Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick assured “Grand Theft Auto 5” fans that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the action-adventure game will exceed their expectations. Take-Two (NASDAQ: TTWO) owns Rockstar Games, which developed 2013’s “Grand Theft Auto 5”, an open world title that is currently available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
“Thirty-four million copies have been sold, and yet the truth is not everyone has bought it,” Zelnick told MCV during video game fair gamescom in Germany this week. “One way to look at it is that thirty-four million copies have been sold, but there’s seven billion people on Earth. So we have over 6.9 billion people left to address.”
That’s a pretty ambitious goal for the multinational publisher, which also owns 2K Games and a number of the publisher’s branches, including 2K China, 2K Marin and 2K Vegas. Take-Two is behind an impressive lineup of popular franchises, including the “Bioshock” series, the “Max Payne” franchise and the “Borderlands” series.
“It’s a massive market and an amazing title. ‘GTA’ is the standard bearer in the industry. How can you buy a next-gen console and not want to play ‘GTA’ on it?” Zelnick asked.
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Rumors of the popular game reaching the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 circulated for months until June, when Rockstar confirmed "GTA 5" would reach all three platforms sometime during the third or fourth quarter this year.
“We really are driven by our passion for the business,” Zelnick added. “I know it sounds hard to believe from capitalists, which we also are, but what keeps us up at night and gets us here early in the morning and makes us excited, is that we pride ourselves on making the best interactive entertainment in the business.”
“Grand Theft Auto V" launched last October for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The open world action game was developed by Scotland-based Rockstar North. “GTA V” received highly favorable reviews and was the 15th installment in the “GTA” series and the first game since 2008’s “GTA IV.” The Spike Video Game Awards gave the title the Most Anticipated Game award in 2012. Following its release, the game received the Game of the Year award at the 2013 Golden Joystick Awards. Only three days following its release, IGN listed “GTA V” as second on its list of “Top 25 Xbox 360 Games.”
Within just one day of its launch, the title generated more than $800 million in revenue, which is equal to the sales of approximately 11.21 million units. Within three days, “GTA 5” had surpassed $1 billion in sales.
“In the case of GTA V, nothing but the very best will satisfy Rockstar. They want to blow consumers away,” Zelnick said. “Whatever the expectation is, they want to exceed it. When you see GTA V on next-gen, I want you to tell me whether it is or isn’t better than your expectation. I can guarantee it will be better.”