Take-Two Interactive is one of the biggest games publishers in the business, but despite its huge size it only publishes a handful of games each year. The biggest developer in its repertoire is Rockstar Games, of course, although Rockstar has only managed to release one new game (Red Dead Redemption 2) this entire console generation. The length of time it takes to create these big-budget, premium experiences has risen exponentially but this may not be the case going forward.
Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two CEO, has said he expects the rate at which Take-Two Interactive publishes games to begin to pick up pace going forward. During an interview with the GI.biz, he alludes to the fact the immense success of GTA Online afforded them the opportunity to take it somewhat easy. Not the hundreds of staff involved in RDR2’s immense crunch, of course, but at least Strauss could recline in his hammock for a while. Looking forward, Zelnick thinks Take-Two’s future projects should be quicker to develop.
“I don’t see it expanding further,” said Zelnick, referring to development. “In fact, I would expect in many instances it may compress. Our ability to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis has [resulted in] less pressure on getting to market with an all-new title. But we[want to find that intersection between the time it takes our creators to do the best work in the industry on the one hand, and what the consumer wants.
“And we believe in resting titles as a great thing. But I think eight years between new Rockstar titles is probably too long.”
Going forward then, Take-Two is planning to make games in a shorter time frame, although the games themselves “may be a bit shorter than they were.” Zelnick suggests their games may become shorter at launch but with the potential for ongoing support and content releases to bolster their offerings.
However, that doesn’t mean Take-Two or Rockstar are going to push anywhere near the annualised outings that the likes of Activision and Ubisoft hold so dear. As Zelnick alluded to, Take-Two isn’t in the business of annual release schedules outside of its sports franchises.
What do you think of Zelnick’s plans then, are you onboard with more frequent games and ongoing support? Or would you prefer the likes of Rockstar to maintain their immense ambition at the cost of waiting longer between releases? Let us know your thoughts on the matter below!