Red Dead Company: We Make Entertainment, Not Games Alone

"We're not a video game company. We're not an interactive entertainment company. We're an entertainment company."

45 Comments
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Now Playing: Red Dead Company: We Make Entertainment, Not Games Alone - GS News Update

Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V recently surpassed Wii Sports to become one of the most commercially successful games in history. With sales of more than 95 million units globally, GTA V is also one of the biggest pieces of entertainment of any kind in history.

Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive, says in a new interview that Take-Two doesn't necessarily see itself as a video game company. While the company's labels, including Rockstar and 2K Games, do make video games, Zelnick says a better description is that its products are pieces of wider entertainment that transcend the video game label.

"We're not a video game company. We're not an interactive entertainment company. We're an entertainment company," Zelnick said on a recent episode of the KindredCast podcast. "Our teams have proven that our titles can be the most important entertainment properties on Earth. And yet, it's just the beginning of this industry, and therefore, I think, for us."

Zelnick elaborated and said what makes Rockstar's games so widely appealing is that they are often designed to be easy to approach but difficult to master. As a result, their games appeal to the masses while also giving dedicated players a level of depth that keeps them coming back--and spending money. Regarding GTA V's immense popularity, Zelnick said--perhaps jokingly--that every hardcore gamer on Earth over the age of 17 owns the open-world game.

This is not the first time that Zelnick compared video games to entertainment. The executive--who was the CEO of movie studio 20th Century Fox in the '90s--said Red Dead and GTA franchises are similar to the James Bond series because they are "permanent."

Rockstar's next big game is Red Dead Redemption 2, which launches at the end of October for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In other news, Rockstar recently confirmed that the sequel will feature one playable character instead of three that you switch between as was the case in GTA V.

A PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 hasn't been announced, though evidence suggests that it may come to the platform. You can read more about the title in our roundup of everything we know so far about Red Dead Redemption 2.

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

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Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Imagine being this kind of slime. Imagine lacking the most basic forms of empathy in the struggle to remain on top.

How does he masterbate at night knowing who's dick he's touching?

Avatar image for DeFiLeDTitan
DeFiLeDTitan

I'm not going to join the evilcorp hate train, but what exactly prompted this? Was this at a RDR2 presser or something? Because, out of the blue, this is kind of weird to just throw out there. BTW, EvilCorp is definitely my future rockband's name.

Avatar image for deadpeasant
deadpeasant

This guys is getting really up his own hole now. Pride comes before the fall.

Avatar image for odolwa99
odolwa99

This isn't a sandwich I'm eating, it's a food novel!

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

no, you ARE a videogame company. not only that, but the only developer worth a damn under take 2 is rockstar. despite this, take 2 has plans of running them into the ground with all the microtransactions it is stuffing into gta online and red dead redemption 2... i cannot wait to see this empire fall flat on its face out of sheer greed. just give it some time... i am VERY weary of red dead 2's business model... we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@Xristophoros: Running them into the gorund, huh.

Absolutely. They're running the most successful piece of consumer medi entertaining in the history of the human race into the ground by staying the course they've been on for 5 years.

Avatar image for blacklist0907
Blacklist0907

@Xristophoros: if EA is still rocking i think you need to come back to reality couse rockstar is way bigger

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@blacklist0907: rockstar is a studio/publisher under take 2. rockstar is a subsidiary of take 2, unlike ea which controls all of its studios. big difference... rockstar cannot set its own destiny and is at the mercy of take 2.

Avatar image for sdzald
sdzald

Sounds like a inferiority complex to me.

Strauss Zelnick is at some high brow Black Tie affair for CEO's and the CEO of Sony Entertainment walks up and starts asking, what does you company do? Oh just like yours, we are an Entertainment company :)

Avatar image for JustinGoSka
JustinGoSka

Video games are a form of entertainment, so he would be right in that sense, but claiming you're not a video game company when all you've put out is video games is a little silly.

I was waiting for them to point out what films or television shows they were involved with.

Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@JustinGoSka: I think what he's saying is that there are gamers who play video games, and there are people who play GTAV, of which a percentage will be the aforementioned "gamers".

ie, his product is so amazing and so wonderous and so beloved that even non-gamers are getting involved and indulging in their entertainment media.

Load of crap, obviously, but I'm not a sociopath so I can't empathise with the man.

Avatar image for proceeder
proceeder

Wrong. You make nothing.

Your employees make the games. The only thing you could consider having made is the opportunity for your employees to create those games.

I'm sure the onlythingT2 is interested in, or even R* at this point, is money.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

Nice meme.

Avatar image for Blk_Mage_Ctype
Blk_Mage_Ctype

Red Dead 2 = Movie of the Year confirmed?

Avatar image for lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

"We're not a video game company. We're not an interactive entertainment company..."

...'we're a gamentainment company, or maybe even a videractive company. Either way, here at Take-Two, we're better than you and we know it.'

Avatar image for EricShadow366
EricShadow366

Well....since games are a form of entertainment. I suppose everything is in order...carry on Rockstar.

...don't let pride hit you on the way out.

Avatar image for mrdinghat
MrDinghat

""We're not a video game company. We're not an interactive entertainment company."

We're a company that makes vessels for microtransactions. That's how it should have ended if the world was an honest place.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

Strauss Zelnick is a snake.

Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@uninspiredcup: Strauss Zelnick is that feeling you get when you remember there are parasites that subsist on penis flesh.

Avatar image for datriax
datriax

Those sound, oddly, like proud, arrogant words, just before an unforeseen fall.

Huh..... perhaps an omen for T2? I sure hope so, cause I've had enough of their bull****.

Avatar image for nickyparmar92
nickyparmar92

Actually Rockstar is a video game company, because without gaming consoles, or the PC Rockstar would be nowhere in selling their product.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

Strauss Zelnick anagram = Laziness Struck

What a conceited pr**k this guy is.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@gotrekfabian: There's no way that's incidental, Fabian. 'Tis a message from the gods! 🙏

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

@asnakeneverdies: Sorry but the fact that people like Zelnick are present on the planet and making fortunes with nothing but BS rhetoric as a skill proves that there are no Gods!

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@gotrekfabian: No, that cannot be true Fab... Fa... F... 🤢🤮💀👻

Avatar image for punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

Typical Strauss Zelnick nonsense. He'd do his company a much better solid if he just put a cork in it once in a while.

I know he is trying to make some sort of grandiose point about their products but when you have MT's in your "Entertainment," Your point is worthless.

It is just more spin and therefore about as worth paying attention to as listening to EA DiCE tell us that Battlefield V truly is an authentic WW II game. At least that was a somewhat 'Entertaining' Sh*tshow, this is not.

Avatar image for nsa_protocol44
NSA_Protocol44

We are a Microtransactions company now*

Avatar image for thepatrickbynum
ThePatrickBynum

He sounds like Vince McMahon when he's talking about what WWE is; "we're not wrestling. We're entertainment. We don't have wrestlers. We have superstars." It's preposterous.

Avatar image for redhedjack
redhedjack

The beginning of the end.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

I didn't realize games and entertainment were mutually exclusive. 🤯

Avatar image for gusbr
GusBR

"We're not a video game company" but games are the only thing we did so far. hahaha

Avatar image for spikex8
spikex8

All they make is video games but they aren't a video game company. This guy is a tool.

Avatar image for Cikatriz_ESP
Cikatriz_ESP

@spikex8: Obviously I’ve never met the man, but my irresponsible armchair diagnosis is that he’s been stuck in his corporate echo chamber for so long he’s forgotten how to connect with Joe Consumer. Marketing jargon and sayings from cat posters are his reality now.

Avatar image for hrv_25
hrV_25

Go rockstar!!

Avatar image for straightcur
straightcur

man, this douche is so full of himself.

Avatar image for spaceape
spaceape

Comments like this confirm that I was right to cancel my pre-order when he gave a tepid at best response to questions over micro-transactions

Avatar image for borgking1234
borgking1234

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwO0k_Ot57o&t=1s

Avatar image for Sorrow_316
Sorrow_316

Being a “video game company” is what made you billions. I don’t recall seeing a blockbuster hit movie published by Take-Two, or hearing a music album licensed by Take-Two, or anything other than video game related products.

I wonder why they’re trying to distance themselves with video games. Probably some typical pleasing the investors garbage train of thought.

Avatar image for nakx123
Nakx123

I agree with GTA, as for Red Dead, it's not quite at the same level unfortunately in terms of reputation/

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

Uh, oh. Major dick move incoming. Nobody gets this arrogant until right before they're about to screw you.

Avatar image for Cikatriz_ESP
Cikatriz_ESP

Yeah, no. You’re a video game company.

If your only requirement for being an “entertainment company” is that you provide an entertaining product then every single one of your competitors is similarly qualified.

Most people are pretty good at recognizing bullshit marketing speak when they see it, and they rarely appreciate the sentiment.

Avatar image for gzaface
gzaface

Greed uses a lot of disguises, but always shows his true colors in his actions.