Take-Two Boss On Remasters: "We Don't Just Port Titles Over"
Strauss Zelnick believes there is reason why remasters from his company may perform better than the competition.
Take-Two's top executive has spoken about remasters, saying what separates his company's games from the competition is a focus on quality and making sure the remaster feels like it's taking advantage of the new hardware instead of standing as a simple port.
During a Morgan Stanley speaking event, Strauss Zelnick said remasters have always been a part of Take-Two's strategy, and this is expected to continue.
"I'm not sure they'll be a bigger part of the strategy. Remastering has always been a part of the strategy. What we've done differently than the competition is we don't just port titles over," he said (via VGC). "We actually take the time to do the very best job we can making the title different for the new release for the new technology that we're launching it on."
Take-Two's new major remaster is Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, which launches in the second half of 2021. The Rockstar-developed game will have a series of upgrades on the new machines, and Zelnick believes Take-Two's commitment to quality is "why I think our remastered titles typically do so well."
Zelnick specifically praised the Mafia remasters from 2K Games, while he also remarked that GTA V is now heading into its third console generation, which demonstrates a massive level of success for the game. Zelnick said he feels "confident Rockstar is going to deliver a great experience but you can't do that if you're just doing a simple port."
In February, Zelnick was asked directly of Rockstar would consider remastering some of its older GTA games. Zelnick opted to let Rockstar speak for itself, but the executive did say he believes it's a "great and encouraging question" to think about.
GTA V has already sold 140 million copies, and it's poised to grow even bigger with the launch on next-gen consoles. Despite the game's success, Zelnick said there might be a saturation point for GTA V, which is why the company is launching a standalone edition of GTA Online.
"As you sell that many units, you at some point will arrive at the conclusion that you've saturated the market for purchasing the title," Zelnick said. "At that point you're willing to experiment with the possibility that maybe there is another way to bring people into the online experience. Make it super-low friction. Low price point. Sure, you don't have access to the original single-player experience, but you do have access to an online world. Our view is perhaps that's a different market and that's a way to expand the player base."
Take-Two already experimented with a standalone multiplayer offering, as it released a standalone edition of Red Dead Online in 2020. The game was hugely successful in terms of driving people to the game, and he said there may be a scenario where people who buy the standalone game become intrigued in the single-player and decide to buy it.
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