GTA Publisher: Game Development Getting More Expensive, Risky

A developer "cannot get in without having a couple hundred high quality engineers and artists, loads of capital and lots of money to market the title."

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Take-Two Interactive, which wholly owns Grand Theft Auto studio Rockstar Games, says that the games business is still growing, but that it's also becoming more expensive and risky.

"It's an expensive business, and the risk profile reflects that," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told Bloomberg TV. Zelnick also said that the hit ratio for a well-run interactive entertainment company is in the 80s, while the hit ratio for a well-run movie company is in the 30s comparison.

"That said, those very expensive production, marketing, overhead, in the case of sports titles, licensing, they do create a risk profile," Zelnick said. "And from our point of view it embeds the winners even further. It actually creates a barrier to entry in our business." Zelnick added that a developer "cannot get in not without having a couple hundred high quality engineers and artists, loads of capital and lots of money to market the title."

Just Cause creator Avalanche Studios founder and creative director Christofer Sundberg recently shared a slightly more dire take on the matter, saying that the state of AAA development today is unhealthy and most big-budget games will never make a profit.

If there's a game company that knows that the games business is sometimes worth the risk, it's Take-Two. The company recently revealed that Grand Theft Auto V has now shipped more than 45 million copies worldwide, including 10 million on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game is likely to grow further still, as the PC release is scheduled for March.

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