Take-Two has no plans to annualise its non-sports franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne, believing doing so would make these special franchises less special and lead to lower consumer demand.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference overnight, Take-Two Interactive chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick said: "I would argue that saying to people 'make a perfect-rated title that's the standard bearer in the business and do it on this every-other-year schedule' not only isn't realistic, but it also runs the risk of taking a very special franchise and making it less special."
He continued: "This isn't a one title company, it's a multi-title company. While we definitely would like to iron some of the slippage out of our business and we definitely would like to tighten some of our production schedules, the answer is not to put out any given title more frequently at the same level of quality. The answer to diversify to a greater number of titles, increase the quality level of all those and deliver more hits."
Zelnick was full of praise for the success Activision has achieved with Call of Duty, but believes the publisher runs the risk of hitting the wall with the blockbuster IP.
"[Activision] has done a terrific job fielding two teams and still putting out a very high quality product," said Zelnick. "It's our view that if you want intellectual property to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously view the world differently. I have enormous respect for [Activision CEO Bobby Kotick] and the team. It's a different approach than ours."
He added: "Our view is it's hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualise it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that's proven to be the case. IP that is annualised eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."
Zelnick says Take-Two's decision not to annualise its franchises has allowed IPs to grow with each release.
"That's never been the case with one of ours," he said. "Ours do better each time.
GTA 5 is set to launch for Xbox 360 and PS3 in spring 2013.