While the fact that GTA 5 broke the 70 million shipped copies mark was the main takeaway from the recent Take-Two quarterly earnings report, there was more substance in that call that might interest fans. Namely, one investor voiced a worry that seemed to echo that of the community – how will Rockstar continue to support Online if they’re working on RDR2?
Following the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2, many players assumed that the fate of GTA Online was sealed. With such a big project on their plate, most fans thought that the company would just drop content support for the multiplayer hit altogether. Now, we ourselves ran a story recently detailing why this won’t happen, but a single article won’t quell the collective voice of a whole community.
It seems one of Take-Two’s investors had similar qualms, and presented them to the company’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, who was on the other end of the line. Like us, Mr. Zelnick assured the investor that the studio is more than capable of spinning both plates at once.
Rockstar Games has enormous bandwidth to work on multiplicity of opportunities simultaneously, and I think we all can be really proud of their ability to do so and to delight consumers while delivering experiences that critics resoundingly rate as perfect or very nearly perfect. So we’ve an enormous amount of confidence in that label and their performance, and we’re incredibly excited about what is to come.
Now, we’ve incorporated the same argument into our own article. Rockstar Games is a massive, multinational developer with multiple studios, much like other heavy hitters. Consider Ubisoft or EA Games. Granted, they are their own publishers, but like Rockstar, they have many studios that work on their games, and they push out multiple AAA titles per year.
Rockstar, on the other hand, hasn’t released a new game in three years, nor has it announced a new game in five. Instead of quantity, Rockstar focuses on quality. Producing GTA Online DLC is hardly the kind of work that would tax multiple studios around the world to their limits. Plus, AAA titles are have usually been under development for well over a year, or even two, when they are announced. If RDR2 would prevent Rockstar from focusing on Online, how come the past year was the best in terms of DLC?
Zelnick also took time to bring Take-Two’s – and by extension, Rockstar’s – major emphasis on quality. True enough, pretty much everything Rockstar has put out throughout its history has been praised by critics and players alike.
Our creative teams are encouraged to focus on something they’re highly passionate about. And then I would say, we are all, everyone, at this company is laser-focused on quality. And again, even that doesn’t always work out according to plan but more often than not, it does.
Take-Two has expressed in the past a desire to keep GTA Online popular and profitable through 2020 and hopefully beyond. A recent analyst has estimated that the game brings in $700 million annually thanks to microtransactions and consistently high sales figures. The game is, even three years after launch, a top seller globally, across all platforms.
That is not the kind of game you cease supporting, especially if the new project you’re working on – in spite of popularity within the gaming sphere – just doesn’t have the same kind of mainstream appeal and brand recognition. While RDR2 is guaranteed to be a success, there is pretty much no way it will make as big a splash as GTA 5 did.
Were you worried about GTA Online’s future due to RDR2’s development?
What do you think? Sound off below!