The Grand Theft Auto series from Rockstar Games has turned into a monster franchise for publisher Take-Two Interactive. The most recent release, Grand Theft Auto V for the PS3 and Xbox 360, immediately set records at release by becoming the fastest game to reach $1 billion. Naturally, Take-Two Interactive President Karl Slatoff said the company needs to find another title that sells like that during a conference Thursday.
Slatoff was the only representatives from the gaming industry at the MKM Partners Entertainment & Leisure Conference in New York City. At one point, Slatoff was asked where were the opportunities for growth with the company were and his response was to say the company needed another blockbuster.
“Well, I think the biggest – first and foremost, the biggest opportunity we have is to keep doing what we’re doing and to come up with another title that sells like GTA,” Slatoff stated (via Seeking Alpha). “So, continuing to build franchise value in any entertainment business – we feel that how you create value in any entertainment business is to build franchise value. And the way to build franchise value, we believe, is to invest in creative talent and make the environment as strong as possible to make sure the creatives do the best job that they possibly can within business construct that makes sense.
“That’s been our sole focus as management, is to create that kind of environment. And we believe it’s just a matter of time before we pop another one out, and all of a sudden we’ve got two franchises that are at the scale of GTA, and that the financial opportunity obviously for investors looks a very different profile than it is right now. So, that’s the biggest area of growth.”
The question now remains where can Take Two Interactive find another huge hit like Grand Theft Auto? The BioShock franchise seems a likely candidate but even Game of the Year candidate BioShock Infinite has sold decently but not spectacularly and the same goes for Gearbox Software’s Borderlands 2. Meanwhile, the XCOM and Civilization franchises are excellent but fill niche genres.
Take-Two’s best bet for another title that can approach Grand Theft Auto-like sales is either another Rockstar Games franchise like Red Dead Redemption which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide since its 2010 release or an all new intellectual property. Coincidentally, Gears of War 3 and BioShock Infinite Producer Rod Fergusson announced yesterday that he was heading up a new 2K Games studio based in San Francisco.
Activision is the current heavyweight in the gaming industry with multiple franchises like Call of Duty, Skylanders, Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft that ring up the sales at release. Take-Two has several solid but not spectacularly selling series outside of Grand Theft Auto so it will be interesting to see how it attempts to get its second monster franchise as the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles release this November.
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