GTA company: Xbox One, PS4 sales prove console gaming is not dead

Take-Two president Karl Slatoff says millions in sales for both systems proves console gaming is "alive and well."

Console gaming is "alive and well," despite what the doubters might say, according to Take-Two president Karl Slatoff. Speaking during a BMO Capital Markets conference this week, the Grand Theft Auto parent company executive explained that Take-Two is "pleased and very excited" about the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches, with sales of 2 million each proving that console gaming is not doomed.

He tempered his comments by acknowledging that it's still "early days" and pointed out that new product releases in the holiday season typically sell out, even if they are not a success in the long run. All of that said, Slatoff said he is optimistic about the future of console gaming.

"But this was a little bit different because there is a lot of noise around the gaming industry in general and a lot of question about whether this console cycle will have the same juice as the previous console cycle," he said.

"And there are a lot of doubters about whether or not the console market in general is dead," he added. "And I think the successful launches for the PS4 and the Xbox One have proven that obviously console gaming is alive and well."

Also during the conference, Slatoff explained why the Grand Theft Auto franchise--the pillar of the publisher's portfolio--is released at a slower rate compared to other blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed, which come out every year. He claimed the GTA franchise raises the bar with every new installment, and creating such industry-leading games isn't something that's likely to happen with a shorter development cycle.

"There is always a way to speed up development. And then you have to ask your question of do you want to? Is it the right business decision to make?" he said. "And if you could speed up development and not sacrifice quality and every time you come out with whether its GTA or different product, every time you came out with it, if you could do it and take video gaming to the next level--which is what happens every time GTA comes out, it sets a new standard for video gaming. If you could do that every year and if you could do that without tiring out your franchise then that would be a really good thing."

Another reason Take-Two doesn't release GTA games more regularly, Slatoff said, is because the company is committed to creating new franchises, so that in the event one series goes dry, another can fill its shoes.

"For us specifically, it’s very important to invest in other products because we don’t want to be ever in a situation where a product sort of runs its lifecycle and then there is nothing there to replace it. So we’re very focused on new IP. So there is always an opportunity cost to dedicating all of your resources or the vast majority of your resources towards any one franchise," he said. "It may work really well in the short-term, but it’s a very dangerous thing to do in the long-term and that is not something that we’re interested in doing."

Slatoff said Take-Two always has room to improve regarding the efficiency of its development processes. But at the same time, he said the company is continuing to invest in new ways to drive consumer engagement in an effort to keep people playing longer. This includes creating compelling expansion content for games like Grand Theft Auto V.

"We have more tools in our disposal," he said. "And GTA Online is another example of that where we can keep the consumer engaged with the franchise in between these tentpole releases, so it doesn’t matter quite as much when they come out."

Rockstar Games just this week released new content for GTA Online and has further updates planned for this month. In addition, GTAV's first story-based expansion content will launch in 2014.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

364 comments
PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

A lot of people seem to be jumping to the conclusion that this is once again about console .vs. PC. I would assume that Slatoff's comments are said more with mobile and tablet gaming in mind. I have a couple of mobile games on my phone, but neither of them have any long-term appeal to me. In fact the games I mostly play on my phone are PSOne games I've managed to get through an emulator. Console gaming will always be my first port of call, and I reckon this new generation will see some serious gains being made by the publishers and developers.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Funny because I said the sales of GTAV pretty much proved the same thing. I just don't get where all the industry is in trouble stuff comes from. You never hear anyone say the movie industry is in trouble and I like video games much more than movies.

baxwam
baxwam

Keep talking and bring GTA  to the PC already. 

Cypress131
Cypress131

Take-Two: Console gaming is not dead!

Chris Roberts: PC gaming is not dead!


Me: Seriously, who the hell ever said they were? Both Consoles and PCs for gaming have been around for a very long time, and anyone who thinks either is doing poorly has been living under a rock. Sure, you can PREFER one over the other, but in the end both are doing very well. Just my 2 cents.

MrOrbitz
MrOrbitz

I can't see traditional Console gaming going anywhere unless 1 of 2 things happen.

1: A catastrophic market crash occurs.. or..

2: The Steam machines take off at an absurdly popular level.

Or both things happen.. Who knows, the point is the Xbox One and PS4 are doing very well at the moment and I don't see Console gaming going anywhere anytime soon. Even the Wii U is picking up momentum.

Hiraishin
Hiraishin

Console gaming is definitely not dead. I can say for a fact that 8 out of 10 people where I live would rather play console than PC

Samslayer
Samslayer

I think a little collapse may be good for gaming in the long run.  This might provide that spark of innovation we saw in the mid-80s. 

frylock1987
frylock1987

Funny, I never once read any kind of article or study saying that COnsole Gaming was dying or on the verge of dying.....

But what is dying is GTA Online though =-)

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

There are plenty of people that do not want to game on a pc, tablet, or phone.

shreddyz
shreddyz

Way to make a response story to a non issue. Whomever generates this kind of garbage journalism should be fired really. Stop wasting manpower throwing out these dumb, pointless articles please. 

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

PC Gamers - "Console gaming is dead"

Console Gamers - "PC gaming is dead"


Stop proclaiming things to be dead. They aren't.

bezza2011
bezza2011

i don't get all this rubbish about video game consoles dying out, over the last 30years console gaming has grown and grown and grown.


this rubbish that mobile gaming is the way forward are idiotic, and there is one reason why games like angry bird and candy crush are getting amazing amounts of money and that is every body has a mobile now, it's not that anybody likes these games completely or they play these games all the time, most of the time people download these games play them for a week and then leave them, there is no game on a mobile device which goes oooo remember that game because there isn't any

FernoFrY
FernoFrY

Since when has console gaming ever been considered "dead"?


I know that we have more devices to play games on now like social and mobile but they are on-top of consoles & pc not really an alternative. Can't play an xbox on the train.


The only real reason so many games have failed over the past couple of years is because the generation ran far longer than people expected and innovation has been at a low point. Studios need to realise they can't churn out the same shit every year and hope people wont notice.


Even good games performed poorly due to poor marketing trying to appeal to masses instead of sticking to the style which made them so successful. E.G Max Payne's generic box instead of the art style which people were so familiar with.

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

not to mention gta is still hot while i for one am not interested in buying anymore assassins creed even if its really good.

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

i guess gta 5 has outsold 4 years of annual assasins creed already alone on its own. no point in annualising it. 

GhostofWar75
GhostofWar75

Wtf. I switched to PC but who said consoles were dying out? 

Prometheus
Prometheus

I remember when Pc gaming was "dead". How the tides have turned.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

You know what is dying GTA Online, they freaking release a completely broken game that doesnt include half of the stuff promised and expect the people that already payed $60 for the game to buy fake money for online since every update decreases the amount of money missions and stuff pays out, and then they talk about campaign DLC, which we will probably have to pay for. Its not right, and they better get the game fixed soon.

dussan2
dussan2

This guy needs to focus on keeping his company solvent until Rockstar releases another game and keep the dumb comments to himself.  


People bought 20 million copies of GTA5.  Console market is far from dead it's still growing.

wrexness
wrexness

No one in the console industry ever had any doubts. Quite frankly the last generation lasted a bit too long compared to earlier ones. Normal release cycle is about 6 years, but this one was closer to 7-8. People had started sensing that it was about time to start saving for the new systems. It's that simple, phones just are not a threat to consoles as a whole.

Nepti
Nepti

The only "industry" people pushing the notion that console gaming is dead are the people neck deep in "smartphone" and tablet gaming. Just like the console gaming people who keep saying PC gaming is dead. PC gaming has been "dying" since about the mid-80s, according to "experts."

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

Its not dead but its on life support with tubes stuck in it!

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

The comment that it was dead is a stupid one anyway. The reason sales fell was because last gen lasted too long and everybody had the consoles they were going to buy.

themc_7
themc_7

who thought console gaming was dead? Last gen consoles sold around 80 million each. What gave you the indication that things were slowing down? Consumers are always eager for the lastest and greatest technology, consoles are no different.

DeanoFantasy
DeanoFantasy

lol absolute whatever! so much tech talk is typical, its about the games people! we have 6 more years of beautiful games to brace, bring it on!

bicepsul
bicepsul

this is not concerning pc gaming you idiots. The reason for that "console are dead" crap is because tablets and smartphones are slowly reaching powerful hardware standards and could offer a faster alternative for gaming at a higher level. The graphics are getting better on mobiles, you can stream them on TV so you get a bigger screen, they also support various controllers and such. This is why they were saying the console market will be dead, This is why all games now follow this microtransaction policy which is very popular for f2p mobile games or even some fully paid games. It ain't got nothing to do with PC. PC gaming been here for a very long time along with the consoles and none of them died in the past 20 years, why would they be a threat to each other right now? While smartphones and tablets became popular in the past 5-6 years and now they are having like 3gb of RAM and quad core processors, and thing is they are everywhere, everyone has a smartphone or tablet. I know lots of people who gave up on their pc's or laptops and switched to tablets for internet browsing and casual gaming, social networks. Tablets and smartphones are the reason behind "Consoles are dead" not PC gaming.

Cypress131
Cypress131

@tightwad34 

Development costs is the problem. AAA games are getting much more expensive to produce, but the price of games are staying constant. AAA games have to sell huge amounts of games to be "successful" nowadays. And just the idea alone of raising the price for games makes the public want to grab their pitchforks and torches. That's why DLC and other "cash-grabbing" systems are in place. The public expects better and better games, but isn't willing to pay more for them.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@shreddyz Ha ha, Mackuch throws out more BS articles than should be allowed by law.

SuperDutchy
SuperDutchy

@Heshertonfist As a gamer, I would never want either of these platforms to be dead. A true gamer realizes the value in both. A true gamer is here to play games, in whichever form they may take.

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

@bezza2011 There is the idea that casual games deduct from the buying public ability to buy PC or console games. When in fact casual gamers demographic and those that game on tablets or phones just grows with no impact on gamers.

JRD1912
JRD1912

@GhostofWar75 people in the industry have been saying it for a couple of years.  Due to out of control cost for AAA titles, and Mobile gaming supposedly eating into the market.  Personally I dont buy it, but what ever.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@themc_7 All those mobile phone gaming evangelist within the industry, which were talking about new consoles being "dead on arrival" (and now they remain silent, btw)

Also a lot of PC fanboys that seem incapable of just ignoring some machines they don't like... but you know of its is; the internet :)

Nepti
Nepti

@bicepsul Good analysis but it has a flaw. Unless there is some kind of unknowable-at-this-time paradigm shift, smartphone and tablet "horsepower" will remain behind the hardware curve compared with consoles and full blown PCs.


Restrained hardware relative to consoles and PCs is pretty much guaranteed since, at least right now, smartphones and tablets are extremely sensitive to any price increases from where they are now. Consoles less so (now proven by massive PS4 and Xbox One sales). Gaming PCs far less so (the demographic for PC gaming may be smaller than console and smartphone/tablet users - but they spend a lot of money on their rigs compared to the aforementioned).


Sure, maybe in the next 5 or 10 years there will be smartphones and tablets that can run a game like today's Skyrim or GTA 5. But when that happens, what the consoles and PCs will be capable of will be far more impressive.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@bicepsulThat doesn't work since tablets are not dedicated gaming platform, same goes for smartphones. Potential costumer number is bigger, but around 30% of the people uses them for playing games while 100% of the people who buys a console uses it for games.

Btw, calling people "idiots" takes credibility away from you even more that your incomplete statement.

Chill out a bit.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@bicepsul As long as mobile gaming and tablets are using touch interfaces they are not a viable platform as far as I'm concerned. 

Small "games" are fun in short bursts but are never going to replace the vast adventures you can get on one of the bigger platforms. 

I've tried playing games on a touch screen. Even ones like The Walking Dead. I was surprised how the quality held up on the iPad 2 to be honest but the controls. They drove me to forget about the game and just buy it on the Vita where it has better controls.

That is why I laugh when people mention mobile as the "console, PC killer", haha just wishful thinking of desperate devs.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@bicepsulYou make some good and interesting points, but maybe next time you could do it without adding the insults to the mix. I don't see why that's necessary.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@Cypress131  Developers are more than capable of making great AAA games that don't come anywhere close to the $100 million mark.  Hell many AAA developers now spend that much on advertising and marketing alone.  We, the people playing these games, never asked for such ridiculous budgets and marketing pushes, so it sure as hell isn't going sit well if they try and charge us more for these products just because their incapable to budgeting with any sense.


It's easier now because of technology for smaller groups of people to create higher quality games with less money.  The AAA space you see going to the other end of the spectrum, with lower quality games that look amazing and have insane marketing budgets...  it's not a factor of inflation driving up development costs, it's terrible management.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Cypress131 Everything is getting more expensive. I haven't seen a decline in games to make me think they are on the way out. I am one who is easily satisfied so I can deal with all that extra crap and if I really like the game I will pay more to experience more. Not to mention the $400 price of the PS4 is pretty cheap for a launch(especially in late 2013). And if the industry was in trouble they wouldn't be selling like hotcakes.

frylock1987
frylock1987

@rockstar_88@frylock1987

Oh I wasn't defending console gaming and it not dying at all. Console gaming could die out in the next few years for all we know, especially if the Steambox picks up a crazy amount of momentum. Why buy $60 dollar games on a PS4/X1 when you can buy the same game for usually 30-50 dollars less for a Steambox?

Hiraishin
Hiraishin

@SuperDutchy @Heshertonfist A true gamer doesn't engage in petty rabble of being a true gamer. A true gamer will play what ever the hell system or game that is fun to them

tightwad34
tightwad34

@JRD1912 I have never bought it either. I think it's a ploy for us to buy more shit.

bicepsul
bicepsul

@Dannystaples14 @bicepsul I am not a fan of touch based gaming either. It's a gimmick when it comes to games. i prefer buttons. But as you surely know there are a lot of 3rd party controllers you can attach or connect to your tablet or phone and have physical control scheme. As far as mobile games go, you see that more and more capable games are appearing on mobiles. You got GTA 3 and Vice City, Max payne, you got games like Modern Combat which is basically a COD for mobiles and NOVA games. Not to mention other open world games like Gangster vegas or such. Even WoW style mmmo games like Order and Chaos. racing games like Real Racing and arcades like Asphalt. Games are getting bigger on mobiles too but they are shallow and plain when it comes to feeling and immersion. You cannot ignore these facts, but i like to think of it as just the beginning of the trend, it still has many years to go before you can say that they are killing the console or pc market. Especially since they are not reliable due to low battery life and not being a dedicated gaming device.

bicepsul
bicepsul

@TenraiSenshi @bicepsul I am sick of narrowminded fanboys that keep on kissing the asses of some party like that party is feeding and caring for them. Sick of poeple with no vision on the whole of the industry yet pretending they know everything. But i guess that is what the internet is for, right?

Cypress131
Cypress131

@tightwad34 @Cypress131 

If the industry was in trouble, many game companies would be going bankrupt.


Ohwait...


Seriously, did you even read my post? We're talking about software, not hardware. Many game companies are struggling because they can't get enough revenue to outway the higher development costs, because game prices haven't gone up in years. I've been personally affected by layoffs in the game industry so i have a pretty good idea of what is going on.

bicepsul
bicepsul

@Dannystaples14 @bicepsul dunno about docks or anything, what i saw was like attaching to the sides of the tablet or phone and you held it like a vita or something but looked like crap

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@bicepsul Well in terms of the controller thing. That sounds a little ghastly to me. I have a laptop which is decent for gaming. It can play most games near maximum at 720p and 30fps. And I also do plug my Xbox 360 controller into it via a wireless adapter thing on occasion but on a 10 inch iPad? Which will have to have some sort of stand to go with it? And you still get graphics which are only a shade above that of a Vita or something. And you still have to play the sort of game clones?

To be honest I'd rather spend a bit more cash on a decent laptop and play Witcher 3 when it comes out.