Microsoft Pays $50 Million for GTA IV Content

Featured prominently in Grand Theft Auto IV publisher Take-Two's Q2 financial report was the upcoming exclusive content for the Xbox 360 version of the Rockstar-developed game. Now a corporate conference call with Take-Two higher-ups and financial analysts has revealed that a $50 million chunk of deferred revenue originated from Microsoft, apparently in payment for the exclusive content.

In speaking to the cash infusion, Take-Two chief of finance Lainie Goldstein also confirmed the release date of the first of two downloadable expansions. "The first 25 [million] is for the first episodic content package that's supposed to go out, and that is in March of '08," she said, according to SeekingAlpha. "The second 25 will be for the second episode, and that will be later in fiscal '08."

While these particular expansions will be relegated to the Xbox 360, similar content for the PlayStation 3 was hinted at last year. The absence of any mention of PlayStation 3 exclusive content suggests that either Sony has yet to strike a deal with Take-Two, or that the two companies have engineered another type of arrangement altogether.

Following the news of major restructuring by Take-Two, some analysts speculated that the release of GTA IV would be delayed until after the company's first quarter start of October 30th, in order to boost its 2008 fiscal year performance. Take-Two executives quickly responded to the rumors, assuring fans and investors that the game is still scheduled for a simultaneous Xbox 360/PS3 release on October 16th.