Speaking at the Cowen and Company 43rd Annual Technology Media, Telecom Conference today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick mentioned how it’s become easier lately on making sure his company’s games aren’t releasing directly against the competition’s.
The truth is that we’re blessed in that the shelf is way less crowded today than it was at the beginning of the last console cycle…There’s been a big shake out. It’s pretty hard to make AAA products that are really competitive. We are not the only company that does it, but we’re one of four companies, really, that do it. And we see ourselves as number three in the business. I think most people see it that way, and our revenue certainly stacks up that way.
In the same talk, Zelnick stressed that indie developers cannot do what they (Take-Two) does, and that the days of making a AAA game in someone’s garage is long gone.
I was asked recently in a similar setting, ‘What do you think about all these entrepreneurs who are working independently to create independent games?’ And the answer is I think it’s really interesting and we’re aiming to learn more…But to be clear, they cannot do what we do. There is no opportunity to make a AAA game in a garage. Those days are long gone. You need at least 100 people working on a title for at least two or three years. That is a very expensive, complex, difficult undertaking.
Zelnick also admitted that for VR, Take-Two won’t be the leader, and that he’d rather wait until there’s consumer demand for it before jumping in.
We will not be the leader. We will not be the first ones coming out and saying, ‘Here’s a BioShock for VR game that goes like this.’ That’s probably unlikely because we will allow others to lead the way, because only we can make a BioShock game. (And I use that title just for example.)
Do you agree with Zelnick’s statements? Can we expect a AAA game to come out without having hundreds of people developing it?