Take-Two CEO Talks GTA 5 Sales, Evolve DLC Controversy

After 45 million in sales, Strauss Zelnick says GTA V can grow further still; also defends Evolve, saying it's worth what people will pay for it.

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During Tuesday's earnings call from Take-Two Interactive, the publisher's chief executive Strauss Zelnick fielded questions about Grand Theft Auto V's 45 million sales, as well as the controversy surrounding the extensive DLC pipeline for upcoming monster-hunting game, Evolve.

Regarding GTA V sales, Zelnick was asked how many of the 10 million copies shipped on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are repeat buyers versus new players. Zelnick said it's a tough number to pin down exactly, but explained that it's probably a fair mix of the two.

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He also said during the call that, even after 45 million units sold worldwide, GTA V still has an opportunity to grow further

"There are 45 million units sold, but there are billions of people on the face of the earth," he said. "So we have plenty of room."

GTA V sales are likely to balloon further in March when the PC edition is released. In addition, the GTA series has historically enjoyed a long sales tail, with back-catalog titles selling strong long after their original release.

Also during the call, Zelnick responded to a question about Evolve's DLC program, which has drawn much conversation and debate recently. Zelnick, like developer Turtle Rock before him, defended the game in general, adding that "all signs" are pointing to a successful release for the title next week.

"You're right, there was some controversy stirred up by an online post," Zelnick said to an analyst. "And I guess controversy generally speaking is a good thing. People can argue about the business model [but] I think we're delivering a fantastic title that's well worth what consumers will pay for it. All signs are extraordinarily positive. I never like to claim success before it's occurred--this looks to be a good news event, I'm going to leave it at that, and hopefully during our next call we'll have great news to report."

Zelnick went on to point out that Evolve won Game of Show awards at both E3 and Gamescom in 2014.

"The buzz [for Evolve] is massive, so we'll wait until consumers tell us what they think," Zelnick said.

The Evolve release date is February 10 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

For more on Take-Two's latest earnings report, see the stories below.

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Avatar image for DARKKNIGHTPRABZ
DARKKNIGHTPRABZ

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I really want to buy evolve , but dlc is causing damage to gaming. paying for content that could easily be on disc is a profitable business venture.where consumers suffer. and are consciously made to buy extra content

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Karmazyn

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I cant buy the game without Single Player on release day. I made this mistake with Titanfall. The game multi was very rewarding but lack of SP cant justify the asking price. Besides Titanfall can be bought less than £10 now. The same will happen with Evolve. I will step in then. My wallet for the time being is saying NO.

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Ezraeill

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yea i was intrested in evolve,but i wont buy it

i vote with my wallet

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Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

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Pretty sure the DLC model for Evolve has dampened the buzz significantly. People know from the get go they are missing out on quite a bit of content and for a full priced mutiplayer only title, thats a hard pill to swallow.

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hoyholyhoy

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Not really since we all know all of that DLC will be available at a later date and won't negatively affect the experience of anyone who doesn't have it. There's still loads of content within the base game to keep people busy until that DLC is regularly available. If you don't buy a game because of some DLC frankly you're a loser.

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prestonbrad96

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Well we all know you clearly like taking it up the arse from game developers so if anyone's a loser its you jackass

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titanballbag

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> "Not really since we all know all of that DLC will be available at a later date and won't negatively affect the experience of anyone who doesn't have it."


LOL. Not buying the DLC monsters puts you at a big disadvantage since the best way to learn how to fight a monster is to play as that monster yourself. If you can't figure that out then quite frankly, as you like to say, "you're a loser".

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Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Don't get me wrong, DLC existing isn't a problem. There's a decent amount of content in the base game to be fair. And they're giving away dlc maps for free. Just seems strange the to put such a hefty price on extra characters which would add to the longevity of the game.


It turns people off from the outset, rather than a price point which would be more consumer friendly and better for the community supporting the game.


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Bigjoe275

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I'll buy evolve for $60 with all dlc included

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Evil_Sidekick

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I'll not buy Evolve, i don't do online only.

So...no money from me

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hoyholyhoy

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The devs showed a 20 something minute video of completely offline play. It is playable 100% offline so your logic is irrelevant.

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hystavito

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm pretty sure most of the modes and such are fully playable singleplayer with bots, but maybe you still need to be connected to the net, that I'm not sure about.

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jenovaschilld

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> When I play EQ, WoW, or hello kitty island adventure I understand what I am playing and more importantly PAYING FOR. But when games like Diablo 3, dead space, sims, and recently dragon age Inquistions require an always online connection or log in first can suck all of the fun out of gaming or determine when and how you play a traditional single player game.

I have no problems with games and always online, but when you are forced to and there is really no other reason then publishers making meta-data profits off your personal information, then I too have to pass.

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UnbornCorpser

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Highly doubtful you need to stay connected as there is a single player mode.

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jack00

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"all signs"... You mean the beta that people played for FREE ? Try to make them pay 60$ for it now... much less 90$ for the complete game (+ taxes mind you).

I'll see you at the summer steam sale, evolve, you better be cheap, real cheap, otherwise i'll see you next year, maybe.

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ChrisChupp2

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GTA 5 dlc storyline........... let's go

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Damazig

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Hunters and Monsters have to be paid for, so no thanks, I'll pass on Evolve unfortunatly.

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Thanatos2k

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Defend Evolve all you want, it's still a rip off.

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hoyholyhoy

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<< LINK REMOVED >> That's what I said last night about your mother.

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UnbornCorpser

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<< LINK REMOVED >> And yet one can get the Monster Race edition for $77 - wow a whole $17 more than $60 such a throat slapping amount. :/

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borgking1234

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I will pay $5

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warriorsq

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No controversy for me - I'm not buying it now!

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Too-DementeD

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Hype for the Game =/= Hype for the DLC

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spectralmerc

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I remember being excited about Evolve.


Then I learned about paying 15 bucks for an extra monster. I uninstalled the beta right there. It's not that good.

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Karmazyn

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<< LINK REMOVED >> $15 for a new monster. Are they insane?

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simmolation

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Well 6$ for a single gun and 7$ more for a Decorative Armor in most shooters ...
how they are not insane ?

The whole industry and the game community are insane :P

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elheber

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I can't wait to play DLC: The Game. I'm so glad they're holding back content for later purchase, because putting out all that content at launch would diminish the value of the brand. You gotta make people who pre-order or pay extra feel special, you know?

The developers and publisher took a look at all the content they had and said, "this is worth more than retail price. Chop it into chunks and spread it thin!" That takes courage.

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Prankman

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Except that didn't happen at all, and none of that stuff is even done. Most of it hasn't even had work started on it.

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Bigjoe275

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Then they need to push back the development on the game. Then release it later with all the monsters&hunters. I'll be glad to pay for maps not the other way round.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They made maps free so that people won't be cut off from matches because they don't own mappacks. Its also impossible to push development back that far because there will always be new ideas to be had. The game has been in development for at least four years and has been an idea of Turtle Rock's since before Left 4 Dead. They've got to just consider it done at some point and actually make a return on it. Game development is a business, not a charity.

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elheber

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Says TRS.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Is there any proof that they've done otherwise? Is the game industry really in such a sorry state that we cannot offer benefit of the doubt to a studio that hasn't even been given a chance to prove themselves? They aren't Activision or EA or somebody who's been screwing us over for ten years.

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Thanatos2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> If they're working on it before the game is done, it's cut content.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> But they weren't working on it before the game is done? The only DLC character that's even been revealed, Behemoth, was started after the main game was complete. Just because they have concepts and ideas for stuff, doesn't mean they were actively working on those things, it means just that: they had ideas that they knew they wouldn't have time to add into the base game. The same thing happened with Pokemon 2nd Gen, a huge portion of the Johto Pokemon were Gen 1 mons that were cut for time. All that's happening now is they don't have to make a full sequel in order to get those extra ideas into the game.


I don't see the problem at all with having a long-term game plan, or having an idea of where you want to go. The game needs to be considered "done" and sold for a return at some point, and for a game that the developers plan to support for years to come, some sort of long-term income other than the base game's cost has to come into play somewhere. There's nothing wrong with planning that ahead of time. I guarantee that other companies have at least some form of plan set in stone for their DLC long before launch, and just don't announce it.

Or are you going to tell me that Dawnguard went completely from the drawing board to fully functioning and ready for sale in the half a year gap between Skyrim's release and Dawnguard's release? No, they were probably starting work on that near the middle or end of Skyrim's development cycle. Same deal with Dragonborn. What about Gaige the Mechromancer in Borderlands 2? She was a pre-order bonus character as well, and was clearly in development before launch, but was not yet complete. Was she cut content too?


Cut content, as far as I'm concerned, is already completed content that has literally been removed from the game AFTER that content is complete. Working on that content before the game launches is FINE, and is in fact, a very GOOD practice to have, because it lets you get a head start on the DLC content, and if all that's left in the main game's development cycle is bug fixes and polish, then why in the world shouldn't the artists and modelers start work on the next batch of stuff?

Video game development doesn't happen in a vacuum where every single piece of the content is done simultaneously, and the art, sound, game mechanics and such all magically converge on one another. Things happen in a very specific order, and if some of the staff aren't working because the rest of the game has already moved on to later development phases, then would you rather they be out of work and not get paid just because the "game isn't out yet"?

Game development is still a business, and that's NOT A BAD THING. I'm tired of this stupid "Us VS The Man" mentality that gamers have propagated in recent years, this idea that businesses and making money are somehow inherently evil. They're not. Sleazy, underhanded business practices are bad, but doing your best to keep your employees working and get products out to consumers on a timely manner are NOT.



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elheber

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You know how DLC for Mario Kart was announced after the game had been released instead of long before? Not only that, the DLC for MK8 was chock full of stuff nobody would have ever thought fit in the world of Mario Kart (Zelda, F-Zero, Animal Crossing), so there's little doubt it was "held back". On the other hand, having the entire catalog of DLC mapped out in advance is a very grim sign. Having so much locked on-disc content in the launch copy is no better.


TRS isn't the publisher. The publisher is Take-Two, and they aren't beyond screwing you over. And, yes, this is the state of the industry.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> What content are you referring to that is locked on-disc?


I don't mind there being a long-term plan for the DLC. It only makes sense to have support planned in advance for your product. If they knew how much they'd be able to actually fit into the game, then it makes perfect sense to me that if they had other ideas that couldn't be fit in, that they would put it in later and charge for it to cover the cost.

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elheber

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<< LINK REMOVED >> A fourth monster and a skin for buying the season pass when pre-ordering the game. That fourth monster isn't part of the season pass, mind you. It's only for people who buy the season pass in the pre-order. It's a non-refundable purchase that basically guarantees you're not canceling your pre-order.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> That fourth Monster is not complete yet, and won't be for at least a month after launch. It's literally no different than Gaige the Mechromancer. Pre-order, get this character for free WHEN ITS DONE, which it isn't.

The Hunting Season Pass is very poorly named, and only gets you the next tier of Hunters. Its not a true "Season Pass", in that sense. The marketing for the game is really sub-par, even if I think that the DLC model and the game itself are both great. Not having to worry about a community split is a huge boon for a multiplayer game.

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elheber

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The difference between BL2's Mechromancer is that she was free for pre-ordering the game and was included in the season pass if you didn't pre-order. Whereas the Behemoth (was that the name?) is only available to those that buy the season pass in their pre-order and will not be available as part of the season pass.


He isn't free unless you were already buying the game and buying the season pass before the game's launch. It's quite the commitment.

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Prankman

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Actually, Gaige wasn't included in the Season Pass.


<< LINK REMOVED >>


Season Pass for BL2 only included the four campaign DLCs and the first level cap increase. Gaige nor Krieg were included. Had to buy her separately for $10 if you didn't pre-order, or for $2.50 in my case when I grabbed her on sale.


Behemoth, likewise, will be available for purchase separately of the pre-order for $15 once it comes out.


I will not defend the pricing, as it is way too steep. $10 for Monsters and $5 for Hunters would've been a better sweet spot, I think, rather than the $15 and $7.50 they went with. Because none of the character DLC is required for the game, I'd only suggest people pick the ones that interest them or wait for discounts, or both. I went with the PC Monster Race package on Steam because I got 60 hours out of the Alpha and Beta and was left only wanting more, so I knew I'd get my money and time's worth out of any additional content. Doesn't mean it'll be worth it for everybody else.

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lunchbox2042

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They won't get my money for Evolve. It should have just been a free to play game with extra monsters and hunters costing a bit of money.

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