When it comes to many of their high-profile gaming franchises, Take-Two Interactive is constantly taking a look at their release schedules in order to try to find the perfect balance for how frequent the launch of individual titles in their popular series such as Grand Theft Auto should be.
Take-Two president Karl Slatoff publicly spoke about the importance that the publisher places on release times at a New York-based presentation earlier this week. A GameSpot report confirms that Slatoff began discussing the topic when asked how to keep investors happy with a long-term franchise. The Take-Two executive explained that deciding how to time their releases is definitely a struggle.
If each installment of a particular brand is released too often, then they run the risk of over-saturating consumer demand for that product. For example, GTA V first launched on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in 2013. Despite the passing of several years, the Take-Two is still confident in supporting the game rather than moving on to Grand Theft Auto VI and beyond since more frequent releases could end up causing fans to grow tired of the series.
“The market asks us, ‘Why don’t you annualise your titles?’ We think with the non-sports titles, we are better served to create anticipation and demand. On the one hand to rest the title and on the other hand to have the highest quality in the market, which takes time. You can’t do that annually.”
On the other hand, Take-Two Interactive can’t simply wait as long as they like before deciding that it’s time for a new installment in the franchise. While releasing titles too close together might kill off fan anticipation, waiting too long between launches runs the risk of causing a brand to become forgotten. On the business side of that same train of thought, Take-Two Interactive also has to worry about holding the interest of potential investors, which could become hard if a series is seen to have gone dormant.
The bottom line is that Slatoff doesn’t want to see any franchise under Take-Two Interactive suffer because of poor management with release schedules. The publisher is aware that they could likely cash in by pumping out new entries of popular series like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption on a more regular basis. However, the company is more concerned on the long-term health of their properties and doesn’t want to run the risk of ruining a brand’s reputation just so they can rush out an inferior sequel.
“It’s tempting to have continuous releases and milk a franchise as far as you can, we’ve seen that fatigue in other franchises in the games industry. With almost every single franchise for us, the latest release is bigger than the one before.”
Of course, in the case of Grand Theft Auto in particular, it’s easy for Take-Two to not seem overly concerned with releasing a new game in the series since the online of mode of GTA V has proven to be an excellent source of ongoing revenue for the publisher. Rather than slowing down with age, as might expected, Grand Theft Auto Online continues to earn record-breaking digital sales.
Even Take-Two themselves have admitted to being surprised by how well GTA V sales are still performing. In a previous report from the Inquisitr, the publisher announced that their holiday earnings were above their projections thanks to the fact that December was a record month for GTA Online as more users logged on to the game and purchased Shark Card currency than ever before.
Are you happy with a slower release schedule in exchange for better quality titles, or would you prefer sequels to games like GTA V and Red Dead Redemption to come quicker?
[Image via Rockstar Games]