Every year without fail, publishers like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft release titles from their Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin’s Creed franchises respectively. This is because the publisher knows that many gamers look forward to these games, which also means huge business opportunities.
So why does Take-Two or Rockstar release games like Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, or Red Dead Redemption on an annual basis? Speaking at the MKM Partners Investor Day in New York City, Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed the reason why, and that reason is due to quality and the fear that it could end up eroding the brand’s value.
Zelnick was quoted as saying, “The market asks us, ‘Why don’t you annualize your titles?’ We think with the non-sports titles, we are better served to create anticipation and demand. On the one hand to rest the title and on the other hand to have the highest quality in the market, which takes time. You can’t do that annually.”
However there is also the question of revenue. After all titles from Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin’s Creed no doubt rake in a lot of money for their respective publishers, but according to Zelnick, “What we would like to do is be able to have enough hit intellectual properties in any given year, whether we have Title A or Title B, is not the issue. We’ll have a handful of really great franchises and new intellectual properties that together really have the economic impact of an annualized business without the detriments of an annualized business.”