Take-Two Interactive has a great many publishing labels under its belt, but with the exception of 2K Sports – who put out annual releases – others don’t release games with quite as much frequency. Rockstar, especially, ends up taking its sweet time with its games, which often have gaps of a handful of years between releases.
But going forward, Take-Two might be looking at adopting a model of live services. To be more specific, the publisher is considering releasing shorter, smaller productions, and doing so at a greater frequency than earlier, and then adding more content to those games once they’ve been launched.
“I don’t see it expanding further,” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry when speaking on the matter of the long gaps between releases. “In fact, I would expect in many instances it may compress. I think you’re right in that our ability to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis has [resulted in] some less pressure on getting to market with an all-new title. But we find that intersection between the time it takes our creators to do the best work in the industry on the one hand, and what the consumer wants, recognizing that building anticipation is a good thing.”
“And we believe in resting titles as a great thing,” he continued. “I was a real outlier 12 years ago when we said we don’t think it makes sense to annualize non-sports titles, and now most people would agree. But I think eight years is probably too long.”
“It’s possible that games may be a bit shorter than they were in certain instances,” Zelnick went on. “It’s possible that the ability to deliver content on an ongoing basis for a long time after an initial release of a hit would mean that perhaps that initial release wouldn’t be as long in terms of number of hours of gameplay as previously had been demanded in a world where that was all you were getting.”
Though Zelnick doesn’t necessarily mention “live service” explicitly, what he’s talking about sounds a great deal like that. Numerous publishers have tried their hand at that model, and it’s fair to say that they haven’t all been very successful, while there’s also the fact to consider that it’s not too popular with consumers either. It remains to be seen just how successfully Take-Two will end up adopting such practices, if that is indeed the direction they head in.