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Take-Two Plans On 'Diversifying' Approach To Console Releases

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says that the company hopes to release a broader range of quality console titles, to limit the studio's dependence on Rockstar's consistently popular Grand Theft Auto series.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reiterated commitment to home consoles, noting its plan to diversity its product portfolio and to expand onto other emerging platforms. In a Gamasutra-attended conference call today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke out on the company's approach to console game development, noting that the company hopes to release a broader range of quality console titles to limit the studio's dependence on Rockstar's consistently popular Grand Theft Auto series. "We're focused on building new franchises, diversifying our approach. For example, you can look at what Red Dead Redemption did for us in our last fiscal year," Zelnick noted, pointing to another popular release also developed by Rockstar. The company is trying to further develop its existing franchises by pushing extensions such as BioShock Infinite, Spec Ops: The Line, and Borderlands 2 aimed for fiscal 2013 (starting in April 2012). In addition to diversifying its offerings in the console space, Zelnick said Take-Two is also keeping a close eye on the "emerging online mobile platforms." To capitalize on these markets, he said, the company recently released the Facebook-based CivWorld and the iOS title Sid Meier's Pirates. Zelnick noted however, that Take-Two is taking a more cautious approach with the social space, as the audiences and business practices on social networks vary significantly from those on consoles. "The business Zynga's in has only been around for about four years," he said. "And playing Zynga titles doesn't scratch the same itch as playing Grand Theft Auto -- that's a dynamic that doesn't change in the video game business." Also in today's earnings call, Take-Two reported a net loss of $8.6 million for the fiscal quarter, despite major releases such as L.A. Noire and Duke Nukem Forever.

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