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Grand Theft Auto grows stronger because it isn't annualized, Take-Two CEO says

The Grand Theft Auto series has shipped 125 million copies in its 15-year history, with Grand Theft Auto IV alone responsible for 25 million of those. With GTA 5 coming soon, how does Rockstar Games sell more of each new entry than the last? Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick says it's because every release is special.

Zelnick spoke at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., as reported by GameSpot. While there he praised Activision's ability to maintain high quality in its annualized Call of Duty franchise, but said he understands that comparatively weaker sales for Black Ops II than last year's Modern Warfare 3 may be an indication of consumer exhaustion.

"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise," Zelnick said. "[Activision] obviously views the world differently."

Instead, he compared Grand Theft Auto to the James Bond series of films, which recently had its 50th anniversary and a box office success with Skyfall. Consumers don't expect a new GTA or Bond film every two years, so they feel they have more to look forward to when one does come along.

"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."

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14 comments

  • Jacko415 - November 30, 2012 4:11 p.m.

    HURRAY FOR INTEGRITY!
  • GamingBear - November 28, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    I agree with strauss, I must admit the latest cod while attempting to do something a little different the whole experience is becoming jaded and I get the feeling a lot of people feel the same. Problem is its such a big money maker for activision however if they continue to pump out cod year after year i think in the long run this strategy may back fire. the next cod should be saved for next gen I think. Can't wait for GTA V mind
  • jbrasco - November 28, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Being someone that has played every Call of Duty and every Battlefield (including all PC versions), I can agree 1,000,000%. After MW3, I haven't really even cared. And during MW 1 & 2, I was doing tournaments and playing an average of 8-12 hours everyday. And now I could care less about it. To the point, it's even made me want to play other games less. Since, a lot of companies do this too now.
  • winner2 - November 27, 2012 7:22 p.m.

    Assassin's creed has hit the same problem as far as repetitiveness I think. 2 was flat out awesome, and then brotherhood (can work with this)...then revelations (oh no)...then 3 (what the hell happened) put the nail in the coffin for me.
  • AlphaWhale - November 27, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    I really wish they did this with Assassin's Creed. The series has turned completley repetitive. Talking, STAB, Desmond. Also valve,just, Valve.
  • Eo1spy - November 27, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    These guys know what they are talking about.
  • StrayGator - November 27, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    Valve.
  • KnowYourPokemon - November 27, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    You know... I legit laughed my ass off when I read this. Only thing that came to mind was Half Life...
  • Bansheebot - November 27, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    Think of any great game series and you'll find they have (comparatively) long stretches between sequels/spiritual successors. Annual releases just show the publishers trying to justify charging for a full priced release for a barely improved experience. Seriously, what have the recent Call of Duty games done that couldn't have just been added/changed in DLC or a patch?
  • CUFCfan616 - November 28, 2012 12:20 a.m.

    made Activision's wallets heavier
  • J-spit - November 29, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Heyoooo!

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