Take-Two head says annualized franchises risk burn-out

By Steve Watts, Jun 18, 2012 2:00pm PDT

Take-Two isn't known for rushing games out the door. For example,BioShock Infinite was delayed into next year, and Grand Theft Auto 5 still doesn't have a release date. That kind of measured approach is a conscious strategy according to CEO Strauss Zelnick, who cautions against overusing franchises or jumping too deeply into new hardware.

"I don't aim to annualize our non-sports titles because I think you run the risk of burning out the consumer--even if its very high quality," Zelnick told Gamasutra. "Some of our competitors have had this trajectory where they extract a lot of value and the IP goes away. We're trying really hard to build permanent IP. And if you have to rest the title for a few years, over time you'll extract more value."

That kind of sentiment isn't necessarily shared by other publishers. Activision annualizes many of its franchises, including Call of Duty, Spider-Man, and Transformers. Ubisoft has also been releasing a new Assassin's Creed game every year.

With Wii U's release on the horizon, Zelnick spoke about how new console launches are "a terrific time to launch a new IP." However, don't expect many "mature" titles from the company to show up on Nintendo's newest console. "We haven't announced anything," he said, adding. "I'm skeptical."

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