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Take Two won’t do an Activision in annualising big titles

Thursday, 2nd December 2010 11:09 GMT By Johnny Cullen

gtaiv

Take Two president Strauss Zelnick has said the publisher won’t annually release its big titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead in the way Activision does with Call of Duty and Guitar Hero.

His comments came at the Reuters Global Media Summit.

He also said that packaged games at retail will still dominate the market within five years.

I still think in five years the packaged goods business will dominate,” said Zelnick, adding the growth of digital distribution would take a while to pick up.

It’s kind of irrelevant to us — basically the same gross margin, basically the same risk.”

Zelnick also suggested that Take Two’s dependence solely on Grand Theft Auto has now gone away.

We don’t have any structural impediment to being profitable in a given year.”

He further added the company’s license with Major League Baseball may be put on hold, but will consider renewing its contract if the situation changes.

It’s a losing proposition and we don’t have any interest in pursuing losing propositions.”

Take Two’s seen successful releases of Red Dead Redemption, BioShock 2 this year, with big hitters for next year coming in the form of LA Noire in spring and Max Payne 3 at some point during calendar 2011 from Rockstar, as well as Duke Nukem Forever from 2K and Gearbox.

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19 Comments

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  1. StolenGlory

    Good fucking call.

    Longer development cycles = Better results.

    Well, usually anyway.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dralen

    It’s funny how no-one ever calls Activision “Activision Blizzard” or “Acti-Blizz” it’s just “Activision”. Just thought I’d point that out.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    ^ Its also funny how people look past all of the other publishers that do yearly releases and only slam Acti about it.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Freek

    EA came under fire regularly for running it’s franchises into the ground each year. Then they changed.
    Eidos for Tomb Raider, then it died and came back.
    Ubisoft also got/is getting criticsm for the way it treated Prince of Persia and now Assasins Creed. Although the later seems to be getting better with each year so they probably sold thier soul to the devil or something.
    Valve got flamed to death for L4D2 comming so soon after part 1.

    And the only reason Blizzard is in the company name is to give Activision some prestege. Wich doesn’t work.

    Blizzard has been owned by multipel companys over the years, that hasn’t effected them in any way nor how people see them.
    They’re the same studios as always, just that sometimes different companies proffit from them.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Mike W

    Good for them, but from a business perspective can you really blame Activision?

    We really should be blaming the consumer for continuing for buying this piece of shit.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @1 Come again? You’re saying Grand Theft Auto V was better to San Andreas than Vice City was to III? BrĂ¼tal Legend was better than Psychonauts? Come on now. You gotta be trolling.

    By that logic, Guns n Roses just released their best album ever. Sound crazy? That’s because it is.

    Longer development times in no way guarantee better games, but over a long enough timeframe, it does make lazy developers who overproduce their games.

    That isn’t to say that I don’t despise unfinished games, and the people who allow them to be published, but I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of lead designers out there who would pull a Broussard if the people fronting the bill let them.

    It’s not the time, it’s what you do with it.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Blerk

    GTAIV was better than San Andreas and Vice City and GTAIII, though. :-D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. daytripper

    gta iv and vice city are my personal favs. what a soundtrack vice city had, being born in the 80s it brought so many memories back. i cant wait for the next installment and this time no bullshit exclusive dlc, just have everyone have it and enjoy it.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. AHA-Lambda

    @7 – O_O

    @6 – yea and alan wake was totally worth the 5 year wait >_<

    #9 3 years ago
  10. LOLshock94

    why is it that everyone expects that a games developer makes a game with pride and why the fuck does everyone hate activation? isnt it good if they keep making a new guitar hero or COD cause theyre always in some way much better then the others and theyre trying to make a profit which every other games developer and publisher is trying to do. and yous all expect devs and pubs to make a game pride!!!! you really think vavle gives a shit about everyone who buys there games no they dont

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Dralen

    GTA IV and Vice City are also my personal favourites.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Blerk

    You heard me, AHA! :-D

    #12 3 years ago
  13. daytripper

    a gripe at gta iv and its a petty one was you were unable to load music off the harddrive into the game to make it seem you are using a cd or tape like the xbox san andreas or vice city you had to use the guide button on 360 which meant the music wouldnt cut out during conversations or have that get out of the car and the music fades away effect, i hope they put that into the next gta as i thought iv’s soundtrack was a tad lame with the odd decent tune.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Johnny Cullen

    AHA – Shut up, it was worth the wait! >:(

    #14 3 years ago
  15. joshua nash

    @6 when exactly was GTAV release cause i think you mean GTAIV

    anyway i see this as a good thing that at least one company is not giving into the “annualization bug” that everyone seems to be coming down with

    @4 just give it time and the AC series will turn to crap but if you want to know which game was the start of it turning to crap that’d be brotherhood i’m not saying its crap i’m saying some of the things they put in the game are crap, like inorder to 100% in a sequence you have to do some achieve some insane goal like beating a mission in x amount of time or use an offensive move basically i hate that cause to me it seems like they’re forcing me to play the way they think i should play, but that a minor gripe that will fade away once i get further into the game, i hope

    #15 3 years ago
  16. StolenGlory

    @DSB

    Sorry, not trolling; just my opinion.

    To clarify for you futher; my opinion not matching yours is not trolling.

    Please realise that.

    If you looked at end of my comment it said ‘Well, usually anyway’, meaning that ostensibly there are examples where longer dev times don’t actually result in a better final product.

    In addition to the current climate of devs annualising their titles, reusing assets and releasing last year’s title with knobs on, you shouldn’t be surprised that many folk are keen to see decent developers not commit to annual title updates.

    As far as your GTA IV (Not V) comparison goes to San Andreas it’s a matter of personal taste for me. I preferred GTA IV over San Andreas because I preferred the setting, characters and the fact that there wasn’t large, open sandbox spaces filled with precisely fuck all.

    Oh and also for multiplayer too, but again, your mileage will likely vary.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 The trolling thing simply meant “Surely you can’t be serious”.

    It’s a common misperception that longer rope for developers lead to better games, and it’s been disproven just as many times as it’s been put forward.

    This is just Take Twos notoriously incompetent leadership (as witnessed by their “digital distribution won’t be worth much in the next half decade” comment up there) trying to justify spending all that money and time on one game – Red Dead Redemption, by jumping on the “Activision is evil” bandwagon. As if they don’t know perfectly well that franchising has been crucial to preserving gaming as an industry since the very beginning (“It’sa mee, Mario”).

    Of course people appreciate good new IPs, that’s arguably the most exciting thing there is, but I am surprised at the mindless neo-puritanism that seems to be spreading to people who apparently don’t recall the last 10 or 20 years in gaming, and suddenly see a problem with an industry that may have evolved, but essentially changed very little except for revenues, advertising budgets and added content models.

    Personally I thought GTA IV (Shocking, the V was indeed a mistake) was a crock. It had a ridiculously lousy pseudo-plot that didn’t go anywhere, wrapped in an impressive physical world, full of absolutely nothing to do except take phonecalls from annoying NPCs, and play through the same style of mission over and over again – Except this time the missions weren’t as funny or outrageous as they were earlier, and the sandbox offered even less options than it’s predecessor.

    Of course that’s just my opinion, but if you look through the annals of gaming, I’m 100% confident that you’ll find more lousy overproduced or cancelled games from developers who were simply set loose (Romero and Broussard are legend) than you’ll find quality on that front. The key is getting it right, not going for long or short.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. LePlatypus

    Has he now confirmed that there will be more Red Dead’s?

    #18 3 years ago
  19. psxman

    @18 I hope not… RDR was perfect as it was, plus there was enough additional content not to warrant a sequel.

    #19 3 years ago