SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934|
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020
|Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934|
|For the transition period from to .|
Commission file number 001-34003
TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
110 West 44th Street
New York, New York
(Address of principal executive offices)
Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (646) 536-2842
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $.01 par value||TTWO||NASDAQ Global Select Market|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer ý
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
Smaller reporting company ☐
Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ý
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the Registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter was approximately $13,938,279,654.
As of May 7, 2020, there were 113,942,760 shares of the Registrant's Common Stock outstanding, net of treasury stock.
Documents Incorporated by Reference:
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders
are incorporated by reference into Part III herein.
CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws and may be identified by words such as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "potential," "predicts," "projects," "seeks," "should," "will," or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.'s ("Take-Two," the "Company," "we," "us," or similar pronouns) future business and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks, and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may vary materially from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of risks and uncertainties including the uncertainty of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response thereto; the effect that measures taken to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic have on our operations, including our ability to timely deliver our titles and other products, and on the operations of our counterparties, including retailers, including digital storefronts and platform partners, and distributors; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer demand and the discretionary spending patterns of our customers; the impact of reductions in interest rates by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, including on our short-term investment portfolio; the impact of potential inflation; volatility in foreign currency exchange rates; as well as, but not limited to, the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" included in Part I, Item 1A herein. All forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary statements and speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Item 1. Business
We are a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. We develop and publish products principally through Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, and Social Point. Our products are currently designed for console gaming systems, such as the Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. ("Sony") PlayStation®4 ("PS4"), Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") Xbox One® ("Xbox One"), and Nintendo's SwitchTM ("Switch"), and personal computers ("PC"), including smartphones and tablets. We deliver our products through physical retail, digital download, online platforms, and cloud streaming services.
We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in 1993 and are headquartered in New York, New York with approximately 5,800 employees globally. Our website address is www.take2games.com. We make all of our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") available free of charge on our website under the caption "Corporate—SEC Filings." Included in these filings are our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports, which are available as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file or furnish such materials with the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Our website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The SEC maintains a website that contains annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy and information statements and other information that issuers (including the Company) file electronically with the SEC. The SEC's website is www.sec.gov.
Overview. We endeavor to be the most creative, innovative and efficient company in our industry. Our core strategy is to capitalize on the popularity of video games by developing and publishing high-quality interactive entertainment experiences across a range of genres. We focus on building compelling entertainment franchises by publishing a select number of titles for which we can create sequels and incremental revenue opportunities through virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. Most of our intellectual property is internally owned and developed, which we believe best positions us financially and competitively. We have established a portfolio of proprietary software content for the major hardware platforms in a wide range of genres, including action, adventure, family/casual, racing, role-playing, shooter, sports and strategy, which we distribute worldwide. We believe that our commitment to creativity and innovation is a distinguishing strength, enabling us to differentiate our products in the marketplace by combining advanced technology with compelling storylines and characters that provide unique gameplay experiences for consumers. We have created, acquired or licensed a group of highly recognizable brands to match the broad consumer demographics that we serve, ranging from adults to children and game enthusiasts to casual gamers. Another cornerstone of our strategy is to support the success of our products in the marketplace through
innovative marketing programs and global distribution on platforms and through channels that are relevant to our target audience.
Support World-Class Creative Teams. Creativity and innovation remain the core tenets of our organization and are the lifeblood of our ongoing success. We have 4,488 employees working in game development in studios around the world, including some of the most well-known names in the business. The creative teams at Rockstar Games and 2K are renowned for their consistent ability to deliver games that set new benchmarks for excellence. In addition, Private Division is dedicated to bringing titles from top independent developers to market, and Social Point further enhances our development capabilities with a track record of producing multiple hits in the free-to-play mobile sector. Whether expanding our portfolio of franchises, launching new intellectual property, or providing innovative ways for audiences to remain captivated and engaged, we prioritize producing the highest quality entertainment experiences. We support our teams by focusing on talent retention and acquisition, and our label structure enables us to target distinct market segments and opportunities.
Focus on Core Strength of Producing High Quality Titles. We focus on publishing a select number of high-quality titles based on internally owned and developed intellectual properties. We currently own the intellectual property rights to 26 proprietary brands. In addition, we selectively develop titles based on licensed properties, including sports, and also publish externally developed titles.
We use a product investment review process to evaluate potential titles for investment, to review existing titles in development, and to assess titles after release to measure their performance in the market and the return on our investment. We apply this process to all of our products, whether internally or externally developed. The product investment review process includes reviews of each project at various stages of development by our executive management team and the senior management of our publishing labels and includes coordination between our sales and marketing personnel before the launch of titles. This disciplined approach to product investment is expected to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of our titles.
We develop our products using a combination of our internal development teams and external development resources acting under contract with us. We typically select external developers based on their track record and expertise in developing products in the same category or genre. One developer will generally produce the same game for multiple platforms and will also produce sequels to the original game. We believe that selecting and using development resources in this manner allows us to leverage the particular expertise of our internal and external development resources, which is designed to maintain our quality standards for our products.
Leverage Emerging Technologies, Platforms, and Distribution Channels, Including Digitally Delivered Content. Interactive entertainment played online and on mobile platforms, including tablets and smartphones, presents opportunities to enhance our growth and profitability. In addition, the interactive entertainment software industry is delivering a growing amount of content for traditional platforms through digital download. We provide a variety of digitally delivered products and offerings, which typically have a higher gross margin than physically delivered products. Virtually all of our titles that are available through retailers as packaged goods products are also available through direct digital download (from websites we own or third-party websites). We aim to drive ongoing engagement and incremental revenue from recurrent consumer spending on our titles through virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. We also publish an expanding variety of titles for tablets and smartphones, which are delivered to consumers through digital download. We will continue to invest in emerging opportunities in mobile and online gameplay, particularly for our wholly-owned franchises, as well as downloadable content and microtransactions that enable gamers to pay to download additional content to enhance their game playing experience.
Expand International Business. The global market for interactive entertainment continues to grow, and we seek to increase our presence internationally, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. We are continuing to execute on our growth initiatives in Asia, where our strategy is to broaden the distribution of our existing products and expand our online gaming presence, especially in China and South Korea. We are a direct publisher in Japan and South Korea. While we retain title to all intellectual property, in some regions, local publishers, under license agreements, are responsible for localization of software content, distribution, and marketing of the products in their respective local markets. We intend to continue to build on our licensing relationships and also continue to expand on distribution strategies to grow our international business.
Our revenue is primarily derived from the sale of internally developed software titles and software titles developed by third parties. Operating margins are dependent in part upon our ability to release new, commercially successful software products and to manage effectively their development and marketing costs. We have internal development studios located in Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As of March 31, 2020, we had a research and development staff of 4,488 employees with the technical capabilities to develop software titles for all major consoles, PCs, and mobile platforms in multiple languages and territories.
Agreements with third-party developers generally give us exclusive publishing and marketing rights and require us to make development payments, pay royalties based on product sales, and satisfy other conditions. Development payments for software titles are typically recoupable against royalties otherwise due to developers based on software sales. Our agreements with third-party developers generally provide us with the right to monitor development efforts and to cease making development payments if specified development milestones are not satisfied. We also regularly monitor the level of development payments in light of the expected sales for the related titles.
We continue to engage in evolving business models such as online gaming, virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases, and we expect to continue to generate incremental revenue from these opportunities.
Rockstar Games. Software titles published by our Rockstar Games label are primarily internally developed. We expect Rockstar Games, our wholly-owned publisher of the Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Midnight Club, Red Dead Redemption, and other popular franchises, to continue to be a leader in the action/adventure product category and to create groundbreaking entertainment. We believe that Rockstar Games has established a uniquely original, popular cultural phenomenon with its Grand Theft Auto series, which is the interactive entertainment industry's most iconic and critically acclaimed brand and has sold-in over 320 million units worldwide. The latest installment, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold-in over 125 million units worldwide and includes access to Grand Theft Auto Online. On October 26, 2018, Rockstar Games launched Red Dead Redemption 2, which has been a critical and commercial success that set numerous entertainment industry records. To date, Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold-in more than 30 million units worldwide. Rockstar Games is also well known for developing brands in other genres, including the LA Noire, Bully, and Manhunt franchises. Rockstar Games continues to expand on our established franchises by developing sequels, offering downloadable episodes, content, and virtual currency.
2K. Our 2K label has published a variety of popular entertainment properties across all key platforms and across a range of genres including shooter, action, role-playing, strategy, sports and family/casual entertainment. We expect 2K to continue to develop new, successful franchises in the future. 2K's internally owned and developed franchises include the critically acclaimed, multi-million unit selling BioShock, Mafia, Sid Meier's Civilization, and XCOM series. 2K also publishes externally developed franchises such as Borderlands. The latest installment, Borderlands 3, launched on September 13, 2019. 2K's realistic sports simulation titles include our flagship NBA 2K series, which continues to be the top-ranked NBA basketball video game, the WWE 2K professional wrestling series, and PGA Tour 2K. In March 2020, 2K announced a multi-year partnership with the National Football League encompassing multiple future video games that will be non-simulation football game experiences and will launch starting in fiscal year 2022.
Private Division. Our Private Division label is dedicated to bringing titles from top independent developers to market and is the publisher and owner of Kerbal Space Program. During fiscal year 2020, Private Division released The Outer Worlds and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, based on new IP from renowned industry creative talent. Additionally, Private Division has announced that Disintegration is planned for release in fiscal year 2021 and Kerbal Space Program 2 in fiscal year 2022.
Social Point. Social Point develops and publishes popular free-to-play mobile games that deliver high quality, deeply-engaging entertainment experiences, including its two most successful games, Dragon City and Monster Legends. In addition, Social Point has a robust development pipeline with a number of exciting games planned for launch in the coming years.
We are continuing to execute on our growth initiatives in Asia, where our strategy is to broaden the distribution of our existing products and establish an online gaming presence, especially in China and South Korea. 2K has secured a multi-year license from the NBA to develop an online version of our NBA simulation game in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. NBA 2K Online, our free-to-play NBA simulation game, that is based on the console edition of NBA 2K, which was co-developed by 2K and Tencent, is the top online PC sports game in China with over 49 million registered users. We have released two iterations of NBA 2K Online and continue to enhance the title with new features.
We have expanded our relationship with the NBA through the creation of the NBA 2K League. Launched in May 2018, this groundbreaking competitive gaming league is jointly owned by us and the NBA and consists of teams operated by actual NBA franchises. The NBA 2K League follows a professional sports league format: head-to-head competition throughout a regular season followed by a bracketed playoff system and a finals match-up that was held in August in each of the NBA 2K League's first two seasons.
Our business is highly dependent on the creation, acquisition, licensing and protection of intellectual property. The intellectual property rights we have created or acquired for our internally-owned portfolio of brands include BioShock, Bully, Carnival Games, Dragon City, Grand Theft Auto, Kerbal Space Program, L.A. Noire, Mafia, Manhunt, Max Payne, Midnight Club, Monster Legends, Red Dead, Sid Meier's Civilization, and XCOM. We believe that content ownership facilitates our
internal product development efforts and maximizes profit potential. We attempt to protect our software and production techniques under copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret laws as well as through contractual restrictions on disclosure, copying and distribution.
We also enter into content license agreements, such as those with sports leagues, players associations, music labels and musicians. These licenses are typically limited to use of the licensed rights in products for specific time periods. In addition, we license and include console manufacturer technology in our products on a non-exclusive basis, which allows our games to be played on their respective hardware systems.
Platform manufacturers, such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, either manufacture or control the selection of approved manufacturers of software products sold for use on their respective hardware platforms. We place a purchase order for the manufacture of our products with Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft's approved replicator and then send software code and a prototype of the product to the manufacturer, together with related artwork, user instructions, warranty information, brochures and packaging designs for approval, defect testing and manufacture. Games are generally shipped within two to three weeks of receipt of our purchase order and all materials.
Our software titles typically carry a 90-day limited warranty.
Arrangements with Platform Manufacturers
We have entered into license agreements with Sony and Microsoft to develop and publish software in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and certain Latin American, Middle Eastern, and African countries. We are not required to obtain any licenses from hardware manufacturers to develop titles for the PC.
Sony. Effective March 23, 2017, we entered into a PlayStation Global Developer and Publisher Agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. and certain of its affiliates, pursuant to which Sony granted us the right and license to develop, publish, have manufactured, market, advertise, distribute and sell PlayStation compatible products for all PlayStation systems, including the PS4. The agreement requires us to submit products to Sony for approval and for us to make royalty payments to Sony based on the number of units manufactured or revenue from downloaded content. In addition, products for PlayStation systems are required to be manufactured by Sony approved manufacturers.
The term of the agreement expires on March 31, 2021, with automatic one-year renewal terms thereafter. Sony may terminate the agreement for any or no reason upon thirty days’ notice. The agreement may also be terminated by Sony immediately in the event of a breach by us or our bankruptcy or insolvency. Upon expiration or termination of the agreement, we have certain rights to sell off existing inventories.
Microsoft. Under the terms of the license agreements that we have entered into with Microsoft Corporation and its affiliates, Microsoft granted us the right and license to develop, publish, have manufactured, market, advertise, distribute and sell Xbox compatible products for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. The agreements require us to submit products to Microsoft for approval and for us to make royalty payments to Microsoft based on the number of units manufactured or revenue from downloaded content. In addition, products for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 are required to be manufactured by Microsoft approved manufacturers.
The term of the Xbox One license agreement renewed on April 1, 2020 for a two-month period expiring on June 1, 2020, while the parties negotiate a new license agreement also covering Microsoft's next generation consoles. The term of the Xbox 360 license agreement expires on March 31, 2021, with automatic one-year renewal terms thereafter. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 license agreements may be terminated by Microsoft immediately in the event of a breach by us, and the Xbox One licensee agreement may also be terminated by Microsoft immediately in the event of our bankruptcy or insolvency. Upon expiration or termination of the Xbox One and Xbox 360 license agreements, we have certain rights to sell off existing inventories.
We sell software titles both physically and digitally through direct relationships with large retail customers, including digital storefronts and platform partners, and third-party distributors. Our top customers include, among others, Sony, Microsoft, Steam, GameStop, and Epic. We sell our products globally and have sales operations in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We are dependent on a limited number of customers that account for a significant portion of our sales. Sales to our five largest customers during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 accounted for 71.5% of our net revenue, with Sony and Microsoft each accounting for more than 10.0% of our net revenue during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.
We also distribute our titles, add-on content, and in-game purchases through direct digital download via the Internet to consoles and PCs, including smartphones and tablets. We view digital distribution as an important growth opportunity for our industry and Company; however, we expect that packaged goods and traditional retailers will continue to be a significant channel for the sale of our products for the foreseeable future, particularly for consoles.
Our marketing and promotional efforts are intended to maximize consumer interest in our titles, promote brand name recognition of our franchises, assist retailers and properly position, package and merchandise our titles. From time to time, we also receive marketing support from hardware manufacturers in connection with their own promotional efforts.
We market titles by:
•Implementing public relations campaigns, using social, digital, online, television, outdoor, and print marketing, including certain performance marketing programs. We believe that we label and market our products in accordance with the applicable principles and guidelines of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, or the ESRB, an independent self-regulatory body that assigns ratings and enforces advertising guidelines for the interactive software industry.
•Stimulating continued sales by reducing the wholesale prices of our products to retailers, digital storefronts, and platform providers at various times during the life of a product. Price protection may occur at any time in a product's life cycle, but typically occurs three to nine months after a product's initial launch. In certain international markets, we also provide volume rebates to stimulate continued product sales. Price protection, sales returns and other allowances amounted to $98.0 million, $81.7 million and $59.7 million during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
•Employing various other marketing methods designed to promote consumer awareness, including social media, in-store promotions and point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, co-operative advertising, attendance at trade shows as well as product sampling through demonstration software distributed via the Internet or the digital online services.
As of March 31, 2020, we had a sales and marketing staff of 603 people.
We procure products from suppliers principally using standard purchase orders based on our assessment of market demand. We carry inventory quantities that we believe are necessary to provide rapid response to retailer and distributor orders. We utilize electronic data interchange with many of our customers to enhance the efficiency of placing and shipping orders and receiving payments.
In our business, we compete with:
•Companies that range in size and cost structure from very small with limited resources to very large with greater financial, marketing and technical personnel and other resources than ours. Examples of our competitors include Activision Blizzard, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Ubisoft Entertainment S.A.
•Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo for the sale of interactive entertainment software. Each of these competitors is a large developer and marketer of software for their own platforms and has the financial resources to withstand significant price competition and to implement extensive advertising campaigns.
•Other software, hardware, entertainment and media for limited retail shelf space and promotional resources. The competition is intense among an increasing number of newly introduced entertainment software titles and hardware for adequate levels of shelf space and promotional support.
•Other forms of entertainment such as motion pictures, television and audio, social networking, online computer programs, mobile games, and other forms of entertainment, which may be less expensive or provide other advantages to consumers.
Competition in the entertainment software industry is based on innovation, features, playability, product quality, brand name recognition, compatibility with popular platforms, access to distribution channels, price, marketing, and customer service.
Our business is driven by hit titles, which require increasing budgets for development and marketing. Competition for our titles is influenced by the timing of competitive product releases and the similarity of such products to our titles and may result in loss of shelf space or a reduction in sell-through of our titles at retail stores.
International sales are a significant part of our business. For the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we earned 42.5%, 46.5% and 41.3%, respectively, of our net revenue outside the United States. We are continuing to execute on our growth initiatives in Asia, where our strategy is to broaden the distribution of our existing products and expand our online gaming presence, especially in China and South Korea. We are subject to risks inherent in foreign trade, including increased credit risks, tariffs and duties, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, shipping delays and international political, regulatory and economic developments, all of which can have a significant effect on our operating results. See Notes 1 and 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Segment and Geographic Information
See Notes 1, 2, and 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
As of March 31, 2020, we had 5,800 full-time employees, of which 3,123 were employed outside of the United States. None of our regular employees is subject to collective bargaining agreements. We consider our relations with employees to be satisfactory.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Our business is subject to many risks and uncertainties, which may affect our future financial performance. Because of the risks and uncertainties described below, as well as other factors affecting our operating results and financial condition, past financial performance should not be considered to be a reliable indicator of future performance and our business and financial performance could be harmed and the market value of our securities could decline.
Risks relating to our business
We are dependent on the future success of our Grand Theft Auto products and we must continue to publish "hit" titles or sequels to such "hit" titles in order to compete successfully in our industry.
Grand Theft Auto and certain of our other titles, such as Red Dead Redemption or NBA 2K, are "hit" products and have historically accounted for a substantial portion of our revenue. Grand Theft Auto products contributed 23.0% of our net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, and the five best-selling franchises (including Grand Theft Auto), which may change year over year, in the aggregate accounted for 87.4% of our net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. If we fail to continue to develop and sell new commercially successful "hit" titles or sequels to such "hit" titles or experience any delays in product releases or disruptions following the commercial release of our "hit" titles or their sequels, our revenue and profits may decrease substantially and we may incur losses. In addition, competition in our industry is intense and a relatively small number of hit titles account for a large portion of total revenue in our industry. Hit products offered by our competitors may take a larger share of consumer spending than we anticipate, which could cause revenue generated from our products to fall below our expectations. If our competitors develop more successful products or services at lower price points or based on payment models perceived as offering better value, or if we do not continue to develop consistently high quality and well-received products and services, our revenue and profitability may decline. In addition, both the online and mobile games marketplaces are characterized by frequent product introductions, relatively low barriers to entry, and new and evolving business methods, technologies and platforms for development. Widespread consumer adoption of these new platforms for games and other technological advances in and/or new business or payment models in online or mobile game offerings could negatively affect our sales of console and traditional PC products before we have an opportunity to develop profitable businesses in such markets.
Our results of operations may be materially adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Our results of operations may be materially adversely affected by COVID-19. The global spread of COVID-19 has created significant uncertainty, resulting in volatility and economic disruption. The extent to which COVID-19 has an impact on our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict, including the duration and scope of the pandemic; governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic; economic activity and related actions taken in response to the pandemic; the effect on consumer demand for our products and the discretionary spending patterns of our customers, including the ability of our customers to pay for our products; our ability to develop, market, and sell our products, including as a result of
travel restrictions and people working from home; the impact on the operations of our counterparties, including the physical retail, digital download online platforms, and cloud streaming services we rely on for the distribution of our products, the suppliers who manufacture our physical products, and other third parties with which we partner (e.g. to market or ship our products); any closures of our, our customers’, and counterparties' offices and facilities; additional volatility in exchange rates; the impact of potential inflation; and the impact of reductions in interest rates by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, including on our short-term investment portfolio.
Further, “shelter-in-place,” quarantine, or other such initiatives by governmental entities could also disrupt our operations. In such situations, if employees or third-party developers who cannot optimally perform their responsibilities from home are not able to or are unwilling to report to work, we may experience material interruptions in product development and delays in bringing products to market. Such circumstances may also impact the effectiveness of the Company's quality controls and game testing measures. An increase in the number of employees working remotely also increases the potential adverse impact of risk associated with information technology systems and networks, including cyber-attacks, computer viruses, malicious software, security breach, and telecommunication failures, both for systems and networks we control directly and for those that employees and third-party developers rely on to work remotely. Any failure to prevent or mitigate security breaches or cyber risks or detect, or respond adequately to, a security breach or cyber risk, or any other disruptions to our information technology systems and networks, can have adverse effects on our business. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers and business partners. Further, key personnel could contract COVID-19 hindering their availability and productivity.
Additionally, sports organizations' operations and seasons may be altered or even canceled based on the response to COVID-19. Such events could affect the demand for our sports titles.
While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the negative impact of the outbreak on our business, these efforts may not be effective, and a protracted economic downturn may limit the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts. Any of these considerations described above could cause or contribute to the risks described elsewhere herein and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or stock price.
We are subject to product development risks which could result in delays and additional costs, and we must adapt to changes in software technologies.
We depend on our internal development studios and third-party software developers to develop new interactive entertainment software within anticipated release schedules and cost projections. The development cycle for new titles generally ranges from 12 months for annual sports releases, to multiple years for certain of our top-selling titles. Therefore, our development costs can be substantial. If we or our third-party developers experience unanticipated development delays, financial difficulties, or additional costs, for example as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we may not be able to release titles according to our schedule and at budgeted costs. There can be no assurance that our products will be sufficiently successful so that we can recoup these costs or make a profit on these products.
Additionally, in order to stay competitive, our internal development studios must anticipate and adapt to rapid technological changes affecting software development, such as cloud-based game streaming. Any inability to respond to technological advances and implement new technologies could render our products obsolete or less marketable. Further, the failure to pursue the development of new technology, platforms, or business models that obtain meaningful commercial success in a timely manner may negatively affect our business, resulting in increased production or development costs and more strenuous competition.
The inability of our products to achieve significant market acceptance, delays in product releases or disruptions following the commercial release of our products may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
New products may not achieve significant market acceptance, generate sufficient sales, or be introduced in a timely manner to permit us to recover development, manufacturing and marketing costs associated with these products. The life cycle of a title generally involves a relatively high level of sales during the first few months after introduction followed by a rapid decline in sales. Because sales associated with an initial product launch generally constitute a high percentage of the total sales associated with the life of a product, delays in product releases or disruptions following the commercial release of one or more new products could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results and therefore cause our operating results to be materially different from our expectations.
Our business is subject to our ability to develop commercially successful products for the current video game platforms.
We derive most of our revenue from the sale of products made for video game platforms manufactured by third parties, such as Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, which comprised 74.7% of our net revenue by product platform for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. The success of our business is subject to the continued popularity of these platforms and our ability to develop commercially successful products for these platforms.
In 2020, we expect Sony and Microsoft to launch their respective next generation consoles, although COVID-19 or other events may impact the timing of release and availability of these new consoles. When next generation consoles are announced or introduced into the market, consumers have typically reduced their purchases of products for prior-generation consoles in anticipation of purchasing a next-generation console and products for that console. During these periods, sales of the products we publish may decline until new platforms achieve wide consumer acceptance. Console transitions may have a comparable impact on sales of downloadable content, amplifying the impact on our revenues. This decline may not be offset by increased sales of products for the next-generation consoles. In addition, as console hardware moves through its life cycle, hardware manufacturers typically enact price reductions, and decreasing prices may put downward pressure on software prices. During console transitions, we may simultaneously incur costs both in continuing to develop and market new titles for prior-generation video game platforms, which may not sell at premium prices, and also in developing products for next-generation platforms, which may not generate immediate or near-term revenues. As a result, our business and operating results may be more volatile and difficult to predict during console transitions than during other times.
We may experience declines or fluctuations in the recurring portion of our business.
Our business model includes revenue that we expect to be recurring in nature, such as revenue from our annualized titles and associated services, and ongoing mobile businesses. While we have been able to forecast the revenue from these areas of our business with greater certainty than for new offerings, we cannot provide assurances that consumers will purchase these games and services on a consistent basis. Furthermore, we may cease to offer games and services that we previously had deemed to be recurring in nature. Consumer purchases of our games and services may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including their level of satisfaction with our games and services, our ability to improve and innovate our annualized titles, our ability to adapt our games and services to new platforms, outages and disruptions of online services, the games and services offered by our competitors, our marketing and advertising efforts or declines in consumer activity generally as a result of economic downturns, for example as a result of COVID-19, among others. Any decline or fluctuation in this portion of our business may have a negative impact on our financial and operating results.
Connectivity issues could affect our ability to sell and provide online services for our products and could affect our profitability.
We rely upon third-party digital delivery platforms, such as Microsoft's Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, Epic, and other third-party service providers, to provide connectivity from the consumer to our digital products and our online services. Connectivity issues could prevent customers from accessing this content and our ability to successfully market and sell our products could be adversely affected. Given the increasing global usage of online platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks of connectivity issues may be heightened. In addition, we could experience similar issues related to services we host on our internal servers. Such issues also could affect our ability to provide game-related services and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
We rely on complex information technology systems and networks to operate our business. Any significant system or network disruption could have a negative impact on our business.
We rely on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of complex information technology systems and networks, some of which are within Take-Two and some of which are managed and/or hosted by third-party providers. All information technology systems and networks are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from a variety of sources, including but not limited to cyber-attacks, computer viruses, malicious software, security breach, energy blackouts, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication failures. We may also face sophisticated attacks, referred to as advanced persistent threats, which are cyber-attacks aimed at compromising our intellectual property and other commercially-sensitive information, such as the source code and game assets for our software or confidential customer or employee information, which remain undetected for prolonged periods of time. Information technology system, network failures, or security breaches could negatively affect our business continuity, operations and financial results. These risks extend to the networks and e-commerce sites of console platform providers and other partners who sell or host our content online. The risk of such threats may be heightened as a result of an extended period of remote work arrangements due to COVID-19. Along with our partners, we have expended, and expect to continue to expend, financial and operational resources to implement certain systems, processes and technologies to guard against cyber risks and to help protect our data and systems. However, the techniques used to exploit, disable, damage, disrupt or gain access to our networks, our products and services, supporting technological infrastructure,
intellectual property and other assets change frequently, continue to evolve in sophistication and volume, and often are not detected for long periods of time. Our systems, processes and technologies, and the systems, processes and technologies of our business partners or our third-party service providers, may not be adequate against all eventualities. In addition, the costs to respond to, mitigate, and/or notify affected parties of cyber-attacks and other security vulnerabilities are significant. Any failure to prevent or mitigate security breaches or cyber risks, or detect or respond adequately to a security breach or cyber risk, could result in a loss of anticipated revenue, interruptions to our products and services, cause us to incur significant remediation and notification costs, degrade the user experience, cause consumers to lose confidence in our products and services and significant legal and financial costs. Additionally, applicable insurance policies may be insufficient to reimburse the company for all such losses, and it is uncertain whether we will be able to maintain the current level of insurance coverage in the future on reasonable terms or at all.
Successful exploitation of our systems can have other negative effects upon the products, services and user experience we offer. In particular, the virtual economies that we have established in many of our games are subject to abuse, exploitation and other forms of fraudulent activity that can negatively affect our business. Virtual economies involve the use of virtual currency and/or virtual assets that can be used or redeemed by a player within a particular game or service. Although we have implemented and continue to develop programs reasonably designed to prevent such negative impacts, the abuse or exploitation of our virtual economies can include the illegitimate generation and sale of virtual items in black markets. These kinds of activities and the steps that we take to address and prevent these issues may result in a loss of anticipated revenue, interfere with players’ enjoyment of a balanced game environment and cause reputational harm.
Our business could be adversely affected if our consumer data protection measures are not seen as adequate or there are breaches of our security measures or unintended disclosures of our consumer data.
We are collecting and storing consumer information, including personal information. We take measures to protect our consumer information from unauthorized access or disclosure. It is possible that our security controls over consumer information may not prevent the improper access or disclosure of personal information. In addition, due to the high-profile nature of our products, we may draw a disproportionately higher amount of attention and attempts to breach our security controls than companies with lower profile products. A security incident that leads to disclosure of consumer information (including personal information) could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with disparate breach notification laws in various jurisdictions and otherwise subject us to liability under laws that protect personal information, any of which could result in increased costs or loss of revenue. A resulting perception that our products or services do not adequately protect the privacy of personal information could result in a loss of current or potential consumers and business partners. In addition, if any of our business partners experience a security incident that leads to disclosure of consumer information, our reputation could be harmed, resulting in loss of revenue.
In addition, certain of our products are online enabled. The ability of our products to offer online functionality, and our ability to offer content through a video game platform's digital distribution channel, is dependent upon the continued operation and security of such platform's online network. These third party networks, as well as our own internal systems and websites, and the related security measures may be breached as a result of third-party action, including intentional misconduct by computer hackers, employee error, malfeasance or otherwise, and result in someone obtaining unauthorized access to our customers' information or our data—including our intellectual property and other confidential business information—or our information technology systems. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to sabotage systems, change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. If an actual or perceived breach of our safeguards occurs, we may lose business, suffer irreparable damage to our reputation, and/or incur significant costs and expenses relating to the investigation and possible litigation of claims relating to such event.
The laws and regulations concerning data privacy and certain other aspects of our business are continually evolving. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could harm our business.
We are subject to certain privacy and data protection laws, including those in the United States ("U.S."). Certain activities related to processing the personal data of individuals in the European Union ("E.U.") are conducted by our United Kingdom ("U.K.")-based data controller or our local entities in the E.U. The U.S. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act also regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from children under 13 years of age. Failure to comply with privacy and data protection laws or age restrictions may increase our costs, subject us to expensive and distracting government investigations, and result in substantial fines, or result in lawsuits and claims against us to the extent these laws include a private right of action.
Privacy and data protection laws are rapidly changing and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, which could have an impact on our approach to operating and marketing our games. For example, the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") became effective on May 25, 2018, replacing Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. GDPR
applies to us because we receive and process the personal information of individuals in the E.U., and we maintain certain local entities in the E.U. responsible for processing personal information. GDPR contains significant penalties for non-compliance. Countries in the E.U. are still enacting national laws that correspond to certain portions of the GDPR. In the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA") became effective on January 1, 2020 and applies to processing of personal information of California residents. Other states, including Nevada, have enacted or are considering similar privacy or data protection laws that may apply to us. The U.S. government, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, also continue to review the need for greater or different regulation over the collection of personal information and information about consumer behavior on the Internet and on mobile devices, and the U.S. Congress is considering a number of legislative proposals to regulate in this area. Various government and consumer agencies worldwide have also called for new regulation and changes in industry practices.
It is possible that a number of laws and regulations may be adopted or construed to apply to us in the U.S. and elsewhere that could restrict the interactive entertainment industry, including player privacy, advertising, taxation, content suitability, copyright, distribution, and antitrust. Furthermore, the growth and development of electronic commerce and virtual goods may prompt calls for more stringent consumer protection laws that may impose additional burdens on companies such as ours conducting business through digital sales. Any such changes would require us to devote legal and other resources to address such regulation. For example, existing laws or new laws regarding the regulation of currency, banking institutions, and unclaimed property may be interpreted to cover virtual currency or virtual goods. If that were to occur we may be required to seek licenses, authorizations, or approvals from relevant regulators, the granting of which may be dependent on us meeting certain capital and other requirements and we may be subject to additional regulation and oversight, all of which could significantly increase our operating costs. Changes in current laws or regulations or the imposition of new laws and regulations in the U.S. or elsewhere regarding these activities may lessen the growth of the interactive entertainment industry and impair our business, financial condition, and operating results.
Although we have structured and operate our skill tournaments with applicable laws in mind, including any applicable laws relating to gambling, and believe that playing these games does not constitute gambling, our skill tournaments could in the future become subject to gambling-related rules and regulations and expose us to civil and criminal penalties. We also sometimes offer consumers of our online and casual games various types of contests and promotional opportunities. We are subject to laws in a number of jurisdictions concerning the operation and offering of such activities and games, many of which are still evolving and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. Further, some of our online games and other services include random digital item mechanics, which may become subject to regulations in various jurisdictions. If these were to occur, we might be required to seek licenses, authorizations, or approvals from relevant regulators, the granting of which may be dependent on us meeting certain capital and other requirements, and we may be subject to additional regulation and oversight, such as reporting to regulators, all of which could significantly increase our operating costs. Changes in current laws or regulations or the imposition of new laws and regulations in the U.S., the E.U., or elsewhere regarding these activities may lessen the growth of online or casual game services and impair our business. Also, existing laws or new laws regarding the marketing of in-game or in-app purchases, regulation of currency, banking institutions, unclaimed property, or money laundering may be interpreted to cover virtual currency or goods.
Security breaches involving the source code for our products or other sensitive and proprietary information could adversely affect our business.
We securely store the source code for our interactive entertainment software products as it is created. A breach, whether physical, electronic or otherwise, of the systems on which such source code and other sensitive data are stored could lead to damage or piracy of our software. In addition, certain parties with whom we do business are given access to our sensitive and proprietary information in order to provide services and support our team. These third parties may misappropriate our information and engage in unauthorized use of it. If we or these third parties are subject to data security breaches, we may have a loss in sales or increased costs arising from the restoration or implementation of additional security measures which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. Any theft and/or unauthorized use or publication of our trade secrets and other confidential business information as a result of such an event could adversely affect our competitive position, reputation, brand, and future sales of our products. Our business could be subject to significant disruption, and we could suffer monetary and other losses and reputational harm, in the event of such incidents and claims.
Our efforts to expand into new products and services may subject us to additional risks.
In recent years, we have continued to invest in emerging opportunities in interactive entertainment played on mobile platforms, including tablets and smartphones, and online platforms, including social networks. We have also grown our product offerings that are available through digital download, including virtual currency, through our existing franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, as well as through our mobile product offerings. We are actively investing to capitalize on these trends in order to diversify our product mix, reduce our operating risks, and increase our revenue. There are risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. There is no assurance that we will be able to attract a sufficiently large number of customers or recover costs incurred for developing and marketing any of these new products or services. For example, we may offer games that do not attract sufficient purchases of virtual currency, which may cause our investments into this product space, such as through our acquisition of Social Point, to fail to realize the expected benefits. External factors, such as competitive alternatives and shifting market preferences, may also have an impact on the successful implementation of any new products or services. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new products or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
We depend on our key management and product development personnel.
Our continued success will depend to a significant extent on our senior management team and our relationship with ZelnickMedia Corporation ("ZelnickMedia"). Our Executive Chairman/Chief Executive Officer and President are partners of ZelnickMedia. We are also highly dependent on the expertise, skills and knowledge of our key creative personnel responsible for content creation and development of our Grand Theft Auto and other hit titles and titles based on other brands. We may not be able to continue to retain these personnel at current compensation levels, or at all.
The loss of the services of our executive officers, ZelnickMedia, or certain key creative personnel could significantly harm our business. In addition, if one or more key employees were to join a competitor or form a competing company, we may lose additional personnel, experience material interruptions in product development, delays in bringing products to market and difficulties in our relationships with licensors, suppliers and customers, which would significantly harm our business. Failure to continue to attract and retain qualified management and creative personnel could adversely affect our business and prospects.
Declines in consumer spending and other adverse changes in the economy could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
Most of our products involve discretionary spending on the part of consumers. We believe that consumer spending is influenced by general economic conditions and the availability of discretionary income. This makes our products particularly sensitive to general economic conditions and economic cycles as consumers are generally more willing to make discretionary purchases, including purchases of products like ours, during periods in which favorable economic conditions prevail. Adverse economic conditions, such as a prolonged U.S. or international general economic downturn, such as those caused by COVID-19, including periods of increased inflation, unemployment levels, tax rates, interest rates, energy prices, or declining consumer confidence, could also reduce consumer spending. Reduced consumer spending has and may in the future continue to result in reduced demand for our products and may also require increased selling and promotional expenses, which has had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. In addition, during periods of relative economic weakness, our consolidated credit risk, reflecting our counterparty dealings with distributors, customers, capital providers and others may increase, perhaps materially so. As a result of COVID-19, our counterparty credit risk may be particularly exacerbated, as certain of our counterparties may face financial difficulties in paying owed amounts on a timely basis or at all. Furthermore, uncertainty and adverse changes in the economy could also increase the risk of material losses on our investments, increase costs associated with developing and publishing our products, increase the cost and availability of sources of financing, and increase our exposure to material losses from bad debts, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. If economic conditions worsen, our business, financial condition and operating results could be adversely affected.
We are particularly susceptible to market conditions and risks associated with the entertainment industry, which, in addition to general macroeconomic downturns, also include the popularity, price, and timing of our products; changes in consumer demographics; the availability and popularity of other forms of entertainment and leisure; and critical reviews and public tastes and preferences, which may change rapidly and cannot necessarily be predicted.
Changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities could adversely affect our earnings and financial condition.
We are a multinational corporation with operations in the U.S. and various other jurisdictions around the world. Accordingly, we are subject to tax in the U.S. and in various other jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes, and, in the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are required to estimate future taxes. Although we currently believe our
tax estimates are reasonable, the estimation process is inherently uncertain, and such estimates are not binding on tax authorities. Further, our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including changes in the business, the mix of earnings between countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in tax elections, and changes in applicable tax laws. Additionally, tax determinations are regularly subject to audit by tax authorities, and developments in those audits could adversely affect our income tax provision. Should the ultimate tax liability exceed estimates, our income tax provision and net income or loss could be materially affected.
In addition, numerous countries are evaluating their existing tax laws due in part to recommendations made by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (“OECD’s”) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) project. Although we cannot predict whether, or in what form, any legislation based on such proposals may be adopted by the countries in which we do business, future tax reform based on such proposals may increase the amount of taxes we pay and adversely affect our operating results and cash flows.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, we released our valuation allowance on certain U.S. deferred tax assets as a result of a determination that it was more-likely-than-not that such deferred tax assets would be realized. We will continue to evaluate our ability to realize our U.S. deferred tax assets. If future evidence suggests that any changes are required to reflect the amount of our U.S. deferred tax asset that is more-likely-than-not to be realized, we will adjust our valuation allowance as needed in the appropriate period.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which overturned previous case law that precluded states from requiring retailers to collect and remit sales tax on sales made to in-state customers unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state. Although this case is limited to sales tax collection obligations, we continue to monitor the potential impact of this decision on our state income tax footprint.
The ultimate amount of tax payable in a given financial statement period may be materially affected by sudden or unforeseen changes in tax laws, changes in the mix and level of earnings by taxing jurisdictions, or changes to existing accounting rules or regulations. For example, on July 27, 2015, the U.S. Tax Court issued an opinion in Altera Corp. v. Commissioner, which concluded that related parties in an intercompany cost-sharing arrangement are not required to share costs related to stock-based compensation. In February 2016, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service appealed the decision to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On June 7, 2019, the Ninth Circuit reversed the 2015 decision of the U.S. Tax Court. As a result of this decision, we are no longer reflecting a net tax benefit within our financial statements related to the removal of stock-based compensation from our intercompany cost-sharing arrangement. The taxpayer in the case requested a rehearing before the full Ninth Circuit which was denied on November 12, 2019. The case remains potentially open for judicial review by the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result, the final outcome of the case is uncertain. In February 2020, the taxpayer petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision and is awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision as to whether it will hear the case. We will continue to monitor ongoing developments and potential impacts to our financial statements.
We earn a significant amount of our operating income and continue to hold a significant portion of our cash outside the U.S. Our current intention is to reinvest indefinitely earnings of our foreign subsidiaries, and therefore we have not recorded any tax liabilities associated with the repatriation of foreign earnings.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act") subjects a U.S. shareholder to current tax on GILTI earned by foreign subsidiaries. The FASB Staff Q&A Topic No. 5, Accounting for Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income, states that an entity can make an accounting policy election either to recognize deferred taxes for temporary differences that are expected to reverse as GILTI in future years or provide for the tax expense related to GILTI resulting from those items in the year the tax is incurred. We have elected to recognize the resulting tax on GILTI as an expense in the period incurred.
We are also required to pay taxes other than income taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property, and goods and services taxes, in both the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions. We are regularly under examination by tax authorities with respect to these non-income taxes. There can be no assurance that the outcomes from these examinations, changes in our business or changes in applicable tax law or interpretations will not have an adverse effect on our net income or loss and financial condition.
Our quarterly operating results are dependent on the release of "hit" titles and therefore dependent on the timing of our product releases, which may cause our quarterly operating results to fluctuate significantly.
We have experienced and may continue to experience wide fluctuations in quarterly operating results. The release of a "hit" title typically leads to a high level of sales during the first few months after introduction followed by a rapid decline in sales. In addition, the interactive entertainment industry is highly seasonal, with sales typically higher during the fourth calendar quarter, due primarily to increased demand for games during the holiday season. Demand for and sales of titles in our NBA 2K series are also seasonal in that they are typically released just prior to the start of the NBA season. If a key event or sports season to which our product release schedule is tied were to be delayed or canceled, our sales might also suffer
disproportionately. For example, the NBA season, along with several other professional sports leagues, have cancelled or delayed their seasons as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our failure or inability to produce "hit" titles or introduce products on a timely basis to meet seasonal fluctuations in demand could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. The uncertainties associated with software development, manufacturing lead times, production delays and the approval process for products by hardware manufacturers and other licensors make it difficult to predict the quarter in which our products will ship and therefore may cause us to fail to meet financial expectations.
Price protection granted to our customers and returns of our published titles by our customers may adversely affect our operating results.
We are exposed to the risk of price protection and product returns with respect to our customers. Our distribution arrangements with customers generally do not give them the right to return titles to us or to cancel firm orders. However, we sometimes accept product returns from our distribution customers for stock balancing and negotiate accommodations for customers, which include credits and returns, when demand for specific products falls below expectations. We grant price protection and accept returns in connection with our publishing arrangements, and revenue is recognized after deducting estimated price protection and reserves for returns. While we believe that we can reliably estimate price protection and returns, if price protection and return rates for our products exceed our reserves, our revenue could decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results.
Increased sales of used video game products could lower our sales.
Certain of our larger customers sell used video games, which are generally priced lower than new video games. If our customers increase their sales of used video games, it could negatively affect our sales of new video games and have an adverse influence on our business, financial condition and operating results.
A limited number of customers account for a significant portion of our sales. The loss of a principal customer or other significant business relationship could seriously hurt our business.
A substantial portion of our product sales are made to a limited number of customers. Sales to our five largest customers during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 accounted for 71.5% of our net revenue, with Sony and Microsoft each accounting for more than 10.0% of our net revenue during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Our sales are made primarily without long-term agreements or other commitments, and our customers may terminate their relationship with us at any time. Certain of our customers may decline to carry products containing mature content. The loss of our relationships with principal customers or a decline in sales to principal customers, including as a result of a product being rated "AO" (age 18 and over) could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. In addition, if our customers are subject to pricing pressures due to deteriorating demand for our products, competitive pressure, or otherwise, such customers may pass those pricing pressures through to us, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
In addition, because some of our customers are also publishers of games for their own hardware platforms and may manufacture products for other licensees, such customers may give priority to their own products or those of our competitors. Accordingly, console manufacturers like Sony or Microsoft could cause unanticipated delays in the release of our products, as well as increases to projected development, manufacturing, marketing, or distribution costs, any of which could negatively impact our business.
Furthermore, our customers may also be placed into bankruptcy, become insolvent, or be liquidated due to economic downturns, global contractions of credit, or for other factors. This risk has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bankruptcies or consolidations of certain large retail customers could seriously hurt our business, including as a result of uncollectible accounts receivable from such customers and the concentration of purchasing power among remaining large retailers. In addition, our results of operations may be adversely affected if certain of our customers who purchase on credit terms are no longer eligible to purchase on such terms due to their financial distress or lack of credit insurance, which may reduce the quantity of products they demand from us.
If our marketing and advertising efforts fail to resonate with consumers, our business, financial condition and operating results could be adversely affected.
Our products are marketed worldwide through a diverse spectrum of promotional programs, such as social media advertising, digital and online marketing, television advertising, print advertising, retail merchandising, website development, and event sponsorship. Our ability to sell our products and services is dependent in part on the success of these programs. If the marketing for our products and services fails to resonate with consumers, particularly during the holiday season or other key selling periods, or if advertising rates or other media placement costs increase, these factors could have a material adverse influence on our business, financial condition and operating results.
The interactive entertainment software industry is highly competitive.
We compete for both licenses to properties and the sale of interactive entertainment software with Sony and Microsoft, each of which is a large developer and marketer of software for its own platforms. We also compete with game publishers, such as Activision Blizzard, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. As our business is dependent upon our ability to develop hit titles, which require increasing budgets for development and marketing, the availability of significant financial resources has become a major competitive factor in developing and marketing software games. Some of our competitors have greater financial, technical, personnel, and other resources than we do and are able to finance larger budgets for development and marketing and make higher offers to licensors and developers for commercially desirable properties. Our titles also compete with other forms of entertainment, such as social media and casual games, in addition to motion pictures, television and audio and video products featuring similar themes, online computer programs and other entertainment, which may be less expensive or provide other advantages to consumers.
A number of software publishers who compete with us have developed and commercialized or are currently developing online games. If technological advances significantly increase the availability of online games and if consumer acceptance of online gaming grows substantially, it could result in a decline in our platform-based software sales and negatively affect sales of such products.
Additionally, we compete with other forms of entertainment and leisure activities. While we monitor general market conditions, significant shifts in consumer demand that could materially alter public preferences for different forms of entertainment and leisure activities are difficult to predict. Failure to adequately identify and adapt to these competitive pressures could have a negative impact on our business.
Increased competition for limited shelf space and promotional support from retailers could affect the success of our business and require us to incur greater expenses to market our titles.
While digital sales are increasingly important to our business, for physical sales, retailers have limited shelf space and promotional resources. Competition is intense among newly introduced interactive entertainment software titles for adequate levels of shelf space and promotional support, with most and highest quality shelf space devoted to those products expected to be best sellers. We cannot be certain that our new products will consistently achieve best seller status. Competition for retail shelf space is expected to continue to increase, which may require us to increase our marketing expenditures to maintain desirable sales levels of our titles. Competitors with more extensive lines and more popular titles may have greater bargaining power with retailers. Accordingly, we may not be able, or we may have to pay more than our competitors, to achieve similar levels of promotional support and shelf space. Similarly, as digital sales increase in importance to our business, there is increasing competition for premium placements of products on websites. Such placement is subject to many similar risks as physical shelf space discussed above.
The increasing importance of digital sales to our business exposes us to the risks of that business model, including greater competition.
The proportion of our revenues derived from digital content delivery, as compared to traditional retail sales, may continue to increase. The increased importance of digital content delivery in our industry, including through subscription-based access to a portfolio of interactive content, increases our potential competition, as the minimum capital needed to produce and publish a digitally delivered game is significantly less than that needed to produce and publish one that is purchased through retail distribution. This will also require us to dedicate capital to developing and implementing alternative marketing strategies, which we may not do successfully. If either occurs, we may be unable to effectively market and distribute our products, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. In addition, a continuing shift to digital delivery could result in a deprioritization of our products by traditional retailers. The increasing importance of digital sales to our business could also result in increasing issues with our digital distribution process, including difficulties our distributors have with collecting from consumers and any associated rebates we would owe.
Our business is partly dependent on our ability to enter into successful software development arrangements with third parties.
Our success depends on our ability to continually identify and develop new titles on a timely basis. We rely on third-party software developers for the development of some of our titles. Quality third-party developers are continually in high demand. Software developers who have developed titles for us in the past may not be available to develop software for us in the future. Due to the limited availability of third-party software developers and the limited control that we exercise over them, these developers may not be able to complete titles for us on a timely basis or within acceptable quality standards, if at all. We have entered into agreements with third parties to acquire the rights to publish and distribute interactive entertainment software as well as to use licensed intellectual properties in our titles. These agreements typically require us to make development payments, pay royalties and satisfy other conditions. Our development payments may not be sufficient to permit developers to
develop new software successfully, which could result in material delays and significant increases in our costs to bring particular products to market. Software development costs, promotion and marketing expenses and royalties payable to software developers and third-party licensors have continued to increase and reduce potential profits derived from sales of our software. Future sales of our titles may not be sufficient to recover development payments and advances to software developers and licensors, and we may not have adequate financial and other resources to satisfy our contractual commitments to such developers. If we fail to satisfy our obligations under agreements with third-party developers and licensors, the agreements may be terminated or modified in ways that are burdensome to us and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
We cannot publish our titles without the approval of hardware licensors that are also our competitors.
We are required to obtain licenses from certain of our competitors, including Sony and Microsoft, to develop and publish titles for their respective hardware platforms. Our existing platform licenses require that we obtain approval for the publication of new titles on a title-by-title basis. As a result, the number of titles we are able to publish for these hardware platforms, our ability to manage the timing of the release of these titles, and, accordingly, our net revenue from titles for these hardware platforms, may be limited. If a licensor chooses not to renew or extend our license agreement at the end of its current term, or if a licensor were to terminate our license for any reason or does not approve one or more of our titles, we may be unable to publish that title as well as additional titles for that licensor's platform. During a console transition, like the one that is expected to occur in 2020, hardware platform manufacturers may seek to change the terms governing our relationships with them. Termination of any such agreements or disapproval of titles could seriously hurt our business and prospects. We may be unable to continue to enter into license agreements for certain current generation platforms on satisfactory terms or at all. Failure to enter into any such agreement could also seriously hurt our business.
We rely on a limited number of channel partners some of whom influence the fee structures for online distribution of our games on their platforms.
We rely on a limited number of channel partners, some of whom have retained the right to change the fee structures for online distribution of both paid content and free content (including patches and corrections) that we license to them for distribution on their platforms. Such channel partners' ability to set or influence royalty rates may increase costs, which could negatively affect our operating margins. We may be unable to distribute our content in a cost-effective or profitable manner through such distribution channel, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
Outside of fee arrangements, our agreements with our channel partners sometimes give them significant control over other aspects of the distribution of our products and services that we develop for their platform. If our channel partners establish terms that restrict our offerings through their channels, or significantly affect the financial terms on which these products or services are offered to our customers, we may be unable to distribute our product offerings through them or be forced to do so on a materially worse financial or business terms in negotiating such various aspects of distribution. Increased competition for digital “shelf space” has put channel partners in more favorable bargaining positions in relation to such terms of distribution.
We may not be able to adequately adjust our cost structure in a timely fashion in response to a sudden decrease in demand.
In the event of a significant decline in revenue, we may not be able to dispose of facilities, reduce personnel, or make other changes to our cost structure without disruption to our operations or without significant termination and exit costs. Management may not be able to implement such actions in a timely manner, if at all, to offset an immediate shortfall in revenue and profit. Moreover, reducing costs may impair our ability to produce and develop software titles at sufficient levels in the future.
We use open source software in connection with certain of our games and services, which may pose particular risks to our proprietary software, products, and services in a manner that could have a negative impact on our business.
We use open source software in connection with certain of our games and the services we offer. Some open source software licenses require users who distribute open source software as part of their software to publicly disclose all or part of the source code to such software or make available any derivative works of the open source code on unfavorable terms or at no cost. The terms of various open source licenses have not been interpreted by courts, and there is a risk that such licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our use of the open source software. If it were determined that our use was not in compliance with a particular license, we may be required to release our proprietary source code, pay damages for breach of contract, re-engineer our games, discontinue distribution in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis or take other remedial action that may divert resources away from our game development efforts, any of which could harm our business.
We depend on servers and Internet bandwidth to operate our games and digital services with online features. If we were to lose server capacity or lack sufficient Internet bandwidth for any reason, our business could suffer.
We rely on data servers, including those owned or controlled by third parties, to enable our customers to download our games and other downloadable content, and to operate our online games and other products with online functionality. Events such as limited hardware failure, any broad-based catastrophic server malfunction, a significant intrusion by hackers that circumvents security measures, or a failure of disaster recovery services would likely interrupt the functionality of our games with online services and could result in a loss of sales for games and related services. An extended interruption of service could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
We expect a significant portion of our games to be on-line enabled in the future, and therefore we must project our future server needs and make advance purchases of servers or server capacity to accommodate expected business demands. If we underestimate the amount of server capacity our business requires or if our business were to grow more quickly than expected or if internet bandwidth becomes limited as a result of COVID-19 related increased worldwide demand, our consumers may experience service problems, such as slow or interrupted gaming access. Insufficient server capacity may result in decreased sales, a loss of our consumer base and adverse consequences to our reputation. Conversely, if we overestimate the amount of server capacity required by our business, we may incur additional operating costs.
Because of the potential importance of our online business to our revenues and results of operations, our ability to access adequate Internet bandwidth and online computational resources to support our business is critical. If the price of such resources increases, we may not be able to increase our prices or subscriber levels to compensate for such costs, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, and operating results.
We submit our products for rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board ("ESRB") in the United States and other voluntary or government ratings organizations in foreign countries. Failure to obtain a target rating for certain of our products could negatively affect our ability to distribute and sell those games, as could the re-rating of a game for any reason.
We voluntarily submit our game products to the ESRB, a U.S.-based non-profit and independent ratings organization. The ESRB system provides consumers with information about game content using a rating symbol that generally suggests the appropriate player age group and specific content descriptors, such as graphic violence, profanity or sexually explicit material. The ESRB may impose significant penalties on game publishers for violations of its rules related to rating or marketing games, including revocation of a rating or monetary fines. Other countries require voluntary or government backed ratings as prerequisites for product sales. In some instances, we may have to modify our products in order to market them under the target rating, which could delay or disrupt the release of our products. In addition, some of our titles may not be sold at all or without extensive edits in certain countries, such as Germany.
In the U.S., if the ESRB rates a game as "AO" (age 18 and older), platform licensors may not certify the game and retailers may refuse to sell it. In addition, some consumers have reacted to re-ratings or controversial game content by refusing to purchase such games, demanding refunds for games that they had already purchased, and refraining from buying other games published by us. Many of our Rockstar titles and certain of our 2K titles have been rated "M" (age 17 and older) by the ESRB. If we are unable to obtain "M" ratings and instead receive "AO" ratings on future versions of those or similar titles as a result of changes in the ESRB's ratings standards or for other reasons, including the adoption of legislation in this area, our business and prospects could be negatively affected. If any of our games are re-rated by the ESRB or other foreign based ratings organizations, we could be exposed to litigation, administrative fines and penalties and other potential liabilities, and our operating results and financial condition could be significantly affected.
We have implemented processes to comply with the requirements of the ESRB and other ratings organizations and properly display the designated rating symbols and content descriptions. Nonetheless, these processes are subject to human error, circumvention, overriding and reasonable resource constraints. If a video game we published were found to contain undisclosed pertinent content, the ESRB could re-rate a game, retailers could refuse to sell it and demand that we accept the return of any unsold copies or returns from customers, and consumers could refuse to buy it or demand that we refund their money. This could have a material negative effect on our operating results and financial condition. In addition, we may be exposed to litigation, administrative fines, and penalties, and our reputation could be harmed, which could affect sales of other video games we sell. If any of these consequences were to occur, our business and financial performance could be significantly harmed.
Content policies adopted by retailers, consumer opposition and litigation could negatively affect sales of our products.
Retailers, including digital storefronts and platform partners, may decline to sell interactive entertainment software containing what they judge to be graphic violence or sexually explicit material or other content that they deem inappropriate for their businesses. If retailers decline to sell our products based upon their opinion that they contain objectionable themes, graphic
violence or sexually explicit material or other generally objectionable content, or if any of our previously "M" rated series products are rated "AO," we might be required to significantly change or discontinue particular titles or series, which in the case of our best-selling Grand Theft Auto titles could seriously affect our business. Consumer advocacy groups have opposed sales of interactive entertainment software containing objectionable themes, violence or sexual material or other objectionable content by pressing for legislation in these areas and by engaging in public demonstrations and media campaigns. Additionally, although lawsuits seeking damages for injuries allegedly suffered by third parties as a result of video games have generally been unsuccessful in the courts, claims of this kind have been asserted against us from time to time and may be asserted and be successful in the future. An increase in the number of lawsuits filed by the families of victims of violence may trigger supplemental governmental scrutiny, damage our reputation, and negatively affect the sale of our products. Further, in 2019, the World Health Organization included "gaming disorder" in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), leading some to consider legislation and policies aimed at addressing this issue. In addition, public dialogue concerning interactive entertainment may have an adverse impact on our reputation and our customers' willingness to purchase our products.
Our results of operations or reputation may be harmed as a result of offensive consumer-created content.
We are subject to risks associated with the collaborative online features in our games which allow consumers to post narrative comments, in real time, that are visible to other consumers. From time to time, objectionable and offensive consumer content may be posted to a gaming or other site with online chat features or game forums which allow consumers to post comments. We may be subject to lawsuits, governmental regulation or restrictions, and consumer backlash (including decreased sales and harmed reputation), as a result of consumers posting offensive content. We may also be subject to consumer backlash from comments made in response to postings we make on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
We are subject to risks and uncertainties of international trade, including fluctuations in the values of local foreign currencies against the dollar.
Sales in international markets, primarily in Europe, have accounted for a significant portion of our net revenue. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, 42.5% of our net revenue was earned outside the U.S. We are continuing to execute on our growth initiatives in Asia, where our strategy is to broaden the distribution of our existing products and expand our online gaming presence, especially in China and South Korea. We are subject to risks inherent in foreign trade, including increased credit risks, tariffs, and duties, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, shipping delays, and international political, regulatory and economic developments, all of which can have a significant influence on our operating results. Many of our international sales are made in local currencies, which could fluctuate against the dollar. While we may use forward exchange contracts to a limited extent to seek to mitigate foreign currency risk, our operating results could be adversely affected by unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations.
We face risks from our international operations.
We are subject to certain risks because of our international operations, particularly as we continue to grow our business and presence in Asia, Latin America, and other parts of the world. Changes to and compliance with a variety of foreign laws and regulations may increase our cost of doing business and our inability or failure to obtain required approvals could harm our international and domestic sales. Trade legislation in either the U.S. or other countries, such as a change in the current tariff structures, import/export compliance laws, or other trade laws or policies, could adversely affect our ability to sell or to distribute in international markets. Additionally, cultural differences may affect consumer preferences and as a result, some of our “hit” products may not sell as well as they do in the U.S. Cultural differences may also require us to modify the content of our products or the method by which we charge our customers. If we do not correctly assess consumer preferences in the countries in which we sell our products, or respond to other risks related to our international operations, it could negatively impact our business.
The current U.S. administration has voiced concerns about imports from countries potentially engaging in unfair trade practices, increased tariffs on certain goods imported into the U.S. from those countries, including China and other countries to which we sell products, and raised the possibility of imposing significant additional tariff increases. The announcement of tariffs and proposed tariffs on imported products by the U.S. has triggered actions from certain foreign governments, including China, and may trigger additional actions by those and other foreign governments that could have a negative impact on our business. Further, the enforcement of regulations relating to mobile and other games with an online element in China remains uncertain, and further changes, either in the regulation or their enforcement could have a negative impact on our business in China. In order to operate in China, all games must have regulatory approval. A decision by the Chinese government to revoke its approval for any of our games or to decline to approve any products we desire to sell in China in the future could have a negative impact on our business.
We incur additional legal compliance costs associated with our international operations and could become subject to legal penalties in foreign countries if we do not comply with local laws and regulations which may be substantially different from those in the U.S. In many foreign countries, particularly in those with developing economies, it may be common to engage in business practices that are prohibited by U.S. laws and regulations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and by local laws, such as laws prohibiting corrupt payments to government officials. Although we implement policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with these laws, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, contractors and agents, as well as those companies to which we outsource certain of our business operations, including those based in or from countries where practices which violate such laws may be customary, will not take actions in violation of our policies. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
On January 31, 2020, the U.K. left the E.U. (“Brexit”) and entered a transition period expected to last until the end of calendar 2020 during which the U.K. will continue to be subject to E.U. rules and regulations while it negotiates the future terms of its relationship with the E.U. A substantial amount of uncertainty remains regarding the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. We continue to assess and monitor the risks our business is likely to face as a result of Brexit. We are preparing to mitigate those risks with operational and commercial changes to the extent possible and warranted. However, the legal and regulatory landscape remains uncertain, and we have no assurance that such preparations will enable us to avoid a material adverse impact on our business from Brexit. For example, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the U.K. determines which E.U. laws to replace and replicate. If there are changes to U.K. immigration policy as a result of Brexit, this could affect our employees and their ability to move freely between the E.U. member states for work related matters.
The effects of the U.K.'s future trade agreements with the E.U. or other nations could potentially disrupt the markets we serve and may cause us to lose customers, distributors, and employees. Access to the single E.U. market and benefits from the E.U. global trade deals depend on the U.K.'s future trade agreements with the E.U., and the terms of such agreements could have a detrimental impact on our U.K. growth. Such a decline could also make our doing business in Europe more difficult, which could negatively affect sales to consumers of our products. Without access to the single E.U. market, it may be more challenging and costly to distribute our products in Europe.
If we are unable to protect the intellectual property relating to our software, the commercial value of our products will be adversely affected and our competitive position could be harmed.
We develop proprietary software and have obtained the rights to publish and distribute software developed by third parties. We attempt to protect our software and production techniques under patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws as well as through contractual restrictions on disclosure, copying and distribution. Nonetheless, our software is susceptible to piracy and unauthorized copying, and third parties may potentially exploit or misappropriate our intellectual property and proprietary information, causing significant reputational damage. Unauthorized third parties, for example, may be able to copy or to reverse engineer our software to obtain and use programming or production techniques that we regard as proprietary. Well organized piracy operations have also proliferated in recent years, resulting in the ability to download pirated copies of our software over the Internet. Although we attempt to incorporate protective measures into our software, piracy of our products could negatively affect our future profitability. In addition, "cheating" programs or other unauthorized software tools and modifications that enable consumers to cheat in games harm the experience of players who play fairly and could negatively impact the volume of microtransactions or purchases of downloadable content. Also, vulnerabilities in the design of our applications and of the platforms upon which they run could be discovered after their release. This may lead to lost revenues from paying consumers or increased cost of developing technological measures to respond to these, either of which could negatively affect our business.
If we infringe on or are alleged to infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties, our business could be adversely affected.
As our industry grows, we may be subject to an increasing amount of litigation that is common in the software industry based on allegations of infringement or other alleged violations of patent, copyright, or trademarks. In addition, we believe that interactive entertainment software will increasingly become the subject of claims that such software infringes on the intellectual property rights of others with both the growth of online functionality and advances in technology, game content and software graphics as games become more realistic. From time to time, we receive notices from third parties or are named in lawsuits by third parties alleging infringement of their proprietary rights. Although we believe that our software and technologies and the software and technologies of third-party developers and publishers with whom we have contractual relations do not and will not infringe or violate proprietary rights of others, it is possible that infringement of proprietary rights of others may occur. Any claims of infringement, with or without merit, could be time consuming, costly and difficult to defend. Moreover, intellectual property litigation or claims could require us to discontinue the distribution of products, obtain a license or redesign our products, which could result in additional substantial costs and material delays.
Our software is susceptible to errors, which can harm our financial results and reputation.
The technological advancements of new hardware platforms result in the development of more complex software products. As software products become more complex, the risk of undetected errors in new products increases. We may need to produce and distribute patches in order to repair such errors, which could be costly and may distract our developers from working on new products. If, despite testing, errors are found in new products or releases after shipments have been made, we may have to consider suspending distribution of defective products or offering refunds, and we could experience a loss of or delay in timely market acceptance, product returns, loss of revenue, increases in costs relating to the repair of such errors and damage to our reputation.
If we acquire or invest in other businesses, intellectual properties or other assets, we may be unable to integrate them with our business, our financial performance may be impaired and/or we may not realize the anticipated financial and strategic goals for such transactions.
If appropriate opportunities present themselves, we may acquire or make investments in businesses, intellectual properties and other assets that we believe are strategic. We may not be able to identify, negotiate or finance any future acquisition or investment successfully. Even if we do succeed in acquiring or investing in a business, intellectual property or other asset, such acquisitions and investments involve a number of risks, including:
•retaining key employees and maintaining the key business and customer relationships of the businesses we acquire;
•cultural challenges associated with integrating employees from an acquired company or business into our organization;
•the possibility that the combined company would not achieve the expected benefits, including any anticipated operating and product synergies, of the acquisition as quickly as anticipated or that the costs of, or operational difficulties arising from, an acquisition would be greater than anticipated;
•significant acquisition-related accounting adjustments, particularly relating to an acquired company's deferred revenue, that may cause reported revenue and profits of the combined company to be lower than the sum of their stand-alone revenue and profits;
•significant accounting charges resulting from the completion and integration of a sizable acquisition and increased capital expenditures, including potential impairment charges incurred to write down the carrying amount of intangible assets generated as a result of an acquisition;
•the possibility that significant acquisitions, when not managed cautiously, may result in the over-extension of our existing operating infrastructures, internal controls and information technology systems;
•the possibility that we will not discover important facts during due diligence that could have a material adverse effect on the value of the businesses we acquire, including the possibility that a change of control of a company we acquire triggers a termination of contractual or intellectual property rights important to the operation of its business;
•the need to integrate an acquired company's accounting, management information, human resource and other administrative systems to permit effective management and timely reporting, and the need to implement or remediate controls, procedures and policies appropriate for a public company in an acquired company that, prior to the acquisition, lacked these controls, procedures and policies;
•litigation or other claims in connection with, or inheritance of claims or litigation risks as a result of, an acquisition, including claims from terminated employees, customers or other third parties; and
•to the extent that we engage in strategic transactions outside of the U.S., we face additional risks, including risks related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages, currency risks and the particular economic, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.
Future acquisitions and investments could also involve the issuance of our equity and equity-linked securities (potentially diluting our existing stockholders), the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses, write-offs of goodwill, intangibles, or acquired in-process technology, or other increased cash and non-cash expenses such as stock-based compensation. Any of the foregoing factors could harm our financial condition or prevent us from achieving improvements in our financial condition and operating performance that could have otherwise been achieved by us on a stand-alone basis. Our stockholders may not have the opportunity to review, vote on or evaluate future acquisitions or investments.
Our ability to acquire and maintain licenses to intellectual property, especially for sports titles, affects our revenue and profitability. Competition for these licenses may make them more expensive and increase our costs.
Certain of our products are based on or incorporate intellectual property owned by others. For example, certain of our 2K products include rights licensed from major sports leagues and players' associations. Similarly, some of our other titles are based on licenses of popular entertainment products. Competition for these licenses is intense. If we are unable to maintain and renew these licenses or obtain additional licenses on reasonable economic terms or with significant commercial value, our revenue and profitability could decline significantly. Competition for these licenses may also increase the advances, guarantees and royalties that we must pay to the licensor, which could significantly increase our costs and adversely affect our profitability. In addition, on certain intellectual property licenses, we are subject to guaranteed minimum payments, royalties or standards of performance and may not be able to terminate these agreements prior to their stated expiration. If such licensed products do not generate revenues in excess of such minimum guarantees, our profitability will be adversely affected.
We are subject to contractual covenants which place certain limitations on how we manage our business.
Our credit agreement (the "Credit Agreement") may limit our ability to take various actions, including incurring additional debt, paying dividends, repurchasing shares, and acquiring or disposing of assets or businesses. In addition, we have granted a security interest in connection with certain compensatory arrangements which limits our ability to incur senior debt in excess of certain amounts. Accordingly, we may be restricted from taking actions that management believes would be desirable and in the best interests of us and our stockholders. Our Credit Agreement also requires us to satisfy specified financial covenants and comply with other affirmative and negative covenants. A breach of any of the covenants contained in our Credit Agreement could result in an event of default, which would allow our lenders to pursue various remedies, including accelerating the repayment of any outstanding indebtedness under our Credit Agreement.
Our business and products are subject to potential legislation. The adoption of such proposed legislation could limit the retail market for our products.
Several proposals have been made for federal legislation to regulate our industry. Such proposals seek to prohibit the sale of products containing certain content included in some of our games. If any such proposals are enacted into law, it may limit the potential market for some of our games in the U.S., and adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. Other countries, such as Germany, have adopted laws regulating content both in packaged games and those transmitted over the Internet that are stricter than current U.S. laws. In the U.S., proposals have also been made by numerous state legislators to regulate and prohibit the sale of interactive entertainment software products containing certain types of violent or sexual content to under 17 or 18 audiences, such as the State of California's "ultraviolent video games law" that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. While such legislation to date has been enjoined by industry and retail groups or been found unconstitutional, the adoption into law of such legislation in federal and/or in state jurisdictions in which we do significant business could severely limit the retail market for some of our games.
Change in government regulations relating to the Internet could have a negative impact on our business.
We rely on our consumers' access to significant levels of Internet bandwidth for the sale and digital delivery of our content and the functionality of our games with online features. Changes in laws or regulations that adversely affect the growth, popularity or use of the Internet, including laws affecting "net neutrality" or measures enacted in certain jurisdictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, could decrease the demand for our products and services or increase our cost of doing business. Although certain jurisdictions have implemented laws and regulations intended to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against particular types of legal traffic on their networks, other jurisdictions may lack such laws and regulations or repeal existing laws or regulations. For example, on December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality regulations in the U.S. Given uncertainty around these rules, including changing interpretations, amendments, or repeal, coupled with the potentially significant political and economic power of local Internet service providers and the relatively significant level of Internet bandwidth access our products and services require, we could experience discriminatory or anti-competitive practices that could impede our growth, cause us to incur additional expenses, or otherwise negatively affect our business.
We may be required to record a significant charge to earnings if our goodwill becomes impaired.
We are required under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles to review our goodwill for impairment at least annually or more frequently when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances, indicating a requirement to reevaluate whether our goodwill continues to be recoverable, include a significant decline in stock price and market capitalization, slower growth rates in our industry or other materially adverse events. We may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our financial
statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill is determined. This may adversely affect our operating results.
Our reported financial results could be adversely affected by the application of existing or future accounting standards to our business as it evolves.
Our financial results are reported under the accounting policies promulgated by the SEC and national accounting standards bodies and the methods, estimates, and judgments that we use in applying our accounting policies. For example, standards regarding revenue recognition have and could further significantly affect the way we account for revenue related to our products and services. We expect that an increasing number of our games will be supported with material post-release activities, such as content updates and online-enabled features, and we could therefore be required to recognize more of the related revenues for those games over a period of time rather than at the time of sale. Further, as we increase our downloadable content and add new features to our online services, user playing patterns can affect our estimate of the service period, and we could be required to recognize revenues, and defer related costs, over a shorter or longer period of time than we initially allocated. As we enhance, expand and diversify our business and product offerings, the application of existing or future financial accounting standards, particularly those relating to the way we account for revenue, could have a significant adverse effect on our reported results although not necessarily on our cash flows.
We are subject to risks related to corporate and social responsibility and reputation.
Many factors influence our reputation including the perception held by our customers, business partners and other key stakeholders. Our business faces increasing scrutiny related to environmental, social and governance activities. We risk damage to our reputation if we fail to act responsibly in a number of areas, such as diversity and inclusion, environmental stewardship, supply chain management, climate change, workplace conduct, human rights and philanthropy. Any harm to our reputation could impact employee engagement and retention and the willingness of customers and our partners to do business with us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Climate change may have a long-term impact on our business.
Climate change could result in an increase in the frequency or severity of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, or significant power outages and other catastrophic events. Such events may adversely impact critical infrastructure, have the potential to disrupt our business, our third-party suppliers, or the business of our customers, and may cause us to experience higher attrition, losses and additional costs to maintain or resume operations.
Risks relating to our common stock
For purposes of this section "Risks relating to our common stock," references to "the Company," "we," "our," and "us" refer only to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and not to its subsidiaries.
Additional issuances or sales of equity securities by us would dilute the ownership of our existing stockholders and could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We may issue equity or equity-based securities in the future to facilitate acquisitions or strategic transactions, to adjust our ratio of debt to equity, to fund expansion of our operations or for other purposes. To the extent we issue additional equity securities, the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders would be reduced. The sale of substantial amounts of our common stock could adversely affect its price. The sale or the availability for sale of a large number of shares of our common stock in the public market could cause the price of our common stock to decline.
There is no guarantee that we will do additional share repurchases in the future.
The share repurchase program authorized by the Board of Directors, which authorized the repurchase of up to 14.2 million shares of our common stock and had 3.8 million shares available for repurchase as of the date of this filing, does not obligate us to make any purchases at any specific time or situation. Discontinuing repurchases could adversely affect the price of our common stock. The program may be suspended or discontinued at any time for any reason.
Our stock price has been volatile and may continue to fluctuate significantly.
The market price of our common stock historically has been, and we expect will continue to be, subject to significant fluctuations. These fluctuations may be due to factors specific to us including those discussed in the risk factors in this section as well as others not currently known to us or that we currently do not believe are material, to changes in securities analysts' earnings estimates or ratings, to our results or future financial guidance falling below our expectations and analysts' and investors' expectations, to factors affecting the computer, software, entertainment, media or electronics industries, or to national or international economic conditions, such as the impact of COVID-19.
Stock markets, in general, have experienced over the years, and continue to experience significant price and volume fluctuations that have affected market prices for companies such as ours and that may be unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of the affected companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations may adversely affect the price of our stock, regardless of our operating performance.
Delaware law, our charter documents, and provisions of our debt agreements may impede or discourage a takeover, which could cause the market price of our shares to decline.
We are a Delaware corporation, and the anti-takeover provisions of Delaware law impose various impediments to the ability of a third party to acquire control of us, even if a change in control would be beneficial to our existing stockholders. Our Board of Directors has the power, without stockholder approval, to adopt a stockholder rights plan and/or to designate the terms of one or more series of preferred stock and issue shares of preferred stock. The ability of our Board of Directors to create and issue a new series of preferred stock and certain provisions of Delaware law, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could impede a merger, takeover or other business combination involving us or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer for our common stock, which, under certain circumstances, could reduce the market price of our common stock and the value of any outstanding notes.
Our ability to use net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards to reduce future years' taxes could be substantially limited under Internal Revenue Code Sections 382 and 383 if we experience an ownership change as defined in the Internal Revenue Code Section 382.
Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code contains rules that limit the ability of a company to use its net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards in years after an ownership change, which is generally defined as any change in ownership of more than 50% of its stock over a three-year testing period. These rules generally operate by focusing on ownership changes among stockholders owning directly or indirectly 5% or more of the stock of a company and/or any change in ownership arising from a new issuance of stock by the company. If, as a result of future transactions involving our common stock, including purchases or sales of stock by 5% stockholders, we undergo cumulative ownership changes which exceed 50% over the testing period, our ability to use our net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards would be subject to additional limitations under Sections 382 and 383.
Generally, if an ownership change occurs, the annual taxable income limitation on the use of net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards is equal to the product of the applicable long-term tax-exempt rate and the value of the company's stock immediately before the ownership change. Depending on the resulting limitation, a portion of our net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards could expire before we would be able to use them.
Our inability to fully utilize any net operating losses or tax credit carryforwards to reduce tax liability in the future could have a material and negative affect on our future financial position and results of operations.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Our principal executive offices are located at 110 West 44th Street (also known as 1133 Avenue of the Americas), New York, New York, in approximately 76,000 square feet of space under a lease expiring in December 2032.
We also lease approximately 64,000 square feet of space under a lease expiring in March 2023 at 622 Broadway, New York, New York.
Take-Two Interactive Software Europe Ltd, our wholly-owned subsidiary, leases approximately 39,500 square feet of office space in London, United Kingdom, which expires in December 2034, and approximately 12,500 square feet of office space in Windsor, United Kingdom, which expires in January 2022. Rockstar North, our wholly-owned subsidiary, leases 72,000 square feet of office space in Edinburgh, Scotland, which expires in June 2024.
2K corporate offices and two development studios occupy approximately 123,000 square feet of leased office space in Novato, California. The lease expires in June 2023 with respect to approximately 59,000 square feet and July 2025 with respect to approximately 64,000 square feet.
In addition, our other subsidiaries lease office space in Sydney, Australia; Oakville, Montreal, and Parksville Canada; Chengdu and Shanghai, China; Brno, Czech Republic; Paris, France; Munich, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Bangalore, India; Dublin, Ireland; Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico, Breda, Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore; Seoul, South Korea; Madrid and Barcelona, Spain; Luzerne, Switzerland; Taipei, Taiwan; Brighton, London, Lincoln, Leeds, and Oxford,
United Kingdom; and, in the United States, Carlsbad, Foothill Ranch, Petaluma, Moorpark, and San Mateo California; Sparks, Maryland; Andover and Westwood, Massachusetts; Las Vegas, Nevada; Bethpage and New York, New York; and Kirkland, Seattle and Vancouver, Washington.
For information regarding our lease commitments, see Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are, or may become, subject to demands and claims (including intellectual property and employment related claims) and are involved in routine litigation in the ordinary course of business which we do not believe to be material to our business or financial statements. We have appropriately accrued amounts related to certain of these claims and legal and other proceedings. While it is reasonably possible that a loss may be incurred in excess of the amounts accrued in our financial statements, we believe that such losses, unless otherwise disclosed, would not be material.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information and Holders
Our common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "TTWO." The number of record holders of our common stock was 61 as of May 7, 2020.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends. We currently anticipate that all future earnings will be retained to finance the growth of our business and we do not expect to declare or pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. The payment of dividends in the future is within the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon future earnings, capital requirements and other relevant factors. Our Credit Agreement requires us to meet certain incurrence tests prior to paying a dividend. See "Liquidity and Capital Resources" under Item 7 for additional information on our Credit Agreement.
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
The table setting forth this information is included in Part III—Item 12, Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
Stock Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed "filed" for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of the Company under the Exchange Act or the Securities Act of 1933.
The following line graph compares, from March 31, 2015 through March 31, 2020, the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return on the stocks comprising the NASDAQ Composite Index and the stocks comprising a peer group index consisting of Activision Blizzard, Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on March 31, 2015 in our common stock and in each of the following indices and assumes reinvestment of all cash dividends, if any, paid on such securities. We have not paid any cash dividends and, therefore, our cumulative total return calculation is based solely upon stock price appreciation and not upon reinvestment of cash dividends. Historical stock price is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
Comparison of 5 Year Cumulative Total Return*
Among Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the NASDAQ Composite Index and a Peer Group
* $100 invested on March 31, 2015 in stock or index - including reinvestment of dividends.
| ||March 31,|
|Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.||$||100.00 || ||$||147.96 || ||$||232.80 || ||$||384.05 || ||$||370.66 || ||$||465.87 || |
|NASDAQ Composite Index||100.00 || ||100.55 || ||123.56 || ||149.21 || ||165.07 || ||166.22 || |
|Peer Group||100.00 || ||130.29 || ||185.60 || ||251.95 || ||188.13 || ||217.73 || |
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Share Repurchase Program—Our Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 14,217,683 shares of our common stock. Under this program, we may purchase shares from time to time through a variety of methods, including in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable securities laws. Repurchases are subject to the availability of stock, prevailing market conditions, the trading price of the stock, our financial performance and other conditions. The program does not require us to repurchase shares and may be suspended or discontinued at any time for any reason.
During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 we repurchased 0, 3,715,642, and 1,512,557 shares of our common stock in the open market, respectively, for $0.0 million, $362.4 million, and $154.8 million, respectively, including commissions, as part of the program. As of March 31, 2020, we had repurchased a total of 10,399,529 shares of our common stock under the program, and 3,818,154 shares of our common stock remained available for repurchase under the share repurchase program. All of the repurchased shares are classified as Treasury stock in our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Summary Table—The table below details the share repurchases that were made by us during the three months ended March 31, 2020:
|Total number of shares|
purchased as part of publicly
announced plans or programs
|Maximum number of shares that|
may yet be purchased under the
|January 1 - 31, 2020||— || ||— || ||— || ||3,818 || |
|February 1 - 28, 2020||— || ||$||— || ||— || ||3,818 || |
|March 1 - 31, 2020||— || ||$||— || ||— || ||3,818 || |
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following Selected Financial Data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes, and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. (in thousands, except per share data)
| ||Fiscal Year Ended March 31,|
|STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA:||2020|
|Net revenue||$||3,088,970 || ||$||2,668,394 || ||$||1,792,892 || ||$||1,779,748 || ||$||1,413,698 || |
|Gross profit||1,546,520 || ||1,144,750 || ||894,581 || ||756,789 || ||599,825 || |
|Net income (loss)||$||404,459 || ||$||333,837 || ||$||173,533 || ||$||67,303 || ||$||(8,302)|| |
|Earnings per share:|| || || || || |
|Basic:|| || || || || |
|Earnings (loss) per share:||$||3.58 || ||$||2.95 || ||$||1.57 || ||$||0.73 || ||$||(0.10)|| |
|Diluted:|| || || || || |
|Earnings (loss) per share:||$||3.54 || ||$||2.90 || ||$||1.54 || ||$||0.72 || ||$||(0.10)|| |
| ||As of March 31,|
|BALANCE SHEET DATA:||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016|
|Total assets||$||4,948,832 || ||$||4,243,065 || ||$||3,737,841 || ||$||3,149,154 || ||$||2,590,277 || |
|Long-term debt||— || ||— || ||8,068 || ||251,929 || ||497,935 || |
(1) During fiscal 2019, we adopted Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606)," using a modified retrospective method. Therefore, prior periods were not restated.
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
We are a leading developer, publisher, and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. We develop and publish products principally through Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, and Social Point. Our products are currently designed for console gaming systems, such as Sony's PS4, Microsoft's Xbox One, and Nintendo's Switch, and PC, including smartphones and tablets. We deliver our products through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services.
We endeavor to be the most creative, innovative and efficient company in our industry. Our core strategy is to capitalize on the popularity of video games by developing and publishing high-quality interactive entertainment experiences across a range of genres. We focus on building compelling entertainment franchises by publishing a select number of titles for which we can create sequels and incremental revenue opportunities through virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. Most of our intellectual property is internally owned and developed, which we believe best positions us financially and competitively. We have established a portfolio of proprietary software content for the major hardware platforms in a wide range of genres, including action, adventure, family/casual, racing, role-playing, shooter, sports and strategy, which we distribute worldwide. We believe that our commitment to creativity and innovation is a distinguishing strength, enabling us to differentiate our products in the marketplace by combining advanced technology with compelling storylines and characters that provide unique gameplay experiences for consumers. We have created, acquired or licensed a group of highly recognizable brands to match the broad consumer demographics that we serve, ranging from adults to children and game enthusiasts to casual gamers. Another cornerstone of our strategy is to support the success of our products in the marketplace through innovative marketing programs and global distribution on platforms and through channels that are relevant to our target audience.
Our revenue is primarily derived from the sale of internally developed software titles and software titles developed by third parties. Operating margins are dependent in part upon our ability to release new, commercially successful software products and to manage effectively their development and marketing costs. We have internal development studios located in Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Software titles published by our Rockstar Games label are primarily internally developed. We expect Rockstar Games, our wholly-owned publisher of the Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, Midnight Club, Red Dead Redemption, and other popular franchises, to continue to be a leader in the action/adventure product category and to create groundbreaking entertainment. We believe that Rockstar Games has established a uniquely original, popular cultural phenomenon with its Grand Theft Auto series, which is the interactive entertainment industry's most iconic and critically acclaimed brand and has sold-in over 320 million units. The latest installment, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold-in over 125 million units worldwide and includes access to Grand Theft Auto Online. On October 26, 2018, Rockstar Games launched Red Dead Redemption 2, which has been a critical and commercial success that set numerous entertainment industry records. To date, Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold-in more than 30 million units worldwide. Rockstar Games is also well known for developing brands in other genres, including the L.A. Noire, Bully and Manhunt franchises. Rockstar Games continues to expand on our established franchises by developing sequels, offering downloadable episodes, content, and virtual currency.
Our 2K label has published a variety of popular entertainment properties across all key platforms and across a range of genres including shooter, action, role-playing, strategy, sports and family/casual entertainment. We expect 2K to continue to develop new, successful franchises in the future. 2K's internally owned and developed franchises include the critically acclaimed, multi-million unit selling BioShock, Mafia, Sid Meier's Civilization, and XCOM series. 2K also publishes successful externally developed franchises, such as Borderlands. 2K's realistic sports simulation titles include our flagship NBA 2K series, which continues to be the top-ranked NBA basketball video game, the WWE 2K professional wrestling series, and PGA Tour 2K. In March 2020, 2K announced a multi-year partnership with the National Football League encompassing multiple future video games that will be non-simulation football game experiences and will launch starting in fiscal year 2022.
Our Private Division label is dedicated to bringing titles from top independent developers to market and is the publisher and owner of Kerbal Space Program. During the fiscal year 2020, Private Division released The Outer Worlds and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, based on new IP from renowned industry creative talent. Additionally, Private Division, has announced that Disintegration is planned for release in fiscal year 2021 and Kerbal Space Program 2 in fiscal year 2022.
Social Point develops and publishes popular free-to-play mobile games that deliver high quality, deeply-engaging entertainment experiences, including its two most successful games, Dragon City and Monster Legends. In addition, Social Point has a robust development pipeline with a number of exciting games planned for launch in the coming years.
We are continuing to execute on our growth initiatives in Asia, where our strategy is to broaden the distribution of our existing products and expand our online gaming presence, especially in China and South Korea. 2K has secured a multi-year license from the NBA to develop an online version of the NBA simulation game in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. NBA 2K Online, our free-to-play NBA simulation game, which was co-developed by 2K and Tencent, is the top online PC sports game in China with over 49 million registered users. We have released two iterations of NBA 2K Online and continue to enhance the title with new features.
In February 2017, we expanded our relationship with the NBA through the creation of the NBA 2K League. Launched in May 2018, this groundbreaking competitive gaming league is jointly owned by us and the NBA and consists of teams operated by actual NBA franchises. The NBA 2K League follows a professional sports league format: head-to-head competition throughout a regular season followed by a bracketed playoff system and a finals match-up that was held in August in each of the NBA 2K League's first two seasons.
Trends and Factors Affecting our Business
Product Release Schedule. Our financial results are affected by the timing of our product releases and the commercial success of those titles. Our Grand Theft Auto products in particular have historically accounted for a significant portion of our revenue. Sales of Grand Theft Auto products generated 23.0% of our net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. The timing of our Grand Theft Auto product releases may affect our financial performance on a quarterly and annual basis.
Economic Environment and Retailer Performance. We continue to monitor economic conditions, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that may unfavorably affect our businesses, such as deteriorating consumer demand, delays in development, pricing pressure on our products, credit quality of our receivables, and foreign currency exchange rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected and may continue to affect our business operations, including our employees, customers, partners, and communities, and there is substantial uncertainty in the nature and degree of its continued effects over time. In the final quarter of fiscal year 2020, we noted a positive impact to our results that we believe was partly due to increased consumer engagement with our products because of COVID-19 related business closures and movement restrictions, such as "shelter in place" and "lockdown" orders, being implemented around the world, as well as the online accessibility and social nature of our products. However, we cannot be certain as to the duration of these effects and the potential offsetting impacts of deteriorating economic conditions and decreased consumer spending generally. We have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on our business, such as our transition, based on our concern for the health and
safety of our teams, to working from home for the vast majority of our teams, which to date has resulted in minimal disruption. However, these efforts may not be effective, and a protracted economic downturn may limit the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts. Any of these considerations described above could cause or contribute to the risks described, above, in Item 1A of this Form 10-K and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, or stock price. Therefore, the effects of COVID-19 will not be fully reflected in our financial results until future periods, and, at this time, we are not able to predict its ultimate impact on our business.
Additionally, our business is dependent upon a limited number of customers that account for a significant portion of our revenue. Our five largest customers accounted for 71.5%, 70.1% and 70.7% of net revenue during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. As of March 31, 2020 and 2019, five customers comprised 58.1% and 66.6% of our gross accounts receivable, respectively, with our significant customers (those that individually comprised more than 10% of our gross accounts receivable balance) accounting for 48.8% and 55.8% of such balance at March 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We had two customers who accounted for 29.4% and 19.4% of our gross accounts receivable as of March 31, 2020 and two customers who accounted for 40.1% and 15.7% of our gross accounts receivable as of March 31, 2019. We did not have any additional customers that exceeded 10% of our gross accounts receivable as of March 31, 2020 and 2019. The economic environment has affected our customers in the past, and may do so in the future, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bankruptcies or consolidations of our large retail customers could seriously hurt our business, due to uncollectible accounts receivables and the concentration of purchasing power among the remaining large retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to increased consolidation as larger, better capitalized competitors will be in a stronger position to withstand prolonged periods of economic downturn and sustain their business through the financial volatility. Certain of our large customers sell used copies of our games, which may negatively affect our business by reducing demand for new copies of our games. While the downloadable content that we now offer for certain of our titles may serve to reduce used game sales, we expect used game sales to continue to adversely affect our business.
Hardware Platforms. We derive most of our revenue from the sale of products made for video game consoles manufactured by third parties, such as Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, which comprised 74.7% of our net revenue by product platform for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. The success of our business is dependent upon the consumer acceptance of these platforms and the continued growth in the installed base of these platforms. When new hardware platforms are introduced, such as those slated for release in calendar 2020 by Sony and Microsoft, demand for interactive entertainment used on older platforms typically declines, which may negatively affect our business during the market transition to the new consoles. The new Sony and Microsoft consoles are expected to provide "backwards compatibility" (i.e. the ability to play games for the previous generation of consoles), which could mitigate the risk of such a decline. However, we cannot be certain how backwards compatibility will affect demand for our products. Further, COVID-19 or other events, may impact the timing of release and availability of these new consoles, which may also affect demand. We manage our product delivery on each current and future platform in a manner we believe to be most effective to maximize our revenue opportunities and achieve the desired return on our investments in product development. Accordingly, our strategy is to focus our development efforts on a select number of the highest quality titles for these platforms, while also expanding our offerings for other platforms such as tablets, smartphones, and online games.
Online Content and Digital Distribution. The interactive entertainment software industry is delivering a growing amount of content through digital online delivery methods. We provide a variety of online delivered products and offerings. Virtually all of our titles that are available through retailers as packaged goods products are also available through direct digital download (from websites we own and others owned by third parties) as well as a large selection of our catalog titles. In addition, we aim to drive ongoing engagement and incremental revenue from recurrent consumer spending on our titles through virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. We also publish an expanding variety of titles for tablets and smartphones, which are delivered to consumers through digital download. As disclosed in our "Results of Operations," below, net revenue from digital online channels comprised 77.0% of our net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. We expect online delivery of games and game offerings to continue to grow and to become the primary part of our business over the long-term.
We released the following key titles in fiscal year 2020:
|Title|| ||Publishing Label|| ||Internal or|
| ||Platform(s)|| ||Date Released|
|Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition||2K||External|| ||PS4, Xbox One, PC|| ||April 3, 2019|
|NBA 2K Mobile ||2K||Internal|| ||Android|| ||April 17, 2019|
|Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey||Private Division||External|| ||PC (digital only)|| ||August 27, 2019|
|NBA 2K20||2K||Internal|| ||PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, Android|| ||September 6, 2019|
|Borderlands 3||2K||Internal/External|| ||PS4, Xbox One, PC|| ||September 13, 2019|
|WWE 2K20||2K||Internal|| ||PS4, Xbox One, PC|| ||October 22, 2019|
|The Outer Worlds||Private Division||External||PS4, Xbox One, PC||October 25, 2019|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||Rockstar Games||Internal||PC||November 5, 2019|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||Rockstar Games||Internal||Google Stadia||November 19, 2019|
|NBA 2K20||2K||Internal||Google Stadia||November 19, 2019|
|Sid Meier's Civilization VI||2K||Internal||PS4, Xbox One||November 22, 2019|
|Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey||Private Division||External||PS4, Xbox One||December 6, 2019|
|Borderlands 3||2K||Internal/External||Google Stadia||December 17, 2019|
|Borderlands 3 (for Steam and other retailers)||2K||Internal/External||PC||March 13, 2020|
We have announced the following key titles to date (this list does not represent all titles currently in development):
|Title|| ||Publishing Label|| ||Internal or|
| ||Platform(s)|| ||Expected Release Date|
|XCOM: Chimera Squad||2K||Internal||PC||April 24, 2020|
|BioShock: The Collection||2K||Internal/External||Switch||May 29, 2020|
|Borderlands Legendary Collection ||2K||Internal/External||Switch||May 29, 2020|
|XCOM 2 Collection ||2K||External ||Switch||May 29, 2020|
|The Outer Worlds ||Private Division||External||Switch||June 5, 2020|
|Disintegration||Private Division||External||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 16, 2020|
|PGA Tour 2K21||2K||External||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia||August 21, 2020|
|NBA 2K21||2K||Internal||TBA||Fall 2020|
|Kerbal Space Program 2||Private Division||Internal||PS4, Xbox One, PC||Fall 2021|
Fiscal 2020 Financial Summary
Our Net revenue for fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was led by titles from a variety of our top franchises, primarily NBA 2K; Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online; Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, which released on PC in November 2019; Borderlands 3, which released in September 2019; and The Outer Worlds, which released in October 2019. Our Net revenue increased to $3,089.0 million, an increase of $420.6 million or 15.8% compared to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, our Net income was $404.5 million, as compared to Net income of $333.8 million in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was $3.54, as compared to Diluted income per share of $2.90 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. Our operating income for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 increased compared to the operating income for fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, due primarily to higher Gross profit, which was due primarily to higher revenue from the titles described above and lower internal royalties as a percentage of net revenue, partially offset by higher Operating expenses primarily due to higher Selling and marketing expense.
At March 31, 2020, we had $1,993.4 million of Cash and cash equivalents and Restricted cash and cash equivalents, compared to $1,392.0 million at March 31, 2019. The increase in Cash and cash equivalents and Restricted cash and cash equivalents from March 31, 2019 was due primarily to Net cash provided by operating activities from sales primarily from the previously mentioned titles, partially offset by investments in software development and licenses as well as royalty payments,
and to a lesser extent Net cash from investing activities. These net increases were offset by Net cash used in financing activities, which was primarily related to tax payments related to net share settlements of our restricted stock.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our most critical accounting policies, which are those that require significant judgment, include revenue recognition; price protection and allowances for returns; capitalization and recognition of software development costs and licenses; fair value estimates including valuation of goodwill, and intangible assets; valuation and recognition of stock-based compensation; and income taxes. See Note 1 - Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies in the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Recently Adopted and Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
See Note 1 - Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies.
We monitor Net Bookings as a key operating metric in evaluating the performance of our business. Net Bookings is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically during the period and includes licensing fees, merchandise, in-game advertising, strategy guides, and publisher incentives. Net Bookings were as follows:
|Fiscal Year Ended March 31,|
|Net Bookings||$||2,990,358 || ||$||2,928,724 || ||$||61,634 || ||2.1 ||%|
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, Net Bookings increased by $61.6 million as compared to the prior year period due primarily to Borderlands 3, which released in September 2019, Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, our NBA 2K franchise, The Outer Worlds which released in October 2019, Red Dead Online, Civilization VI, and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, which released in August 2019, partially offset by a decrease in Net Bookings from Red Dead Redemption 2, which released on PS4 and Xbox One in October 2018 and PC in November 2019.
Results of Operations
In this section, we discuss the results of our operations for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 compared to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. For the comparison of fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2018, refer to Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2019.
The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, our statements of operations, net revenue by geographic region, net revenue by platform, net revenue by distribution channel, and net revenue by content type:
| ||Fiscal Year Ended March 31,|
|Net revenue||$||3,088,970 || ||100.0 ||%||$||2,668,394 || ||100.0 ||%||$||1,792,892 || ||100.0 ||%|
|Cost of goods sold||1,542,450 || ||49.9 ||%||1,523,644 || ||57.1 ||%||898,311 || ||50.1 ||%|
|Gross profit||1,546,520 || ||50.1 ||%||1,144,750 || ||42.9 ||%||894,581 || ||49.9 ||%|
|Selling and marketing||458,424 || ||14.8 ||%||391,400 || ||14.7 ||%||256,092 || ||14.3 ||%|
|General and administrative||318,235 || ||10.3 ||%||281,234 || ||10.5 ||%||247,828 || ||13.8 ||%|
|Research and development||296,398 || ||9.6 ||%||230,170 || ||8.6 ||%||196,373 || ||11.0 ||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||48,113 || ||1.6 ||%||40,232 || ||1.5 ||%||43,969 || ||2.5 ||%|
|Business reorganization||83 || ||— ||%||(4,958)|| ||(0.2)||%||14,742 || ||0.8 ||%|
|Total operating expenses||1,121,253 || ||36.3 ||%||938,078 || ||35.2 ||%||759,004 || ||42.3 ||%|
|Income from operations||425,267 || ||13.8 ||%||206,672 || ||7.7 ||%||135,577 || ||7.6 ||%|
|Interest and other, net||38,505 || ||1.2 ||%||26,113 || ||1.0 ||%||1,048 || ||0.1 ||%|
|Loss on long-term investments||5,333 || ||0.2 ||%||— || ||— ||%||— || ||— ||%|
|Income before income taxes||458,439 || ||14.8 ||%||232,785 || ||8.7 ||%||136,625 || ||7.6 ||%|
|Provision for (benefit from) income taxes||53,980 || ||1.7 ||%||(101,052)|| ||(3.8)||%||(36,908)|| ||(2.1)||%|
|Net income||$||404,459 || ||13.1 ||%||$||333,837 || ||12.5 ||%||$||173,533 || ||9.7 ||%|
| ||Fiscal Year Ended March 31,|
|Net revenue by geographic region:|| || || || || || |
|United States||$||1,775,682 || ||57.5 ||%||$||1,426,906 || ||53.5 ||%||$||1,052,313 || ||58.7 ||%|
|International||1,313,288 || ||42.5 ||%||1,241,488 || ||46.5 ||%||740,579 || ||41.3 ||%|
|Net revenue by platform:|| || || || || || |
|Console||$||2,308,602 || ||74.7 ||%||$||2,233,861 || ||83.7 ||%||1,463,306 || ||81.6 ||%|
|PC and other||780,368 || ||25.3 ||%||434,533 || ||16.3 ||%||329,586 || ||18.4 ||%|
|Net revenue by distribution channel:|| || || || || || |
|Digital online||$||2,378,563 || ||77.0 ||%||$||1,681,609 || ||63.0 ||%||1,130,946 || ||63.1 ||%|
|Physical retail and other||710,407 || ||23.0 ||%||986,785 || ||37.0 ||%||661,946 || ||36.9 ||%|
|Net revenue by content:|
|Full game and other ||$||1,703,971 || ||55.2 ||%||$||1,597,478 || ||59.9 ||%||$||1,046,176 || ||58.4 ||%|
|Recurrent consumer spending||1,384,999 || ||44.8 ||%||1,070,916 || ||40.1 ||%||746,716 || ||41.6 ||%|
Fiscal Years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019
|(thousands of dollars)||2020||% of net revenue||2019||% of net revenue||Increase/(decrease)||% Increase/(decrease)|
|Net revenue||$||3,088,970 || ||100.0 ||%||$||2,668,394 || ||100.0 ||%||$||420,576 || ||15.8 ||%|
|Software development costs and royalties(1)||611,198 || ||19.8 ||%||449,198 || ||16.8 ||%||162,000 || ||36.1 ||%|
|Internal royalties||483,697 || ||15.7 ||%||610,804 || ||22.9 ||%||(127,107)|| ||(20.8)||%|
|Product costs||277,147 || ||9.0 ||%||322,148 || ||12.1 ||%||(45,001)|| ||(14.0)||%|
|Licenses||170,408 || ||5.5 ||%||141,494 || ||5.3 ||%||28,914 || ||20.4 ||%|
|Cost of goods sold||1,542,450 || ||49.9 ||%||1,523,644 || ||57.1 ||%||18,806 || ||1.2 ||%|
|Gross profit||$||1,546,520 || ||50.1 ||%||$||1,144,750 || ||42.9 ||%||$||401,770 || ||35.1 ||%|
(1) Includes $154,031 and $149,075 of stock-based compensation expense in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, net revenue increased by $420.6 million, as compared to the prior year. The increase was due primarily to (i) $371.8 million in net revenue from Borderlands 3, which released in September 2019, (ii) an increase of $185.5 million in net revenue from our NBA 2K franchise, (iii) $159.8 million in net revenue from The Outer Worlds, which released in October 2019, and (iv) an increase of $46.6 million in net revenue from Red Dead Online. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $402.9 million in net revenue from Red Dead Redemption 2.
Net revenue from console games increased by $74.7 million and accounted for 74.7% of our total net revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 83.7% in the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3, our NBA 2K franchise, The Outer Worlds, and Red Dead Online. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in net revenue from Red Dead Redemption 2. Net revenue from PC and other increased by $345.8 million and accounted for 25.3% of our total net revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 16.3% in the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, which released for PC in November 2019, and The Outer Worlds.
Net revenue from digital online channels increased by $697.0 million and accounted for 77.0% of our total net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 63.0% in the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3, our NBA 2K franchise, and The Outer Worlds. Net revenue from physical retail and other channels decreased by $276.4 million and accounted for 23.0% of our total net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 37.0% for the prior year. The decrease was due to a decrease in net revenue from Red Dead Redemption 2, partially offset by an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3.
Net revenue from full game and other increased by $106.5 million and accounted for 55.2% of net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 59.9% for the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3, The Outer Worlds, and Civilization VI, partially offset by a decrease in net revenue from Red Dead Redemption 2. Recurrent consumer spending is generated from ongoing consumer engagement and includes revenue from virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. Net revenue from recurrent consumer spending increased by $314.1 million and accounted for 44.8% of net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 40.1% for the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from our NBA 2K franchise, Borderlands 3, and Red Dead Online, partially offset by a decrease in net revenue from Grand Theft Auto Online.
Gross profit as a percentage of net revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was 50.1%, as compared to 42.9% in the prior year. The percentage increase was due primarily to lower internal royalties as a percentage of net revenue due to the timing of when royalties are earned and our release slate.
Net revenue earned outside of the United States increased by $71.8 million and accounted for 42.5% of our total net revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to 46.5% in the prior year. The increase was due to an increase in net revenue from Borderlands 3, The Outer Worlds, our NBA 2K franchise, Red Dead Online, Civilization VI, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, and Grand Theft Auto V, partially offset by a decrease in net revenue from Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto Online. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates decreased net revenue and gross profit by $11.5 million and $4.0 million, respectively, in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 as compared to the prior year.
|(thousands of dollars)||2020||% of net revenue||2019||% of net revenue||Increase/(decrease)||% Increase/(decrease)|
|Selling and marketing||$||458,424 || ||14.8 ||%||$||391,400 || ||14.7 ||%||$||67,024 || ||17.1 ||%|
|General and administrative||318,235 || ||10.3 ||%||281,234 || ||10.5 ||%||37,001 || ||13.2 ||%|
|Research and development||296,398 || ||9.6 ||%||230,170 || ||8.6 ||%||66,228 || ||28.8 ||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||48,113 || ||1.6 ||%||40,232 || ||1.5 ||%||7,881 || ||19.6 ||%|
|Business reorganization||83 || ||— ||%||(4,958)|| ||(0.2)||%||5,041 || ||(101.7)||%|
|Total operating expenses||$||1,121,253 || ||36.3 ||%||$||938,078 || ||35.2 ||%||$||183,175 || ||19.5 ||%|
Includes stock-based compensation expense, which was allocated as follows (in thousands):
|Selling and marketing||$||18,680 || ||$||23,685 || |
|General and administrative||$||53,607 || ||$||51,903 || |
|Research and development||$||31,563 || ||$||23,037 || |
Foreign currency exchange rates decreased total operating expenses by $6.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 as compared to the prior year.
Selling and marketing
Selling and marketing expenses increased by $67.0 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 as compared to the prior year, due primarily to $44.5 million in higher advertising and marketing expenses. Advertising and marketing expenses were higher in the current year due primarily to Borderlands 3, Grand Theft Auto Online, Red Dead Online, and The Outer Worlds, partially offset by lower advertising expenses for Red Dead Redemption 2. The increase was also due to higher personnel expenses, primarily due to increased headcount.
General and administrative
General and administrative expenses increased by $37.0 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the prior year, due primarily to increases in (i) personnel expenses due to additional headcount, (ii) IT related expenses for cloud-based services, (iii) indirect tax expenses, and (iv) rent expenses.
General and administrative expenses for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 include occupancy expense (primarily rent, utilities and office expenses) of $25.9 million and $22.0 million, respectively, related to our development studios.
Research and development
Research and development expenses increased by $66.2 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the prior year, due primarily to (i) an increase in production and development expenses for titles for which technological feasibility has not been established or for ongoing development for titles that have already been released and (ii) increased personnel expense due to increased headcount.
Depreciation and amortization
Depreciation and amortization expenses increased by $7.9 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the prior year, due primarily to an increase in IT infrastructure costs.
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, business reorganization expense increased by $5.0 million due to a benefit in the prior year related to updating estimates for and completing our 2016 Plan and updating estimates for our 2018 Plan.
Interest and other, net
|(thousands of dollars)||2020||% of net revenue||2019|