Take-Two says next-gen development will be complicated and costly

CEO Strauss Zelnick says making the "standard bearers of the industry" will not come easily.

Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive believes creating compelling titles for next-generation platforms will be complicated and costly.

Despite the challenges, CEO Strauss Zelnick believes his company is up to the task, due in part to a drive to be fiscally responsible and disciplined, as well as the cash it has on hand.

"There's nothing straightforward about making what we hope will be the standard bearers of the industry. And there's no question that developing for what will be next-gen will be complicated and for the type of titles we do, will be costly," Zelnick said today in a post-earnings financial call.

"That said, we have a very strong balance sheet and we align our business with our costs; and one of our three strategic objectives is to be the most efficient company in the business," he added.

Zelnick's comments today don't match up with what the executive said in November. At the time, he did not foresee a significant increase in development costs for next-generation games. In fact, he said the opposite would be the more likely scenario--that games would become easier to make.

"We don't have a ramp-up of operating expenses for next-generation," Zelnick said at the time. "Do we believe the titles to be a whole lot more expensive to make for next-gen? And the answer is we do not. In many instances we believe that it may be somewhat easier to make titles for next-gen, depending on how the technology comes together."

Today, Zelnick said that in time, development efficiencies may be reached, but right now it's "too early to say" if that will be the case.

Take-Two's next major project is Grand Theft Auto V, which launches September 17 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation. Wii U and PC versions are "up for consideration." For more, check out an Ask GameSpot video feature on the game below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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406 comments
Collins0262
Collins0262

They're just looking for an excuse not to port GTA V to next-gen :p It will be expensive in the sense that a new console will need new expertise, new hardware/software for development etc. Developing for next gen in the long run will be much more time-efficient and thus less costly thanks to the simplified and similar architecture of both systems, especially that both systems and of course PC will support DirectX 11.1, the sales might be lower initially as people will probably take their time transitioning to the new consoles. Anyhow stop bitching and give us a decent title for next gen, like the agent or whatever, any game from rockstar simply rocks!  

vishalwales123
vishalwales123

i need friends for my NFS MOST WANTED GAME  please please add me my user account name is wales123486

Hurvl
Hurvl

Not so optimistic anymore, are we? The next-gen Playstation and Xbox are supposed to be more PC-like and that would make it easier to develop for them and port games to PC, so I hope that offsets any increases in development costs.

edinko
edinko

I believe the opposite to be true IMHO. Its less time consuming just to port a high end PC version that is equal on the next gens(with pc architecture) than to spend a lot of time to optimize and water down and suffer stuff like the cell processor etc.

It seems more like a justification for more monetization schemes

Vividnightmare
Vividnightmare

This just boils down to standard industry double talk. Basically the new technology is going to lower their development costs, they admitted this by accident, not wanting to have to lower prices on games and lower their profit margin they quickly counter their statement. Let them raise it to whatever they like, I'll either wait for it to come down or change hobby's. I'm tired of dealing with this corrupt industries greed mongering all the time.

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

But where do you draw the line. Game costs 200 million to make, triple A, so they sell at $70 then a B-rate game comes a long and thinks "great I can sell at $70". I think they need price for quality a bracket system which games sell at $40 and the triple A go for more because otherwize the crappy games reek the benifits from triple A games having to rise prices and them following suit.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Developers and Publishers have been saying the same about creating games for the PC for years, and that was mostly because of piracy. The old bait and switch tactic again.

Its not the expense that is the problem, its the smaller profit for the original game. Hence, enter DLC territory. My heart bleeds. Their happiness comes from our wallets and addictions. Hey, wait a minute. Are we being pimped?

bezza2011
bezza2011

Wait so next gen is going to cost them more even tho, the ps4 has stated it's spec's and is pretty much a pc under it's hood and you already make games on a pc and tone down the graphics and everything else to code it to say the likes of the ps3 system where it's nothing like a pc, :S 

maybock3000
maybock3000

Nobody will be able to afford next gen games or systems, because in a year or two the economy is going to totally tank. Things are going to get really, really bad and we won't be buying toys anymore.

baxwam
baxwam

Expect seeing a game selling 14 million being called a failure next gen 

chriswolves1
chriswolves1

nighterrorx you beat me to it, that was exactly what popped into my head when I saw the headline for this story

OldSchoolPlaya
OldSchoolPlaya

This guy should be a politician. Haven't heard so much double-talk since the Romney campaign!

nighterrorx
nighterrorx

Sounds to me Take-Two is trying to justify/prepare us for $69.99 to $79.99 prices for regular titles. 

Barazon
Barazon

The PS4 will be perhaps an order of magnitude easier to develop for than the PS3, due to not just a more standard architecture, but a SINGLE architecture.  To develop for the PS3, you had to use two different compilers: one to write code for the "main" CPU (or PPE) and a separate compiler for the 6 "satellite" processors (or SPEs).

Xbox development should be made easier slightly by the introduction of the Blu-Ray drive, in that you will have much more space available.  This will alleviate the need to balance out how detailed of texture files you can afford to create, how many minutes of digitized voices, etc.

It will easy cross-platform development because, with both using Blu-Ray, you should be able to fit the same size data (textures, voice, etc) on each version.  It may also be easier due to similar architectures, since they are both fairly similar to a PC.

tim1935
tim1935

I call (*cough* bull#$%#) the new consoles are glorified computers.  How much easier can development get for them?

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

So it begins.....the next big Fall of the Video game Industry...

dussan2
dussan2

This statement is for the shareholders so their expectations are managed appropriately.  Once the next gen consoles come out the spreadsheet monkeys and no-nothing shareholders/analysts will  sit there and wonder when the next Rockstar sandbox game will be released on it.  


Take Two gets fucked over every time because they can't manage their stock prices effectivley.  They get boosted by their big name titles, and then it slowly dwindles away because their AAA shit takes a ton of resoiurces to make.

deth420
deth420

these people shouldnt be aloud to address the public in any way.

deon99
deon99

All they have to do is keep making te quality games they have been making and they should have no worries about making their money back , and then some.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Well... PS4 is easier to develop than the PS3 right?

Technically that's half of the next gen argument brushed aside.  I don't mind paying more for games if the costs are justified, but I'm not going to fork out extra cash for something that could have been achieved this gen.

Aside from the indies obviously ;)

commanderxp90
commanderxp90

I want to make a new deal that if you buy the GTA5, then you can play GTA5 on either PS3 and PS4 on the voucher inside the game include free DLCs. My strong suggestion is up for it. :)

gun_blade25
gun_blade25

Bullshit, it will be exactly as difficult as making current generation games. The only difference is larger textures, higher resolutions and better anti-aliasing, which most decent developers already provide for PC users anyways. If anything, the fact that PS4 and 720 will be using the same standard PC architecture will simplify the process greatly.

Pr0ving4Gr0undz
Pr0ving4Gr0undz

I could of sworn someone from 2k said it would be easier a while back. 

h1221292h
h1221292h

so in short, next-gen games will be expensive>

bradrame
bradrame

Kickstarter should solve a lot of problems, I think.

N-bellic
N-bellic

The game is clearly getting a PC release. All these screenshots are showing off graphics which current gen consoles couldn't possibly run.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Wait a minute. One minute they are banging on about PC architecture is going to be easier to make games for. Now this guy is saying the opposite?

Does that mean the only thing that is going to improve on the next generation is the graphics? i.e. the most expensive part and one which isn't even essential to the game? They have obviously put a lot of money into some areas if they are already worried about it being too expensive.

If graphics is all next gen brings to the table I am going to be so pissed. Gameplay before graphics! How many more shit games need to be released before they realise this? All they are doing now is pouring resources into graphics, no wonder they aren't meeting their sales quotas after selling 3 million odd copies!

p4kman88
p4kman88

...i'm sorry all i heard was.... MORE FUCKIN REASON WHY THIS NEEDS TO BE ON PC @ RELEASE LAUNCH!!!

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Very simple solution: Embrace modding community. They can do a better job of improving the game anyway. Look at PC modding community... they turn crap games into decent ones.

Sydrum
Sydrum

by the way, don't forgive me for asking but WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO AGENT?

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

Hey publishers, you dont have to rush to max out the graphical power of the next-gen consoles. You can use the gaming engines that are already out and focus your budget on making games that are fun, immersive and innovative as apposed to making a game that just looks pretty.

Evil_Rage
Evil_Rage

As long as you consider the powerful hardware of PC up for consideration and likely attaching GTA V PC to DRM (Steam, Origin, online whatever, don't care , drm is always going to be drm to me and I never buy drm games) I will keep my purchase of your games under consideration as I am a PC exclusive gamer and do not appreciate being treated like a criminal with hard earned components that already outclass the Wii-U, Xbox 720 and PS4 combined in terms of raw cpu power, storage, memory, as well as visual and audio fidelity when its actually utilized.

I also second that there may be more CD Projekt RED style devs that might come about publish and create their own games especially if the CEOs and investors want to artificially increase the already insane game development cost because they want to be richer than they already are.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

"Making next gen games is hard, people.  A lot of time and effort goes int- JEEVES!! JEEVES!! PREPARE MY MONEY VAULT FOR MY SCROOGE MCDUCK MONEY BATH!!!  Where was I?  Ah, yes....A lot of time and effort goes into producing these titles."

wcwj26
wcwj26

 Costly huh?

Well that alienates 80% of the gaming industry from PS4720!

Talavaj
Talavaj

Translation: "CEOs and Investors will want bigger share from next-gen games".

Honestly, there will once come a breaking point and your dev teams will say "You know what ? eff this shit" and go make great games as indie developers for fractions of their usual budgets.

vivalatour
vivalatour

whatever happens I hope games stay around the $60 sticker price ! ..... I was looking at new cars , are they worth the price , I don't think so , but I guess it's only for the people who can fit them into a budget ? my budget consists of these video games because this may sound crazy or stupid , but I feel them more important ! 300,000 copies  x's $60 is not shabby in my opinion !  R* is my vitamin ...


lightningbugx
lightningbugx

Sounds like a CEO is actually listening to his employees.  That doesn't happen, so we really can't take his recent comments as trustworthy.

Alucard1475
Alucard1475

One corporate CEO vs the many developers who said the exact opposite. I'll stick with the guys around my pay-grade. 

MarcjinJaume
MarcjinJaume

Do this R*:

1st - Put together the maps of GTAIV and GTAV and update them to next gen standards (graphics, physics, AI, etc. ).

2nd - Focus only on creating new stories with new characters as well as minor updates and content (guns, cars, minigames, etc.) throughout the next gen as a kind of big DLCs.


Doing this you reduce the cost of creating new maps every time, and use the time for creating more stories that you eventually can sell to the players. The quality stays the same, or increases in the story side, and we get as much content and good graphics and a lot more gameplay hours. Win win!

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

Expect more expensive development and therefore even more attention on the action genre

shazz_rulez19
shazz_rulez19

Next-gen development will be more complicated, yes i'm sure it will be but can you please tell that to activision and ubisoft.

Sydrum
Sydrum

Take Two is by faaaaaar the best publisher out there. I am sure they'll have no problem whatsoever with the next gen.

simo_tmm
simo_tmm

I like how in my language this guy's name translates to the letter Ostrich Leek pastry. How can I trust anyone with that name

SunnySkyNL
SunnySkyNL

I was so hoping this article was going to tell me I will be able to buy GTA V on the PS4 in the near future. This game is going to be so awesome and I will be getting a PS4 at launch so I would like to be able to play this awesome game on the best console I have for the upcoming years considering that a new GTA game is not coming out every year (thank god). I sure hope they will tell us the news on E3, I don't care if it's on the launch with the PS4 and new Xbox, I just hope it will come to the next gen consoles, we all know it has every right to do so.

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

Something I could get behind would be a company like Take-Two funding small time small  budget independent games/developers. Sort of like what the movie industry does.

If that was to happen we could see innovation come back to the mainstream.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

GTA IV cost them over 100 million to make...but excluding DLC, they sold over 10 million units worldwide.  Factor DLC and they made even more money.  GTAV is expected to cost 137 million to make. They'll sell at least as many if not more units than GTAIV....they're not hurting folks.  

tightwad34
tightwad34

They must be living in a different world, because where I come from all video games are very easy and inexpensive  to make.

Carreau13
Carreau13

Excuses to make us think we should pay more for games.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

Sounds like they are just trying to set everyone up for a 69.99 price tag standard for next gen games.  Bogus if you ask me.  Supposedly all of the earlier reports were stating how much easier it would be to develop games on the new consoles with PC, 720 & PS4 all switching to the same architecture.  Classic case of developers getting greedy when they know they have something that everyone wants to get their hands on.

JayQproductions
JayQproductions

Maybe they should spend less on marketing? If smaller PC developers can make amazing games like The Witcher series for a smaller audience and still remain profitable mostly by word of mouth then your AAA games probably don't need $100 million dollars in commercials, billboards, and magazine ads.