'Grand Theft Auto' Maker: We Love The Wii, But Not For GTA IV

Another sign of Nintendo’s stunning comeback, courtesy of its red-hot, impossible to find Wii console: Game publishers who had previously ignored Nintendo now have to convince Wall Street that they’re committed to the company.

Execs at Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), for example, had to spend a chunk of their Q4 earnings call explaining that they’ve embraced the Wii. Representative quote, from CEO Ben Feder, via Seeking Alpha transcript:

With respect to your first question on the pipeline, we have seven titles on Wii. We’re pretty proud of that, actually. We’ve turned this company from a non-Nintendo shop into a shop that’s focused as much on Nintendo as it is on every other platform. Just to name a few, Bully is coming out on Wii, Prizefighter will be coming out on Wii. And actually, we think prizefighter as a boxing game is actually a pretty compelling game on the Wii.

Alas, Grand Theft Auto IV, TTWO’s much-delayed franchise title, due out this spring, won’t sync up with the Wii craze: The violent shoot ’em up wont be available for the console: “I think there are other titles that are better suited to the Wii than Grand Theft Auto IV,” Feder said.

In other TTWO news, a new profile of Elevation Partners head Roger McNamee in Portfolio magazine says that the PE firm looked at buying the game publisher, but passed because the price was too high. That hasn’t dissuaded Citi analyst Brent Thill, who upgraded the stock today in part based on belief that it’s a “strategic
asset and could be acquired.”

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