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Take-Two "Skeptical" Over Wii U

Matt Gardner
2K Games, 2K Sports, Development, E3 2012, Game development, New IP, Rockstar, Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two "Skeptical" Over Wii U

And Won't Be Annualising Non-Sports Titles Any Time Soon

Take-Two Interactive's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has suggested that the company may be a little hesitant when it comes to the possibility of moving their stable of mature titles onto Nintendo's upcoming new home console.

"We haven't announced anything," said Zelnick regarding that matter. "I'm skeptical."

He did go on to say, though, that new console launches did represent an opportunity for publishers, and that he fully expects Take-Two to come up smelling of roses.

"For a company like ours, it's a great opportunity," he said. "[New console launches] separate the winners from the losers -- and we fully expect to be one of the winners."

For Zelnick, Take-Two firmly tick all four of the important boxes that he feels publishers require to be a success in such circumstances - "owned intellectual property, top-tier technology, top-tier development talent and a strong balance sheet".

"I don't want to minimize the challenge of creating titles for new technology or the economic challenges of doing that, but if you get it right, it's a terrific time to launch a new IP," he said.

Zelnick suggested that he's looking to build a portfolio of "permanent IP" at Take -Two, and is cautious about overexposing his company's flagship products, saying that there's no desire to annualise the publisher's non-sports titles because that runs the risk of burn out.

"I don't aim to annualize our non-sports titles because I think you run the risk of burning out the consumer -- even if its very high quality [product]," he continued. "Some of our competitors have had this trajectory where they extract a lot of value and the IP goes away. We're trying really hard to build permanent IP. And if you have to rest the title for a few years, over time you'll extract more value. ... We're not trying to create something good and market the hell out of it. We're trying to delight customers with something great -- and market hell out of it."

It's a strategy that has helped lift the company out of crisis in the last five years, though Zelnick knows that the work is not finished yet and that there's still some way to go to make the system perfect.

"We haven't optimized our system – our slippage last year tells you we haven't - but we've made a lot of progress," he said. "When I showed up here five years ago, THQ's market capitalization was four times that of Take-Two. Ubi's was twice Take-Two. EA's was 25 time Take-Two's. To say the very least, that's not remotely the way the world works today. Would I like to apply a little more rigor to our art? Of course I would! Look at me, I'm a suit! But I have an excitement for what our team can do." [Gamasutra]

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