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Take-Two: Annualization Not Consistent With "High Quality"

Certain franchises get new entries every year. It has been a popular topic here at PSXE.

But Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has said that annual entries may not be the best idea and that eventually, even the most die-hard fans will tire of the series.

He also spoke about Take-Two's hesitancy to embrace subscription-based services like Call of Duty Elite. In speaking at the UBS Media and Communications Conference, Zelnick responded to questions concerning Activision's new CoD endeavor:

"I can't tell whether it's relevant yet. I'm kind of skeptical, frankly. I suspect that we want a different experience on our big screen than we do on our middle-sized screen than we do on our mobile screen, because I think we use them at different times and they mean different things. I do think an intellectual property can thread through, but only if it is really high quality."

And then, in regards to the whole annualization trend, Zelnick got on the gamer's good side once again:

"If you start trying to stamp these products out annually, we don't think that's consistent with a high-quality result. If you give consumers something every year like clockwork, even if it's fantastic, there's a high chance they're going to get tired of it."

Zelnick finished by saying that despite digital growth, packaged goods still account for 90% of Take-Two's business. Oh, and by the way, Grand Theft Auto - which has never been an annual series, and never will be - has shipped 117 million copies as a franchise, and GTAIV has now shipped 23 million. Any guesses for GTAV?

Tags: take two interactive, gtav, grand theft auto v, call of duty, call of duty elite

12/6/2011 8:32:20 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

BikerSaint
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 11:38:33 PM
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I like this guy Zelnick's thinking.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 12:08:39 AM
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Probably around 30 million.

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faraga
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 1:28:53 AM
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That's why I think Rockstar is one of the very few really good publishers with consistent quality, they don't care if a game takes ages to build, they want a good game. Of the third party publishers there are few alike.
Valve is one, for instance, although HL3 is taking "ages" a little too literally.

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 2:19:32 AM
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I realize this is another excellent opportunity for some good old COD bashing - but it should be pointed out - the 2 studios (Activision (with help)and Treyarch) release a game bi annually - so each studio has 2 years to work on the game. EA are planning to alternate BF and MOH the same way.

Military FPS fans love this - everybody else forms a line up to bash it.

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 3:12:37 AM

I am a Military FPS fan and no I don't like it. Neither do any of the people in my clan or on my friends list. So please don't try and lump all FPS players together.

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 2:28:16 AM
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and if Activision gives SledgeHammer an installment - that means 3 studios each having a 3 year development cycle.

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wackazoa
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 10:01:55 AM

Nah man. Still only 2 years. Just because the company still has the name Infinity Ward, doesnt mean IF still exists. Well in the way that was cranking out Modern Warfares 1 and 2. Sledgehammer and the "new IF" will still probably colaborate on COD but much like the Hangover movies doubtfull that they will bring anything new to the series.

Last edited by wackazoa on 12/7/2011 10:02:42 AM

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___________
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 3:10:28 AM
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tis why every game 2K releases is pure gold, and sells extremely well!
now only if they could speed up development time, and please stop announcing 10 games 5+ years before there ready to release!
speaking of games being announced far too early, when are we going to hear about agent?
some time this century?
thats what i hate about 2K, they announce 5 games at once, then say nothing about them for 3 years, then announce another few games and show nothing of them for years, then release 1 of the first set of games, rinse and repeat.
wish they could go to announce a game, show it off, release it.
that way it does not feel like were waiting a eternity for them!

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 3:13:27 AM
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Indeed not. I tire of seeing the same thing, even if I make the choice not to partake of it. I read an interview with a bloke from the AC team a couple of days ago stating how there is a certain stigma attached to the idea of annual releases and he was trying to dispel it by saying that the studios actually work on each game for more than that. Fair go, but doesn't that imply that the most effort is never being put into the current iteration, thus, necessarily, reducing the potential quality?

I'm glad that Take Two thinks this way. I mean, it gives room for other publishers to encroach on their hallowed territory by filling the void that is left by only having one Bioshock every two years, one GTA every three, one Darkness every four, etc., but most publishers are too wound up in trying to put forth the next game in their ridiculously overpopular franchise to even try to copy the brilliance of each of these games. I like the mentality of these guys. It's all about the quality, and that is what really matters.

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AshT
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 3:23:58 AM
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atleast 25 m.

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wackazoa
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 10:18:36 AM
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I think it is interesting how on one side of the coin you have EA, Activison, and now Ubisoft. While on the otherside you have Quantic Dream, Bethsedia (?),Naughty Dog and now Take Two/Rockstar. And the products of those companies reflect thier stance. EA and Activison put out mainly multiplayer games that all seem to look and play the same as the year/version before it.

Whereas Rockstar and Quantic Dream give you experiences you play and it stays with you. Uncharted as well is an experience. I will definently show my support by buying thier games new.

And renting or going used with EA and Activison......

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CheddarClyde
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 3:16:06 PM

A lot of it is the business models that these companies follow. EA, Ubisoft and Bastardvision are huge publicly-traded companies that believe in quantity over quality. They operate like many Hollywood studios in the sense that they push product out thru an assembly-line mentality, using tried-and-true gimmicks and elements to get the masses to buy something that essentially is the same product they already own. QC in many situations is rare at best.

Many of the Sony studios like Quantic Dreams, Sucker Punch and Naughty Dog are smaller houses that haven't been corrupted by the factory-line business model and it shows in their products. The only film studio that I could compare them to would be Pixar (Cars 2 doesn't exist to me) because they take their time to ensure that every aspect of a story works before they complete a movie. Hell, those guys actually threw away a near-completed version of Toy Story 2 and started over months before the film was to release just because they felt it was not up to their standards. Now THAT's dedication.

Rockstar was in the unique position of having a massively successful game (GTA3) before they become huge. The fact that the franchise has sold insanely well combined with the fact that every entry has been a quality product has made it to where they can take their time on their games without getting messed with (that much) by the top brass and the shareholders. Imagine what would have happened if EA did get a hold of them back in 2008.

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wackazoa
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 10:48:53 AM

"Imagine what would have happened if EA did get a hold of them back in 2008"





That sir, is a truely cring inducing thought...

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CheddarClyde
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 3:01:46 PM
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I'm glad there are still people in the industry that still look at annual releases as a bad idea. You would have though that the Tomb Raider series on the PSOne would have demonstrated this, but I guess from a financial standpoint it may have made sense even back then. The first one was groundbreaking, the sequel decent and every one of them after was either mediocre or crap. Yet all of them sold well enough to generate a profit. Sounds familiar?

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 3:15:31 AM
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I'm not sure if I like this guy or not. He seems to be saying the right things but I feel like he is trying to get my attention by stating the obvious. I will probably bookmark this article and come back to it in a couple years to see if he stands by his statements.

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