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Rockstar killed the competition

Is that the sound of Cha-Chings across the Atlantic?

This time last year, Take 2 (as it was known) was teetering on the brink, having had its shares suspended following embarrassing accounting irregularities. Fast forward 12 months and the New York based publisher (now known as the far more grown up Take-Two) is positively awash with cash, having posted a 45 per cent increase in both sales and profits, up to $408.8 million and $50.5 million respectively, for the first quarter ended January 31, 2003.

No shocks there, neither the "revelation" that new versions of Grand Theft Auto will appear, including a third PS2 sequel for release later this year. Speculation has been rife for some time that this will be called GTA: Sin City to fit in with a Las Vegas style city, or GTA: San Andreas, based on the remaining chunk of the original GTA, but Take-Two again kept its collective mouth shut in the financial report.

It outlined future releases, but merely repeated what it has announced before, with new versions of Max Payne, State of Emergency [why God why!? -Ed], Spec Ops and Smuggler's Run in development.

In addition, the next year and a half will bring us The Warriors, Manhunt, sequels to Hidden & Dangerous, Railroad Tycoon and Serious Sam on PC, Mafia on PS2 and Xbox, and MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch on its confusing proliferation of labels, i.e. Rockstar, Gotham, Gathering, blah blah.

Some curiously named titles appeared in the report, but we're not so sure they'll make it to these shores, namely Piglet's Big Game for PS2 and GameCube, and the "highly-anticipated" Patriotic Pinball and Big Strike Bowling on PlayStation. Indeed.

And now for the obligatory corporate quote from president Paul Eibeler: "The strength of our business during the critical holiday period demonstrates the success of our publishing strategy, which remains sharply focused on our proprietary brands, and…" yadda yadda. You get the picture. We could have cut and paste the remaining 1,000 words of self congratulatory prose, but you'd have probably have killed us.

Expect more on the games in the run up to E3.