Take-Two, the powerhouse publisher of franchises like GTA, Mafia, BioShock, Borderlands, and more, hasn’t ported all of its franchises to mobile, and now its CEO has explained why. Strauss Zelnick recently spoke to The Wrap , simply stating that not every console game makes sense on mobile, and went on to claim that there’s only one example of a mega-franchise successfully transitioning from console to mobile: Call of Duty. Zelnick seems to be talking about games made specifically for mobile, not the ports that Take-Two has done over the years.
“Not every piece of intellectual property belongs to mobile. Not every piece of intellectual property should be a console title. It depends on the property. Conceptually we would love to, but each one is separate,” he said.
Additionally, Zelnick said Take-Two is reviewing its catalog of franchises and trying to make smart, strategic bets on how best to bring the series to mobile. Take-Two recently acquired mobile gaming giant Zynga for $12.7 billion. $68.7 billion, making it the video game industry’s most expensive acquisition until Microsoft’s $68.7 billion bid. $ worth of Activision Blizzard offers. Zelnick said he would like to bring some of Take-Two’s “core” IP to Zynga for mobile gaming adaptations, but it’s too early to talk about specifics.
“Specific names? I probably won’t talk about specific names. We don’t even announce them is we will build them until we are ready and close to releasing them,” he said. “We’re looking at our entire intellectual property portfolio and we’ve said we’d like to bring Take-Two’s core IP to Zynga to make mobile phones.” hits. It’s a really tough thing.”
In addition, Zelnick said in the interview that Activision Blizzard has successfully brought Call of Duty to mobile as a “wonderful expression of intellectual property,” which he called Call of Duty Mobile. Activision is building on this in the future with their next game, Call of Duty Warzone Mobile.
Zelnick sees this as an anomaly when looking at the wider gaming industry. Not every mobile adaptation of a console game has achieved the level of success that Call of Duty enjoyed, he said.
“But that’s one time. First of all, mobile as a business has a very low hit rate. Most of the time, if you’re trying to take a piece of intellectual property from one place and translate it to another, it’s going to be difficult — it’s difficult to create a hit,” he said. “So we’re going to do it, hopefully, and we’re going to do it very selectively, and we’re going to focus and make sure that we increase our chances of success as much as we can, but we’re not going to do it across the board.”
In comparison, Activision Blizzard has said that each of its franchises will be ported to mobile over time.
Mobile is the fastest growing segment of the video game market. That’s why Microsoft is looking to buy out Activision Blizzard, a deal that was primarily about mobile (and PC).
Speaking of Take-Two, one of the other big games is Grand Theft Auto VI from developer Rockstar Games. The company’s indie game company Private Division is also in the truckload, having recently announced a Lord of the Rings game developed by none other than Weta Workshop itself.
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