Zombies sell, says Take-Two chief

CEO Strauss Zelnick says "I'd like to do zombies in everything."

by

The rise in the number games with zombies is no strange occurrence, according to Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, because put plainly: zombies sell.

Zelnick explained today that Red Dead Redemption's expansion packs were "immensely profitable" for Take-Two due in part to the zombie-focused Undead Nightmare add-on.

"And partially that's because we had the presence of mind to add zombies to the title; and everyone always loves zombies," Zelnick said today during the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in New York.

"I'd like to do zombies in everything, but I probably can't say that here. But they do sell," he added.

Zombies have been featured in numerous games of late, including the Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, and Dead Rising franchises, among others.

In the case of Red Dead Redemption, the Undead Nightmare expansion followed protagonist John Marston and his pursuit of a cure for a zombie outbreak that has wrought havoc on the Old West.

Discussion

281 comments
so_hai
so_hai

Now even I, that didn't really like RDD know that it is the mechanics of the game that matter, not whether it has zombies or not. There are plenty of zombie games not worth playing.

What he should have said is that zombies can extend the life of an already quality game design.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

This philosophy is everything that's wrong with the industry today: Just release what we know sells.

"Lets put out 5 to 6 different releases of the same game but just add different titles to it ; Let's add online competitive multiplayer to otherwise single player game experiences ; lets make half a game and release the rest in little bits & pieces but call it DLC, so people will think they are getting more.

Taking a risk and trying something new? Make new IPs? No way...to high of a chance of people lashing out, comparing it to our other series of cash grabs, and not liking it"

^ The last part of this logic sadly true.

Vertigem
Vertigem

Zombies? Well, in the old days was killing nazis, then it became killing terrorists, now is the zombies. Meh...

I think the next big thing gona be killing bunies, yeah, I'm gona make a million on that.

JMcN76
JMcN76

Really? Zombies in everything? I just don't get it.

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

I do like zombies, but I don't think I want them in *every* game...although seeing them in GTA 5 would be fantastic.

Valkyrslayer
Valkyrslayer

Do Zombies everywhere and it will get very boring. No thanks. Even in Horror Games it does not always have to be Zombies. Try creating interesting and disgusting creatures.

csward
csward

Please God no....

Nice job casuals, ruining the industry, one fad at a time.

Earl-of-Death
Earl-of-Death

This is my personal opinion, but I HATE stereotypical zombies in video games. The games that are the exeptions are Resident Evil, (has mutant monsters as well as zombies) Left 4 Dead, (the special infected add some enemy variety) Diablo 2, (Necromancer class uses undead as minions) Torchlight, (summon zombies spell) and Deadspace (Necromorphs are not zombies in the "traditional" sense).

I would rather have more games with vampires or perhaps games that put a new twist on zombies. The whole "Hollywood style" zombie thing has been done to death. /pun intended

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

I loved the concept of zombies in Wild West. They could be fun in GTA too. But in games like Borderlands and Max Payne they have just gotten boring. Smart civilized enemies FTW!

I'd still like to see one last zombie game about the outbreak process. Say you start a day in GTA with a couple of zombies somewhere. Things seem entirely normal but bit by bit the zombies start to take over the city, unless by some chance the zombies are taken out before the critical moment. Kind of like Stubbs The Zombie game but reversed so that you are a clueless human until it's too late. The city should only have a set number of population, so if you manage to kill the entire population of 400 000 people, there should be no more. But if you die it's game over and start the "simulation" over.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

"everyone always loves zombies,"

I hate zombies. the ONLY games I own that has zombies in it would be Diablo2 and 3. And I certainly don't buy those games for the zombies.

Actually, I AVOID buying games where the main focus is zombies, because not only have I never liked them, I've actually grown to despise them.

muzza93
muzza93

Let's be honest. A zombie DLC pack for GTA V would probably be the best thing ever.

Imagine ploughing through a sea of undead on empty city streets in a hummer (patriot). Would be even cooler if the zombies only came out at night. During the day there's people looting and killing eachother for survival then at night the zombies emerge and all hell breaks loose.

vadagar1
vadagar1

good games sell mate, not "zombies" i can name a few zombie games that failed miserably and movies too...

 

Brazucass
Brazucass

Would sell even more if RDR wold be released to PC but it seems they already have enough money!

Ovirew
Ovirew

I think RDR was already a good game in general, and Undead Nightmare was more icing on the cake.

I don't think zombies should be in everything.  And honestly, I really don't want them to be - even if it is optional.


COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

Zombies sell because Microscam has made it's fanboys mindless ones..

d3nR
d3nR

Boobies are still better.

Munstable
Munstable

Zombie sells because we are becoming more and more like it.

Killing zombies is like killing people without the need for remorse.

We hate the way that we have become and yet we are helpless in making change. Killing zombies makes us feel as if we have overcame our fear and are back in control of our zombie-like lives.

I love zombies too, so this is more of a reflection than a critique on other people.

tightwad34
tightwad34

This article might have been relevant 30 years ago.

jotalandia
jotalandia

He is on fire, man control your mouth, jezzz

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

In other news, good games sell, zombies or not.

Keithy211
Keithy211

I don't know what the big obsession is with zombies and why everybody wants them in every game, I'm sick of seeing them everywhere....pissed me off when they made that zombie pack for red dead redemption which was my favorite game I ever played on console...wasted a crap dlc for a amazing beautiful game....I'm sure the kids got their fun out of their zombie killing though.

Damn shame.

Scatterlogical
Scatterlogical

Idiot exec talk. I've heard so many stupid comments of late coming from the mouths of corporate monkeys in executive positions that have nothing to do with the actual development of games, they spout all sorts of inane speculation as if they're somehow expert game designers. When are publishers just going to shut the fuck up about creative decisions?

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

geez, i'm SO tired of zombies. how about dinosaurs and multiplayer underwater scuba hunting/welding should be next. you know where the dino's try to stop you from fixing stuff. fps t-rex swiming after you kinda' stuff. what do you say?

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

I wish this guy was wrong, because he sounds like a money-grubbing jackass, but I can't.  People just eat up anything with zombies in it.  

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

I personally never tire of zombies.... however i do want to see dinosaurs more (the ones in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon count as dinos lol oh oh oh and more robots :D Binary Domain was an awesome that no one played unfortunately :(..... how about more mutants? zombies technically can be considered mutants though lol

b0sse
b0sse

Zombies are boring, overhyped, and did I mention boring?

DarthAsheron
DarthAsheron

I'm tired of zombies. How about dinosaurs?

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I can only assume this flurry of half-baked sound bites from Strauss Zelnick is fueled by just one thing: cocaine.  Lots of it.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Wow, Strauss is a genius, no wonder he's CEO!  


And I'm only half-joking here.  He may actually have a good point honestly, if you think about it.

TheWordsWeUse
TheWordsWeUse

Hopefully this means some sort of zombies in GTA V... For the love of god, please!!!

BFKZ
BFKZ

Go home Take-Two CEO, you're drunk.

csward
csward

@Scorpion1813 Well said, especially because most zombies in games offer no challenge other than huge numbers, which is no fun.

To each his own I guess. My room mate loves everything zombie, talks about the zombie apocalypse and has a zombie survival kit in the closet. Ugh, I can't figure out what the appeal is, other than the Walking Dead series.

so_hai
so_hai

@muzza93 That is such an obvious, cynical idea - and I can't believe they haven't done that. It would skyrocket.

csward
csward

@muzza93 No thanks, but I'm sure one of the GTA 5 DLCs will be a zombie apocalypse one. I'd probably sell like crazy too.

james_324
james_324

@muzza93 If they release it for PC, it WOULD happen... with or without the help of Rockstar!

so_hai
so_hai

@d3nR Yes. Even ones with rotten flesh.

Actually, I take that back.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@jakerscythe Unfortunately most developers would probably take the easy way out and just make a zombie game, rather than trying to think up another hit.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@Keithy211 From what I played of Undead Nightmare, I actually thought it was really funny.  But I don't think it really ruined that game.  Though, I'll agree with you that I'm not sure what the big obsession with zombies is and I'm also sick of seeing them everywhere.

csward
csward

@Scatterlogical Amen, brother. Gone are the days of "it's done when it's done" and "I'll leave it up the design team".

DisturbedFan789
DisturbedFan789

@YEPEE00 Scubasaurus Wrecks, an underwater fps powered by the next Geo Mod engine. I'd buy it.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

@csward

I do like most undead creatures, I've just never really liked zombies. But what I hate about them is when people go on about them too much and talk about them as if they you can't go wrong if you include Zombies (like the guy in the article). If that was the case, any and all of the crap games out there could just add Zombies and it would be an instant success..... I don't think so!

People buy good games because they are good, not because it has zombies in it. Red Dead Redemption sold well. People didn't buy it because they knew there was a zombie DLC on the way. That's just ridiculous. They bought the DLC so give them more reason to keep playing RDR.

Keithy211
Keithy211

@tightwad34 @Keithy211 Kind of hard to ignore an amazing game I love comes out with a DLC and I have to try it and it was ruined by a zombiefest but don't worry I ignore and avoid zombie games because they are boring, played out, unfun in my opinion of course, I'm still trying to figure out why you kids want to ruin every game with zombiefests.