A Grand Theft Auto Movie Would be Too Risky to Greenlight, Take-Two CEO Feels

"We'd much prefer the risk/reward profile of the business we're in," says Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Posted By | On 13th, Nov. 2023

grand theft auto

From The Last of Us and God of War to Mario and The Legend of Zelda (to name just a few), there has been no shortage of major gaming properties that are being adapted as TV shows or movies. And at a time where it feels like it’s only a matter of time before most major gaming franchises get snapped up for similar adaptations, it’s only natural to wonder when we’ll be seeing a Grand Theft Auto film.

Interestingly enough, however, that doesn’t seem to be something that Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two Interactive is interested in. Responding to a question about a potential GTA film during Take-Two’s recent quarterly earnings call, CEO Strauss Zelnick said that making a movie is generally a much riskier venture than making a game, and given the lower chances of success and sufficient returns on investment, the company doesn’t feel greenlighting a movie would be worth the effort.

“[Films and television are] very difficult businesses,” Zelnick said (transcription via PC Gamer). “I’ve been in them successfully. They’re super challenging. They’re not what we do. We’d much prefer the risk/reward profile of the business we’re in.”

He added: “The hit ratios in the motion picture business are vastly lower than they are in the interactive entertainment business. Our hit ratios for console properties are in the 80% or 90%. The hit ratio for a well-run movie studio is around 30%, which is to say there’s a 70% chance that the movie that we license could fail.

“And so in success, the number, in terms of the benefit to our bottom line… it’s not zero, but it’s not really material to what we do around here. And in failure, we run the risk of compromising the underlying intellectual property.”

Of course, it’s not like the Grand Theft Auto franchise isn’t making enough money for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games as it is. GTA 5, for instance, has now shipped a whopping 190 million units worldwide. Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto 6 is due to be officially unveiled next month– though it might not launch until 2025, if rumours are to be believed.


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