No. 1 with a Bullet: ‘L.A. Noire’ Lifts Parent Company’s Stock Price

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Take  a development cycle of six years, ambitious and expensive MotionScan technology and shared responsibilities between Rockstar and Team Bondi. What do you get? One gigantic, city-sized gamble, in the form of L.A. Noire. But if the share price of Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive is any indication, it’s a gamble that’s paying off.

(More on Arresting Development: ‘L.A. Noire’ Review)

Observers who followed the development of Rockstar’s latest game–myself included–knew that the interactive detective game presented a huge risk for the publisher and parent company. Radically different game design than that seen in the Grand Theft Auto games and the new body language technology focused on making deduction possible meant that L.A. Noire was ripe for backlash. But reviews seem positive so far, with the game netting an average score of 90 on Metacritic. The positive reception apparently caused a jump in Take-Two’s stock price, which started yesterday at $15.93/share and ended the day at $16.90/share. It hit a high of $17.24 yesterday, which is the highest it’s been in the last six months.

As someone who reviews games, it always strikes me as weird that aggregators like Metacritic hold sway over the financial fortunes of video game companies. The last few months have shown negative stock price repercussions for Nintendo and THQ in the wake of the 3DS and Homefront launches, respectively. Over and over, you hear how compensation and shareholder sentiment swing in accordance with how well a game performs in the critical space. With the success of L.A. Noire, here’s hoping that that Rockstar–and other game-making entities–keep taking creative risks. The results can be rewarding creatively–and financially, too.