When Red Dead Redemption 2 got pushed back to 2018, Take-Two Interactive was left without a major triple-A game to promote in 2017. The publisher’s CEO, however, plans to turn that around in the future, with the goal of releasing at least one major game each year.
Take-Two is responsible for publishing the NBA and WWE games, which do release annually. In this discussion, though, CEO Strauss Zelnick lasered in on big-name games like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2.
“We kind of thought we were there in 2015,” Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz in a recent interview. “We had a really good schedule and we began to feel like we were delivering on the promise when we said: ‘We emphatically don’t believe in annualizing titles except for sports titles. We want to build a big enough stable of IP so that each season we have a great group of releases.'”
2016, however, threw that success off course. Battleborn, which went head-to-head with Blizzard’s hero shooter Overwatch, proved to be a flop. Then seven games, including Mafia 3 and Civilization 6, all released in the span of two months, with barely a break between them.
This left Take-Two with only Red Dead Redemption 2 for 2017, and when that game was delayed, with nothing at all.
However, 2K Games president David Ismailer has a plan. In what he calls the six-bucket strategy, Take-Two will create games in several key areas: sports games like NBA and WWE, mobile games, games headed to the Asian consumer markets, and finally, the triple-A business.
“I don’t think there’s radical changes in this strategy,” Ismailer said. “Ideally, we will have one triple-A title every single year.”
The full interview with Ismailer and Strauss can be read here.