PS3 News: Take-Two: Annualized IPs Eventually Seem To Hit A Wall - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Take-Two: Annualized IPs Eventually Seem To Hit A Wall

The concept of annual IPs seems to make sense: Take something that's popular and give it to the legions of fans every year, so as to make more money over and over.

Activision loves doing that. They did it with Guitar Hero (actually, they released multiple GH installments in some years) and they're currently doing it with the world's biggest video game franchise, Call of Duty.

But Rockstar Games isn't a big fan of the "annualization" process. Grand Theft Auto V will finally launch in 2013, likely at least 5 years after the last entry, GTAIV. That's a long time but even so, Rockstar believes that if you want a series to have true staying power, you can't keep jamming it down the throats of consumers. Here's what Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick had to say on the subject:

"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently."

Zelnick also pointed out that the recently released Call of Duty: Black Ops II did not outstrip last year's Modern Warfare 3 right out of the gate, which could be a sign of the franchise losing a little bit of traction. Zelnick further reminds us that this slip has never happened with GTA- "Ours do better each time," he said. "IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."

By the way, the GTA franchise has now topped 125 million in worldwide shipments life-to-date. So if there's one publisher that knows how to keep a popular franchise popular, it's probably Take-Two.

Tags: rockstar, grand theft auto, gta, activision, call of duty, cod

11/28/2012 12:00:18 AM John Shepard

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 12:21:10 AM

Here's to many more Rockstar related titles.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 1:05:55 AM

Anyone familiar with Madden could have told them this.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 1:55:40 PM

I think of Madden as an outlier since the players change every year and it makes a certain amount of sense to annualize, or did before online patches became available.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 2:30:59 AM

Well... at least it makes more sense than most of what the publishers say ;)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 2:51:19 AM

"Call of Duty: Black Ops II did not outstrip last year's Modern Warfare 3 right out of the gate, which could be a sign of the franchise losing a little bit of traction." Regardless Black Ops 2 sold millions that first week, and sold more in that week than any GTA has sold in a week. Hard to say it's losing traction when sales numbers like that are actually very steady +/- a few. Not to mention we are so close to Christmas maybe some are waiting for the Holiday. Either way, even if it has hit a wall, that's a high wall to hit. If they keep those sales up even over the next few years that's a huge plus. The series has a long, long way to fall.

Don't get me wrong though, I don't mind development times either way, although I do feel Take-Two and R* take more time than any other developer. But that brings anticipation so...

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/28/2012 2:57:29 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 3:37:48 AM

funny how he points to BO2 but forgets to mention AC3.
yea, thought so.
or fifa, hell most sports games in general!
there are oh so many games out there that are annualized that sell better each time they release.
fans wouldent loose their interest in GTA if it was annualized, as long as it stayed the same game.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 5:29:04 AM

Sports games are something special. It kinda makes sense to have them on an annual schedule.

But they'd lose this GTA-fan had GTA been a yearly event.

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/28/2012 5:29:18 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 5:58:57 AM

It's still early days for AC3, but I hope you realise that sales of that series have been falling since the second one... And sales of sports titles are all over the place, with some getting more popular every year, while others fall. But sports games are kind of exempt from the rule, as Beamy intimated, because of the need to keep up with their real-life counterparts.

And yeah, franchise fatigue would see fans leaving even GTA if it were to go annual. It's a great series, but it doesn't have the same culture draw that CoD does. Activision's behemoth is an impossible exception...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 11:37:14 AM

I like what he says. I like waiting 3-4 years for a great game to come out. You can REALLY tell the difference when a game gets another year of time in the cooker.

The more I play BO2 the more places I'm noticing where they cut corners and recycled things. Is this a crime? No but its sad that every year they have to cut more and more corners in order to get higher profits. Examples being, a bunch of the MP maps are pulled directly from BO1 but slightly modified for the year 2025. World at War had several hollywood voice actors, BO1 had a couple, BO2 has NONE. The new zombies is a HUGE disappointment for me and was the main reason I bought it. It feels small cramped, and cheap. They didn't spend ANY time fixing the problems that have been in the zombies mode since WaW. Mainly the zombies acting buggy and hitting you from far away, getting downed in one hit, getting caught on crawlers that you should be able to jump over with ease etc.

At any rate I often said CoD was a reskin from the last year, but BO2 opened my eyes in a different way. Its the first CoD game I bought that the content felt like it was being held back.

Annualizing has ruined this game even though each studio has 2 years I don't think that is enough time to put out something that is refreshing even if its a sequel. I hope they are losing steam, I wont to see what the next big thing is....hopefully the stealth genre :P

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 1:57:17 PM

It's going to happen eventually, I think Activision is okay with that so long as they wring every possible nickel out of it before that happens.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 2:22:53 PM

Amen, Xenris. My opinion as one who, I think, represents the mass market is that I see annualized games as something of a scam and, as pointed out by a few already, often contain some watered down content... especially sports games. Things should be ready when they're ready as evidenced by quality from devs like R*, Quantic Dream and ThatGameCompany.

Furthermore, even sports games, IMO, would benefit from sales from casual fans if the dev focused on a good game engine and provided annual *paid* DLC in the form of fantasy team updates, roster and rule changes and so on. That would easily give them 2+ years to improve the engine and still make $$. Even as a casual player, I'd much prefer to pay $50+ for a good game that didn't make me feel like I'd have to pay full price again next year to get a new map and a new character.

Smartphone app stores have proven that a game doesn't have to be annualized, or expensive to be popular and profitable.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Latest Updates

Shadow of the Colossus Review
7d, 20h, 52m ago (2 comments)

Strikers Edge Review
11d, 21h, 32m ago (19 comments)

Okami HD Review
12d, 19h, 24m ago (6 comments)

Ultimate Chicken Horse Review
16d, 14h, 18m ago (16 comments)

Black Mirror Review
32d, 2h, 20m ago (23 comments)

Our Poll

How often do you visit the site?
Once a day
Several times a day
Every few days
Once a week
This is my first visit
I've never been here, even now I am not here

Previous Poll Results