'GTA' and 'Red Dead Redemption' Company Says They Will Not Follow 'Fortnite' Model
Take-Two Interactive owns Rockstar Games and 2K games - two of the biggest games publishers in the world, behind projects including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and the NBA 2K series.
CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke at an earnings call today and underlined that he would not let the success of Epic Games' free-to-play shooter Fortnite change his company's plans."I think if one changed one's business to follow other people's big hits, you'd be constantly playing catch up," Zelnick explained decisively.
"To say you wouldn't be in second place is an understatement. You might remain in last place. So it's our job to innovate, and more often than not that has driven our success."
The CEO had previously spoken about the success of the smaller company - and how aware of that success big companies like Rockstar were.
Back in February, he gave his first thoughts on 2018's Battle Royale phenomenon:
"I would just observe that someone else's success is really interesting and we are obviously informed by what our competitors do. But our goal is to be as innovative as possible," Zelnick said.
"And titles, even really good titles that are derivative, never seem to do as well as innovations that are unexpected."
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He spoke about the excitement behind the upcoming Red Dead Redemption sequel as an example of creative risks at the latest meeting, explaining: "Maybe the biggest learning [from Fortnite] is just the reinforcement of the fact that big hits by their very nature are unexpected. What drives a big hit is innovation not derivation.
"That's what we're proud of around here. When we put out Red Dead Redemption, the conventional wisdom was that western titles do not work in the video game business - and Red Dead Redemption was a big hit and we have extremely high expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2."
He gave a glowing assessment of the small games company behind Fortnite, saying: "I think the fact that Fortnite surprised everyone, particularly given where Fortnite came from - after all, what is now in the market is based on a prior release that did not perform all that well.
"It's just a reflection of the fact that if you innovate and give consumers what they want, you can get an extraordinary result. And while we would love to corner the market in hits, and we certainly see it as our job to do so, we don't have all of the hits and we shouldn't expect to."
He conceded: "We play in the world and we're informed by what's going on. It is our job to bring consumers what they want," but remains steadfast in his belief of artistic integrity over chasing fads.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is out 26 October for Playstation 4 and Xbox One
Words by Will Stevenson
Featured Image Credit: Red Dead Redemption 2 / Rockstar