Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take Two, Rockstar’s parent company, answered some questions today about their games. One of the most debated questions on the Internet was also one of the first to be answered, so here is the reason why Rockstar is against annual releases.
According to the Strauss Zelnick, there are two main reasons why Take Two does not engage in the annual release of all their titles.
First of all, if a game is released every year, it will eventually lead to a drop in supply and demand, as people will get tired of the same thing over and over again.
Secondly, Strauss says, they aim to release some of the highest quality products on the market, and that, simply, cannot be done with an annual release.
The CEO of Take Two also stated that in his mind, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are permanent franchises, and also that the Bioshock series is undoubtedly important to the company, suggesting that we will see further releases of the aforementioned titles.
Another thing that was revealed during the interview was that the company does plan to have at least one major title released every year, but that they will under no circumstances fold under the pressure and start annualizing all their titles, as most of their rivals do.
The issue of annualizing all of a company’s major titles has been increasingly discussed in the past few years, as more and more games are getting this treatment.
On one hand, this process floods the market with products, offering gamers a wider selection of titles.
On the other hand, however, the quality of these annualized titles is getting more and more shoddy, with games being launched mostly unfinished, completely unpolished, and the users being expected to “deal with it”.
One of the most relevant examples would be last year’s fiasco that was Assassin’s Creed Unity. Being in their 6th year of annual Assassin’s Creed releases, the company enforced a review embargo, so that reviewers would not be able to advise the gamers not to purchase the extremely unpolished final product.
With most relevant titles seeing annual releases that are just as if not even glitchier than the example above, it is refreshing to see a company actually caring about what its customers get for their money’s worth.
Along with CD Projekt Red and Naughty Dog, Take Two, and implicitly Rockstar, are some of the companies strive for quality in a market dominated by quantity. And that, in my opinion, is what we should all strive for.
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