Take-Two has let the world know what it thinks of releasing annual or bi-annual video game series: not for Grand Theft Auto.
While speaking at a Wedbush Securities conference, Take-Two Interactive’s Chief Operating Officer Karl Slatoff, spoke in turn as to why Take-Two and Rockstar North do not develop more frequent Grand Theft Auto games.
“To us, that doesn’t make sense, because Grand Theft Auto, every single time it comes out, is a brand new experience. You can’t possibly do that in two years. And if we did that, our product would fatigue and the franchise would degrade from a value perspective.”
Slatoff was quick to remind everyone that Rockstar does have the ability to recreate a new Grand Theft Auto every year, but that it simply wouldn’t be a product of the same quality or value.
“We could easily have churned out a new version year after year without really progressing as a franchise, but if we did that, eventually the fans would lose interest.”
From Mega Man to Assassin’s Creed, creating annual releases for big name video games might prove successful in the short run, but there is no sure fire way to plummet your series into irrelevancy.
Granted Mega Man was able to carry itself on through side-series, and Assassin’s Creed did some soul searching to create a new image for itself last year. However, that’s only because developers took a step back and adopted Rockstar’s thinking that each experience needs to be fresh and new, explaining why Mega Man 6 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations barely escaped critics alive.
In similar fashion, it’s why a widely popular and successful series like Grand Theft Auto enjoys universal praise, while a widely popular and successful series like Call of Duty splits gamers right down the middle with such polarizing results.
I would like to disagree with Slatoff, though, in that the three games which put Rockstar on the map, Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, have respective release dates of 2001, 2002, and 2004. The model of his logic is based on a single game released five years ago, and the series history shows differently.
Maybe we weren’t quite as sick of annual games then as we are now, but Rockstar knows quite a thing about becoming popular in a very short span of time.
Grand Theft Auto V will be released September 17th, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.