Annual sequels the enemy of creativity says Take-Two chairman

Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick, who is currently aiming to make the company profitable every year rather than just in years when there is a new Grand Theft Auto release, believes that the common practise of releasing annual sequels is enemy of creativity.

The publisher finds itself in the difficult situation of needing to become more profitable via quicker releases on lower budgets, while maintaining the creativity behind many of its titles such as Bioshock and Borderlands. According to 1UP, Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games has spent more than five years on Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire.

"We have a worldwide distribution and publishing footprint, and in a GTA year that cost basis is fine, but in a non-GTA year it's too high. We need to get bigger," Zelnick explained to the LA Times.

"We can make quality videogames and release them in a somewhat more orderly fashion than we have done historically," he continued. "We'll stop short of a strictly annual schedule, however, because I think that is the enemy of pushing the envelope creatively."

"The barometer is when we are profitable in a non-GTA year. I think we can get there. I certainly aspire to it." 

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In this day and age, sequels, prequels and spin-offs are way too common. I agree with him -- to an extent. Some games deserve sequels, but not all of them.

I agree. If you're aiming to release a new version of a game on a yearly basis you can't expect to up your game significantly year to year.

On a side-note I really hope L.A. Noire gets a PC release. Looks like my kinda game.

bitflusher said,
so i guess this is an EA bash??

eg. fifa soccer had an update every year since 95 (and some extra releases for world cups)

I don't think it's aimed at EA specifically, but there are a lot of companies who release a game that ends up being a big hit, and so they feel content releasing future games in the line without building upon it enough.

Overall, I agree with the news article, sequels do seem to destroy the creative vibe. However, there are always exceptions to the rule, and there have been some sequels that have been far superior to the original title. I would give an example or two, but everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes "superior" so I'll leave it to you guys to decide.