Take-Two Falls on ‘Nightmare’ GTA 6 Leak, Seen as a Negative Short-term Catalyst
Stock Markets 16 minutes ago (Sep 19, 2022 09:17AM ET)
© Reuters. Take-Two (TTWO) Falls on ‘Nightmare’ GTA 6 Leak, Seen as a Negative Short-term Catalyst
By Senad Karaahmetovic
Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:) are down about 3.3% in premarket Monday after a massive leak showed over 90 videos of the Grand Theft 6 blockbuster.
The hacker, who is reportedly the same person responsible for the Uber (NYSE:) security breach, allegedly gained access to the company’s internal Slack channel. The video footage confirmed media reports that the game is based in Miami and will include a playable female character.
More concerning, the hacker also claims to have the source code and assets for GTA 5 and GTA 6.
A Bloomberg journalist said that Rockstar sources confirmed to him that the leak is real.
“Not that there was much doubt, but I’ve confirmed with Rockstar sources that this weekend’s massive Grand Theft Auto VI leak is indeed real. The footage is early and unfinished, of course. This is one of the biggest leaks in video game history and a nightmare for Rockstar Games,” he wrote on Twitter.
A Raymond James analyst sees potential delays following the leak. Overall, he sees a negative near-term catalyst on TTWO shares.
“These unexpected revelations would typically be seen as a positive short-term catalyst for TTWO shares, though we believe that dynamic is more than offset by concerns over potential delays resulting from the leak. If GTA 6’s source code was not compromised, we would anticipate a more modest impact to the game’s timeline (and thus a lesser impact to trading levels),” the analyst said in a client note.
An Oppenheimer analyst added:
“We believe the leaks will have a negative impact on Rockstar’s near-term operations such as audits and investments in cybersecurity, legal actions against the hacker and websites that share the footage, and potential changes in GTA 6’s marketing plan. However, based on other reported hacks at game publishers and platforms, the damage to TTWO and the GTA franchise is mostly likely insignificant,” the analyst wrote in a research note.