Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grand Theft Auto Franchise Ships 125 Million Units to Date

Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two CEO, has revealed that the Grand Theft Auto franchise has now hit more than 125 million units shipped!

In a presentation at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has revealed that the Grand Theft Auto franchise has now reached 125 million units shipped life-to-date. 
While Zelnick didn't provide any other details regarding this announcement, a Take-Two representative has confirmed the figures (via GameSpot) and notes that Grand Theft Auto 4 alone has now shipped 25 million units to date.
Zelnick also explains why he thinks the Grand Theft Auto brand is so popular. He likens it to the James Bond movie franchise, where it's not released every two years, which is the same as the GTA games and this release schedule keeps the series "special," he notes.
But there's another videogame brand that's out annually and it's still a massive success. I'm, of course, talking about Activision's Call of Duty franchise. While Zelnick praise Bobby Kotick and their multiple studios that can pump out quality titles every year, Zelnick states that this business model by Kotick & Co. has risks his company is unwilling to take.
It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently.
To prove his point, Zelnick gives Black Ops 2 as an example. While the latest Call of Duty game from Treyarch still managed to make waves, it didn't manage to break last year's Modern Warfare 3's record. Heck, its sales are even lower now compared to Black Ops 1 and even Modern Warfare 2. According to Zelnick, this is a sign that the series is beginning to slow down, which is not the case with the GTA brand.

That's never been the case with one of ours...Ours do better each time. Our view is it's hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualize it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that's proven to be the case. IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall.
Needless to say, I expect that 125 million milestone to be broken by a few tens of millions more once Grand Theft Auto 5 ships in spring of 2013, no?
Do you agree with Zelnick? Would a yearly or bi-yearly Grand Theft Auto game lose much of its appeal and popularity?


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