on a 1980s Miami
The phenomenal success of the controversial Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has led to a massive leap in profits for games publisher Take 2.

The gangster title has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide since it was released in October.

The sales are responsible for two-thirds of Take 2's revenue of $408.8m for the last three months.

Gamers might have to wait a while for the next instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series, as the company said it was not planning to release a follow-up until 2004.

Cash flow

The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise has proved to be a cash cow for Take 2.

Max Payne
Max Payne: 3.5m copies sold
Vice City, easily the most successful game of all time, is firmly on course to sell 10 million copies.

Its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 3, has shown remarkable staying power. It topped the game charts in 2001 and was the second-best selling title of 2002.

"Our Grand Theft Auto franchise dominated the video game industry this holiday season and continues to generate significant cash flow for Take 2, which is being reinvested into the development of new brands, the extension of existing brands and the selective introduction of licensed properties," said President Paul Eibeler.

For the three-month period ending 31 January, Take 2's net income rose to $50.5m, up from $34.8m for the same period a year earlier.

Sales jumped by 44% to $ 408.8m from $282.9m.

Rockstar plans

As for the future, Take 2 has 11 games in development, including sequels to GTA and the best-selling Max Payne, which sold more than 3.5 million copies.

Analysts say neither of these titles is expected to hit the shops until 2004.

But before then, gamers can expect a new title from the developers of GTA - Rockstar Games.

The Take 2 subsidiary is working on a new franchise called Manhunt. Few details are available about the game, which is due to be released in late 2003.

"Rockstar Games, our cornerstone, world-renowned publishing label, remains committed to creating ground-breaking original content for console video game systems," said Jeffrey Lapin, Take 2's Chief Executive Officer.




SEE ALSO:
Games industry still riding high
09 Jan 03 |  Technology
Computer gurus up for design award
09 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Vice City proves runaway hit
12 Nov 02 |  Technology
Grand Theft Auto sequel hits UK
08 Nov 02 |  Technology


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