While annual releases might work for sports titles, Take-Two Interactive executive vice president and chief operating officer Karl Slatoff says rushing most franchises to get an annual release impacts series quality in the long run.
"We are trying to break new ground every time we come up with something," Slatoff said in a recent interview with VentureBeat
. "It's really hard to do that every single year. And I do believe you can have success for a period of time. But as far as what is the best way to manage a brand franchise so you’ve got longevity? As you move from generation to generation, that remains to be seen."
Slatoff said that giving time to big releases in major franchises makes each release "notably and meaningfully different," which helps create long-term value for the IP.
"It’s not just about getting excited about one franchise and beating it to death until it dies and going on to the next," he said. "We really think so much goes into doing this that we act like we are managing a long-term brand. That’s how we approach it."
Giving more time for marquee releases also allows Take-Two to get the most out of the company's marquee designers, Slatoff said, singling out Rockstar's Sam and Dan Houser, 2K Sports' Greg Thomas and Firaxis' Sid Meier by name.
"I think our guys have an incredible capacity to make great games," he said. "Every time we think they have reached their capacity, they surprise us. It comes back to reinforcing our feeling that quality is more important than quantity. But I don’t want to put an artificial barrier around our guys because they have an incredible amount of capacity to take on multiple projects at the same time."
Elsewhere in the interview, Slatoff expressed interest in Nintendo's newly announced Wii U console, stopping just short of outright confirming Take-Two support for the system.
While the system's HD capabilities will be helpful for developers re-using art across platforms, Slatoff said the company is more interested in "developing for the specific capability of each machine," rather than just delivering straight ports across all the major systems.