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Take-Two's Zelnick doesn't believe in annualized GTA

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If we took away one important lesson from Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick yesterday, during the company's investor call, it's this: it takes a lot of time to make "triple-A" games. That's why Zelnick isn't interested in annualizing the Grand Theft Auto franchise. "We don't feel that GTA oughta be an annualized franchise," he said, adding that he was "pleased" the series has been "testing new formats and new platforms" this year with two DLC expansions on Xbox Live and GTA: Chinatown Wars for DS and PSP.

Instead of pushing out a new GTA game every year, Zelnick explained that Take-Two is focused on the "balance between how long it takes to develop such an incredible title that meets consumer expectations and how long you need to make sure than an appetite has been both satisfied and whetted [for the next game]." He padded his point with phrases like "high profitability" and "resiliency of the franchise," though when taken to task over how the publisher expects to make money in a "non-GTA release year" -- and in light of projected, continued losses from its baseball franchise -- he responded, "We remain committed to that goal [of profitability] ... naturally, we are disappointed that we're not projecting to achieve that goal in 2010." Meanwhile, somewhere in California, Bobby Kotick laughed maniacally.

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