In Take-Two's latest earnings call, the publisher told investors that it had beaten expectations and was rolling in dough like a feral hog in mud, despite the absence of big game launches so far this year.
GTA 5 continues to be a big earner, with GTA Online seeing a significant spike thanks to the casino update—that means more microtransaction cash for Take-Two. But it's not the only older game that continues to sell well. Borderlands 2, which launched seven years ago, a whole year before GTA 5, has also sprung back to life.
To bridge the gap between Borderlands 2 and 3, Gearbox released the Commander Lilith DLC for free. Rather than being a throwaway piece of exposition, it's a solid adventure with some new villains, monsters and the return of the still uncomfortably ripped Vaughn. And it didn't just bring back old players—sales of Borderlands 2 are up 2 million since May 2019.
That's a big jump for a game that came out in 2012, even with the recent big discount. It's been pretty cheap for years. The Borderlands GOTY Edition also gave it a shot in the arm in April. This has resulted in Take-Two selling more than 6 million copies of Borderlands games, and more 4 million players have downloaded the Commander Lilith DLC.
Last month, Take-Two studio Rockstar North was accused of receiving millions in UK tax relief while not paying UK corporation tax for nearly a decade, despite the huge profits Take-Two enjoys. Most of the profits generated by games like GTA 5, much of it designed by a British studio, are reported by the US side, while Take-Two's UK studios claim comparatively little, making them eligible for tax breaks.