Big game releases shouldn’t be annualised says Take-Two

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It used to be that hearing of a new game was a big surprise. These days however? It’s not often that your jaw will drop when you hear about the latest game that is coming out. And that’s because most big games these days are sticking to an annual release schedule. Something that Take-Two wants to avoid with their library of titles.

Speaking about the company’s fiscal third quarter earnings via Game Informer, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke about the trend to annualise big-name games. “I don’t think we think about pacing in a traditional way,” Zelnick says. “We have said that we think big tentpole releases should not be annualized except for sports titles.”

A comment that refers to the NBA 2K and WWE 2K games that Take-Two publishes, while other franchises such as Rockstar property GTA, Civilization and Borderlands tend to have much longer lead times. “We think it’s valuable to build anticipation and because it takes some time to make the highest quality products in the business,” Zelnick explained.

We bring the titles to market when they are ready to be marketed.

That’s pretty much a solid game-plan. While games such as Call Of Duty and Assassin’s Creed rotate development teams in order to provide a fresh experience, the end result still winds up being a less excited audience. There’s something to be said for allowing a game to be forgotten, and then having those memories rekindled with news of a new entry in the franchise.

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Take Mortal Kombat for instance. The ninth core instalment in that franchise came out in 2011, with Mortal Kombat X only being announced late in 2014. That’s roughly a three year gap. And on the day that Mortal Kombat X was announced, people were buzzing. People were excited and happy. Something you don’t see much of in gaming these days.

Last Updated: February 5, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

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