Grand Theft Auto Won't Become An Annual Tradition
You may not have noticed, but some of the biggest franchises in the world are now releasing on an annual basis. EA's Madden and Activision's Call of Duty are a few examples, but Take-Two won't be taking that approach with Grand Theft Auto.
As he said yesterday during an investor call, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick reminds us that it takes a lot of time to make "triple-A" games, and they don't plan on annualizing GTA any time soon. He did say he likes the idea of "testing new formats and platforms" (referring to the DLC expansions for the Xbox 360 and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS and PSP), but as far as GTA is concerned, we will have to continue to wait patiently. In fact, Zelnick spoke about the need for consumer "appetite;" i.e., how long should they wait in order to put that appetite through the roof? Perhaps the reason he was asked about making GTA a yearly thing is because Take-Two's latest financial update says they won't be meeting their goal for 2010...and oh yeah, this was a "GTA-less" year. They cite more losses from their 2K baseball franchise and let's not forget that several titles were pushed out of 2010. But even so, they ain't rushing GTA. Not ever.
Zelnick also mentioned "the resiliency of the franchise," in that people will always know and remember the name, regardless of development length. That's certainly true, of course, but these publishers that are doing annual launches of massive franchises are just swimming in cash. Tough to ignore that from a business standpoint.
12/4/2009 10:47:56 AM Ben Dutka