Take-Two's holiday sales forecast hit by rising competition

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc forecast holiday-quarter revenue below expectations, as console-based titles face stiff competition from online free-to-play games such as “PUBG” and “Fortnite”.

The company behind franchises like “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” forecast third-quarter adjusted revenue between $860.0 million and $910.0 million, below analysts’ estimates of $928.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

For the full year, the company raised its adjusted revenue forecast between $2.75 billion and $2.85 billion, compared to estimates of $2.80 billion.

The forecast comes at a time when console-based game franchises are competing with mobile-based, free-to-play games with engaging formats, which are challenging the dominance of traditional publishers like Take-Two and its rivals Activision Blizzard Inc and Electronic Arts Inc.

The tepid forecast overshadowed a better-than-expected second quarter adjusted revenue, boosted by the success of its flagship basketball game “NBA 2K20”, “Borderlands 3” and “Red Dead Redemption 2”.

“NBA 2K20” and “Borderlands 3”, the latest installment in the popular first-person shooter series that launched in September, are among the best-selling games of this year, according to research firm NPD.

On an adjusted basis, Take-Two reported a revenue of $950.5 million in the second quarter ended Sept. 30, beating estimates of $925.6 million.

Net income rose to $71.8 million, or 63 cents per share, from $25.4 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)