GTA, Red Dead Company Responds To Battle Royale Phenomenon
The success of games like PUBG and Fortnite is "really interesting," but Take-Two wants to avoid being "derivative."
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One major trend in game currently is the Battle Royale experience. PUBG really put this on the map, while Epic's Fortnite: Battle Royale is another example. Other games will surely follow, or add Battle Royale modes to their existing formula, and now the publisher Take-Two Interactive has responded to the Battle Royale phenomenon. Speaking on an earnings call today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick it has been "really interesting" to see the explosion in popularity around the Battle Royale genre. However, Zelnick pointed out that Take-Two, comprising its labels Rockstar Games and 2K Games, generally speaking wants to blaze its own trail instead of being "derivative" by following in the footsteps of something that came before it.
"I would just observe that someone else's success is really interesting and we are obviously informed by what our competitors do. But our goal is to be as innovative as possible," Zelnick said. "And titles, even really good titles that are derivative, never seem to do as well as innovations that are unexpected."
As an example, Zelnick pointed to Red Dead Redemption. He said many might have bet against this game, which was released in 2010, because at the time the thinking was that Westerns couldn't be successful. That game ended up being a smash hit, critically and commercially, leading to a huge amount of hype around this year's sequel.
"When we came out with the first Red Dead Redemption, the conventional wisdom was was that Westerns don't work," Zelnick said. "It had been an awfully long time since a Western-themed video game had come out. Rockstar took a massive creative risk and the result was extraordinary."
Zelnick went on to say that he doesn't anticipate that Rockstar and 2K would be all that enthusiastic about being "derivative" with what they make. However, Zelnick acknowledged that if gamers are calling for a PUBG-like game, Take-Two might bring it to them. "Of course we play in the world and we're informed by what's going on. It is our job to bring consumers what they want," Zelnick said.
For what it's worth, GTA Online, the multiplayer mode for GTA V, has a PUBG-style mode called Motor Wars. In this mode (watch our extended gameplay video embedded above), players parachute in to a map and fight to do the death. It's called Motor Wars because the focus is more on vehicular combat that boots-on-the-ground fighting.
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