Take-Two Interactive’s CEO Strauss Zelnick recently discussed a wide array of topics at the MKM Partners Entertainment, Leisure and Internet Conference. He discussed recent critical and commercial disappointments that 2K had published, such as Evolve and Battleborn. Zelnick also detailed how he wants the label to be associated with quality.
Here’s how Zelnick views both Battleborn and Evolve, two titles that weren’t nearly the success that 2K was hoping they would be:
2K is doing great. I think when you put out a lot of titles, not everything is gonna work as well as one would like, and Battleborn is an example of that. Evolve is a little bit different. That was bought out of a THQ bankrupcy, and it was developed by an external studio with oversight from 2K, so it’s a totally different situation. We knew it was a very unusual title, and it was a bet on an unusual title. It didn’t surprise us that consumers had mixed feelings about it.
Battleborn was a disappointment. We’ve said so publicly, but I don’t think that’s systemic, because 2K is a company that brings you Civilization, with incredibly high score in the nineties, the company that brings you basketball, which scores in the nineties, XCOM 2 and the like where we’re known for having very high scores.
While Zelnick is right to point out the successful series that the company publishes, there is one yearly game in particular that is rarely a critical darling. That would be the WWE 2K series, and it seems like the 2K CEO is aware that the quality has to get better & believes that this year’s product showed improvement. “I do think we need to continue to push on the quality side,” revealed Zelnick. “The fans are really avid, and the title is much better than it was.”
It’s definitely great to see that Zelnick is concerned about quality and wants the company to be known for high-quality software. Obviously, not every risk will payoff, but 2K does have a solid track record. This year will prove to be a solid one for the publisher, thanks to some fantastic titles like Civilization and XCOM, and they’ll look to build upon that in 2017.