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Why there isn’t a new GTA every year

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Even though GTA V isn;t due until some time next year, excitement for the game is approaching fever pitch. At the Credit Suisse Technology Conference,Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two Interactive’s head cheese said that the Grand Theft Auto series has reached 125 million units shipped – and offered his reasoning for why the series is so popular; because it hasn’t been annualised like other games, such as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed.

"Grand Theft Auto has the highest quality of any title, which is why it is the standard-bearer in the business. It’s why it’s sold 125 million units. I would argue that saying to people ‘make a perfect-rated title that’s the standard bearer in the business and do it on this every-other-year schedule” not only isn’t realistic, but it also runs the risk of taking a very special franchise and making it less special,” said Zelnick when asked about more regular, consistent releases of GTA games.

“This isn’t a one title company, it’s a multi-title company. While we definitely would like to iron some of the slippage out of our business and we definitely would like to tighten some of our production schedules, the answer is not to put out any given title more frequently at the same level of quality. The answer to diversify to a greater number of titles, increase the quality level of all those and deliver more hits.”

Zelnick said Take Two employs a “different approach” to games than Activision does with games like Call of duty.

“[Activision] has done a terrific job fielding two teams and still putting out a very high quality product. It’s our view that if you want intellectual property to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously view the world differently,” said Zelnick. “I have enormous respect for [Activision CEO Bobby Kotick] and the team. It’s a different approach than ours.”

Take-Two doesn’t want gamers to experience any sort of gamer fatigue from their games – so you’ll not be seeing a slew of Grand Theft Auto titles, year after year.

"That’s never been the case with one of ours," he said. "Ours do better each time. Our view is it’s hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualize it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that’s proven to be the case. IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don’t want our IP to hit the wall."

I may be alone, but I experienced gamer fatigue just within the last GTA itself; the game bored me to tears – until the pretty excellent, more focused DLC expansions that is.

Last Updated: November 28, 2012

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