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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