GameSpot reports that Take-Two Interactive’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has elaborated on the company’s policy to not release annual entries in their most popular franchises. Speaking at the MKM Partners Investor Day in New York City, Zelnick had this to say on the matter:
“The market asks us, ‘Why don’t you annualize your titles?’ We think with the non-sports titles, we are better served to create anticipation and demand,” he explained. “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.”
Take-Two’s policy differs from the Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty format, in which developers release one game from the franchise every year.
Take-Two publishes a handful of popular franchises like Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto on a more staggered schedule. With all these disparate titles, Zelnick says they can equal the revenue and attention that annual titles get. And perhaps do it without sacrificing brand integrity.
“We’ll have a handful of really great franchises and new intellectual properties that together really have the economic impact of an annualized business without the detriments of an annualized business.”
One benefit of Take-Two’s policy is that the games can stay within the same studios, unlike Assassin’s Creed, which shifts from Ubisoft Montreal to Ubisoft Toronto on a yearly basis. Moving forward, Zelnick teased more regular installments of the Borderlands series, as well as Bioshock. 2K Marin is now handling development of the Bioshock series, which seemed poised to end after the shuttering of Ken Levine’s Irrational Games in 2014.
According to Zelnick, Bioshock and Borderlands are both “permanent” franchises.