PopTop & Firaxis Merger, Take2 Earnings Report

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Take-Two Interactive's executive vice president Cindy Buckwalter told analysts in a conference call yesterday following Take-Two's Q1 earnings report that PopTop Software's operations had been merged with Firaxis as a cost-saving measure. "One example we gave was combining the two studios of PopTop and Firaxis," she said. "We think there's a lot of synergies between the studios that we can take advantage of." PopTop is the developer of Railroad Tycoon 3 and Shattered Union. In its earnings report, Take2 posted net loss of $29.1 million, slightly better than expected. The company incurred costs related to the acquisitions of Firaxis and Irrational Games, which the company purchased for $26.7 million and $11.8 million, respectively. In addition. Take-Two blamed the "continued retail weakness for video game software and lower retail pricing during the holiday selling season in both North America and Europe, as the industry began to transition to new hardware platforms." The publisher said that it expects to return to profitability in its fourth fiscal quarter of 2006. The GameSpot article mentioned that, according to the latest figures from NPD Funworld, Civilization IV sold nearly 429,000 copies as of January.
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