Sequels to Rockstar’s games tend to take multiple years to come out. Now, however Take-Two is promising that Rockstar Games sequels will be more frequent in the future.
Rockstar’s most recent release, Red Dead Redemption 2, came out eight years after the original game. Meanwhile, it has been six years since Grand Theft Auto 5 came out with not even a tease over the next installment. Of course, other games within Take-Two’s portfolio have also taken a bit to come out. For example, the upcoming Borderlands 3 will launch almost seven years after Borderlands 2.
Talking to GamesIndustry at E3 2019, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick stated that he saw this trend coming to an end.
“I don’t see it expanding further,” he said. “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.”
That said, Zelnick also reiterated that the company does believe in giving their franchises a break.
“And we believe in resting titles as a great thing. 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.” However, he does agree that eight years between games “is probably too long.”
As for why he thinks the trend is coming to an end, he cites the ability to deliver more content for a game after its release. This means that developers can make a shorter game, since post launch content can continue to keep players engaged.
Releasing more games sooner should help Take-Two bolster its AAA portfolio. In recent times, the company has had to rely on their annual sports titles in years where it didn’t have any AAA release. Put games out more frequently should help plug that gap and keep more fans satisfied between releases.