Speaking at the Jefferies Virtual Global Interactive Entertainment Conference, Zelnick – with answers transcribed by VGC – shared his thoughts on the future of Grand Theft Auto.
Asked if Take-Two’s core franchises have a limited shelf life or if they can keep going forever, Zelnick said that if a franchise is “really, really great it will keep going”. Using the long-standing James Bond series as an example, Zelnick called its latest film – No Time To Die – “great”, and said that “you would like every franchise to be James Bond“. Zelnick then compared the film franchise to several of Take-Two’s titles:
“There are precious few entertainment franchises of any sort that fall into that category, but they do exist. And I think GTA is one of them, I think Red Dead is one of them, NBA is obviously one of them because the game [of basketball] will continue to exist.”
To ensure these franchises manage to last as long as James Bond has, Zelnick says creators must “be thoughtful and be willing to rest a title so that you have a sense of ‘wow, this is a rare event'”.
“We take the time to make something that we think is incredibly phenomenal and we also rest titles intentionally so that there’s pent-up demand for that title so that it’s a special event.”
“I go and see a Bond film because there isn’t another one in two months – I’m going to see every Bond film,” added Zelnick.
Finally, Zelnick circled back to the original question:
“Are these franchises permanent? Look, nothing’s permanent, but they can be very, very long-lasting.”
In other news, PC copies of GTA: The Trilogy have been pulled from Rockstar’s store. Players have been unable to play the game since yesterday due to issues with the launcher.