Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Take-Two Interactive Software
Thanks, Nicole. Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today. I'm pleased to report that we delivered another strong quarter, highlighted by net bookings of $866 million, which exceeded our expectations and increased 6% over the prior year. Our outstanding holiday season results were driven by our new and existing titles, as well as strong ongoing engagement from our player communities that continue to immerse themselves in their favorite experiences and exciting new content updates. We continue to position our Company to deliver on its long-term pipeline, build scale and gain market share.
During the quarter, we grew our pool of creative talent with the addition of more than 300 developers. This includes our highly complementary acquisitions of elite3d and Roll7. Based in Valencia, Spain, elite3d is one of the world's leading creative studios that is dedicated to innovative 2D and 3D artwork for the interactive entertainment industry. elite3d will form a second office for 2K's 31st Union Studio and serve as a new publishing location for 2K's Global Services division. Roll7 is the BAFTA award-winning studio behind OlliOlli World, which is launching tomorrow. Going forward, the team will help support Private Division's mission to bring games to market from the industry's top creative studios, as well as to broaden the Label's portfolio of owned intellectual property and internal development capabilities.
Our most significant recent development was our agreement to combine with Zynga, which we expect to close during the first quarter of our fiscal 2023. We're very excited by the prospect of this transformative combination, which will significantly diversify our business, establish us as a leader in mobile, the fastest growing segment of the interactive entertainment industry and greatly enhance our positioning as one of the world's top three pure-play publishers of interactive entertainment. We believe there will be tremendous strategic and financial benefits for our Company, and we've already identified $100 million of annual cost synergies that we expect to achieve within the first two years post-closing and over $500 million of annual revenue opportunities that we can deliver over time. We look forward to welcoming the teams at Zynga into the Take-Two family in the coming months.
Turning to our third quarter results, our better than expected performance was driven primarily by Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online and NBA 2K22. NBA 2K22 continued to exceed our expectations. And according to the NPD Group, it was the number one selling title in the U.S. across all new releases in calendar 2021. In addition, the game achieved a new franchise record for experiencing the largest number of users in the shortest amount of time. This performance helped solidify NBA 2K's legacy as the top basketball simulation experience in our industry with over 8 million units sold in to-date worldwide.
Players remain deeply engaged and an average of 1.9 million users are playing the game every day, which is up 10% compared to NBA 2K21 in the same period last year. This helped drive better than expected recurrent consumer spending growth of 10% year-over-year, even as we faced challenging comparisons from the Gen 9 launch of the game last November. In addition, NBA 2K22 experienced an 8% increase in total in-game purchasers and a 30% increase in new to franchise spenders. 2K expanded the brand's addressable market further with the launch of NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition for Apple Arcade. The title continues to sit at the top of the Arcade's top game chart and has an average score of 4.7 out of 5 across more than 35,000 ratings. We continue to be pleased with the ongoing innovation the Visual Concepts brings to the series annually and look forward to seeing how they will deliver new experiences to NBA 2K in the future.
Sales of Grand Theft Auto V continue to be strong, and to-date, the title is sold in more than 160 million units worldwide. Since its launch in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V has remained within the top five best-selling titles for each calendar year across the Americas, including in the U.S. and over 50 major territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. 2021 marked another excellent year for Grand Theft Auto Online with the title matching 2020's record-setting monthly audience size. Grand Theft Auto Online's engagement was driven by an array of free content updates, including new events around Halloween, new vehicles and closing options for the Race Creator, and the contract update featuring Grammy Award Winning artist, legendary producer and this year's Super Bowl half-time show headliner, Dr. Dre, which were all released during the third quarter. In particular, the contract broke new ground for Grand Theft Auto Online from a design standpoint with its deep story elements and increased access for solo players, while also advancing Rockstar Games' unique ability to innovate through incorporating elements of pop culture and music into their experiences.
The update also features co-op story missions with Grand Theft Auto V Protagonist Franklin and sidekick Lamar's playable characters, a new social space, Record A Studios, where players were able to hang out with Dr. Dre and special guests. A new radio station hosted by global pop stars ROSALIA and Arca called Motomami Los Santos named after ROSALIA's forthcoming album updates to two existing radio stations from L.A. DJ royalty, DJ Pooh and Big Boy, six exclusive new tracks by Dr. Dre, which officially released to streaming services this past Friday and new purchasable properties vehicles and more.
In addition, Rockstar Games celebrated the 20th anniversary with the launch of Grand Theft Auto 3 with the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition for current and prior-gen consoles and PC via the Rockstar Games Launcher with the title significantly exceeding our commercial expectations. Red Dead Redemption 2 also had an excellent quarter. The title's outperformance was primarily driven by strong holiday sales, and to-date, it is sold in nearly 43 million units worldwide. In addition, Red Dead Online outperformed our expectations due to strong sales of Red Dead Redemption 2 and the continued influx of new players alongside a series of updates, including the fourth installment of The Quick Draw Club, All Hallows' Call to Arms, The Halloween Pass 2 and the Holiday Call to Arms.
2K and Gearbox Software expanded our popular Borderlands series further with the release of Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition. Our teams also re-released the 2013 fan-favorite Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-Shot Adventure on a standalone basis, which exceeded our expectations and is helping set the stage for next month's eagerly anticipated launch of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. During the third quarter, recurrent consumer spending rose 2% over last year, which was in line with our expectations of a slight increase and accounted for 57% of net bookings. Our ability to captivate and deeply engage audiences with our offerings remains a distinguishing characteristic of our enterprise. NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto Online were the largest contributors to recurrent consumer spending and many of our free-to-play offerings were notable drivers as well.
Nordeus delivered a strong quarter as its newly released Top Eleven 2022 achieved record-high seasonal net bookings driven by new features, gameplay improvements, and enhanced live operations. Two Dots posted record net bookings results attributable to additional in-game events, curated seasonal content and successful marketing activations. Dragon City and Monster Legends' performance was driven by enhanced live operations, new event types and strong seasonal content. 2K launched Season 8 for WWE SuperCard, which has now been downloaded more than 25 million times and remains 2K's highest grossing mobile game. NBA 2K Online in China outperformed our expectations. The title remains the number one online PC sports game in the region, with over 55 million registered users.
Turning to our outlook, as a result of our third quarter outperformance, along with our updated forecast for the balance of the year, we are once again raising our guidance for fiscal year 2022, and we now expect to achieve net bookings of $3.37 billion to $3.42 billion. Lainie will provide more details shortly. Looking ahead, we remain highly optimistic about the future of the interactive entertainment industry and our multi-year growth trajectory. We have the strongest and most diverse pipeline in our Company's history comprised of new intellectual properties, as well as sequels to many of our beloved franchises. We look forward to delivering many of these titles in the coming months and beyond.
We're also confident that we can emerge as an even stronger player within our industry and deliver long-term value for our shareholders following the anticipated closing of our transaction with Zynga. With greater scale, extensive synergies, and a more diversified portfolio of industry-leading titles, we believe that together our two companies will far exceed our individual goals. We'd like to thank all of our stakeholders for their continued support.
I'll now turn the call over to Karl.