Grand Theft Auto Staying Far and Away from Yearly Releases

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Feb 17, 2014 05:42 PM EST
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The Grand Theft Auto franchise has been a jewel of Take-Two ever since the third game in the series made such a splash, and thankfully, the publisher is ensuring that quality will continue to remain a part of the series as Take-Two is emphasizing its intention not to follow in the path of other series like Call of Duty or Battlefield, and not release a new GTA game every year.

That was what the company's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, stated recently to MCV, saying, "It is great that consumers anticipate our titles, like they anticipate the next James Bond film. Our goal is to create permanent franchises."

"A few years ago, we'd launch a title, it would be sold physically, then we would sell catalogue versions of it. Today we launch a title, and often - if not always - put out DLC. We've talked about recurrent consumer spending, where we have offerings where fans can engage and spend money on an on-going basis," he added.

The unfortunate thing is that the latest offering of its acclaimed GTA franchise is only currently available on two of the big five platforms. A theory raised is that if Take-Two were to port the game to the remaining platforms - PC, PS4, and Xbox One - it could rake in even more money. A port is generally expected as inevitable by the fans, but neither Take-Two or Rockstar has commented on the possibility. But that hasn't stopped the rumors from flying. Analysts, retailers, and even staff from obscure game streaming services have all weighed in on when the game would release on the other platforms, but mum's been the word from the developer and publisher, and even a petition to bring the game to PC with signatures numbering in the hundreds of thousands hasn't loosened lips. To date, the only official word on a future release for other systems came from Rockstar Vice President Dan Houser, who said, "we're currently focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game and don't have any details to share about a PC version at this time."

With the most recent game's financial success makes the idea of developing an immediate follow-up in order to achieve similar big bucks tantalizing, Take-Two thinks that's the wrong strategy. Rather, the company is focusing efforts to add as much as possible to GTA Online, which, despite some flaws early on, is a strategy that's been proving to make money.

"With GTA V, we have sold 32.5m units in to date, which is extraordinary. 70 per cent of people that have played GTA V while online have played GTA Online, which is a free-to-play experience. And recurrent consumer spending related to GTA Online represented nearly half of our digitally delivered revenue in the quarter. So people are voting that they want to stay engaged and they are voting with their wallets."

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