“Take a look at our quality versus theirs [EA’s].”
It’s hard to deny how successful Take 2 is as a publisher- the company owns 2K Games, the folks behind the popular Civilization, XCOM, Borderlands, Bioshock, and 2K Sports games, but more importantly, also owns Rockstar, the company that brings us Red Dead and GTA, the latter of which includes the highest selling game of all time among its ranks.
What I am trying to say is, they’re really, really successful- apparently successful enough that they feel comfortable taking potshots at the competition. At least, I have to assume so, because that’s exactly what Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick did in an interview with GamesBeat.
For instance, speaking about Ubisoft, Zelnick pointed out that Take 2 manages to make more money than Ubisoft in spite of not having as many employees as Ubisoft does, implying that the competition has bloated organization structure.
“We are a global business, but we’re not that big. We have 4,200 people. We have 17 studio locations. It’s not that far-flung. We’re still able to get our arms around it,” he said. “They [Ubisoft] have 14,000 people, and their revenue is less than ours. We don’t understand it.”
He also talked about EA’s strategy in pushing every single game on the same engine (in this case, Frostbite), noting that in his perspective, that is a strategy that does not make sense.
“Take a look at our quality versus theirs [EA’s],” he said. “I don’t think it’s realistic to say to people, “We think you’re the best creators in the business. Come in and do your best work. Oh, and incidentally, you have to use this technology over here.” We do care what the technology is. We do care how much we spend on development. Rockstar has a proprietary engine. Within the 2K label, there are proprietary engines. We also license external software.
“We don’t think there’s much of a percentage in having a corporate engine. Midway had a vaunted corporate engine, corporate technology library. Midway filed for bankruptcy. There’s little evidence that having a corporate technology system is in service of the best entertainment properties. But reasonable people can disagree about that. It’s not our strategy.”
Those are… certainly rather explicitly aggressive words. On the other hand, as I said, when you have games and brands such as GTA, Red Dead, and Civilization under your belt, you can afford to be a bit more boisterous than you would otherwise have to be.