Take-Two Talks Red Dead Redemption 2 And Arrogance
Let’s be honest, you’re not interested in a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, an open-world game that people are still recommending years later, you want to know why publisher Take-Two is talking about arrogance. Okay, who am I kidding? Let’s get this arrogance talk out of the way then I promise we’ll talk about Red Dead Redemption 2.
Take-Two publishes some heavyweight titles such as BioShock and GTA but according to company CEO, Strauss Zelnick, they have not let it go their heads. In a recent earnings call Zelnick explained the folly of being blinded by your own achievements and how it would lead to the company’s downfall.
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“We have a healthy respect for our competition. We don’t take anything for granted,” Zelnick said. “We’re fond of saying that we think arrogance is the enemy of continued success. We’re always looking over our shoulders, and not because we’re worried about someone eating our lunch, but because we’re worried about making sure that we always provide the best experience to consumers.”
Take-Two’s portfolio of franchises include mutli-million sellers like Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, NBA 2K, Borderlands, Civilization, and BioShock, among others. These games make Take-Two the “standard bearer of what is the very best in interactive entertainment,” Zelnick said.
He went on to say that in order to remain an industry leader Take-Two needs to listen to consumer feedback and pay attention to what their competition is doing.
“To do that, we have to be mindful of what our competitors are doing and what our consumers want and always give them what they want and then some…and to do so at a fair price,” Zelnick said. “So, we have the highest weighted [review score] average on Metacritic ratings in the business. And yes, we know we can always do more. We’re very self-critical; we’re always trying to push the envelope. So, are we worried about our competition? Yes. But what do we focus on? We focus on our own knitting and making sure what we do is the very best.”
What Zelnick is saying seems exceptionally elementary and logical to us normal people but it’s refreshing to see a leader of the industry adopting this sort of ethos and ensuring that Take-Two keeps its feet on the ground.
Okay, now about that Red Dead sequel. Zelnick believes it has the potential to be a permanent series much like James Bond.
“It’s been our goal not just to preserve and grow the Grand Theft Auto franchise, but also to build other franchises that we think can be permanent, whether that’s the Red Dead franchise or the Borderlands franchise or the BioShock franchise or others, Civilization, for example,” Zelnick said.
The executive also claimed that Take-Two has a unique approach to building franchises compared to its competitors. In his view, it is smarter to make “permanent” franchises that consumers will continually spend time and money on over the years instead of “making hay while the sun shines.”
“Our goal is to try to create permanent franchises, that’s the unique goal in the industry. Our competitors do not see it that way. Our competitors’ view is that our franchise will have a certain life, and at the end of that life, you move onto the next thing, so you better make hay while the sun shines,” Zelnick said. “Our view is to the contrary. The best franchises are permanent franchises. Outside of our business you can look at James Bond, for example.”
If the Red Dead Redemption franchise is to return, it could be one of the multiple next-generation games Take-Two currently has in development. In May, CEO Strauss Zelnick said, “We also have a extraordinary pipeline of titles in development for next-generation platforms, including groundbreaking new intellectual property and releases from our proven franchises.”
Yeah, that’s all there is. At least we know Take-Two and Rockstar have plans for Red Dead as a franchise and ongoing series much like GTA. Red Dead Revolver released in 2004 while Red Dead Redemption was out in 2010. Expect a sequel in 2016 by that logic.