GTA Mobile? Take-Two Explains Why It Hasn’t Happened (Yet)

Take-Two, the powerhouse publisher behind franchises like GTA, Mafia, BioShock, Borderlands and more, hasn’t brought all of its franchises to mobile, and now its CEO has explained why. Strauss Zelnick recently spoke to The Wrap, stating simply that not every console game on mobile makes sense, going on to claim that there is only one example of a mega-franchise from console making the jump to mobile: Call of Duty. It appears that Zelnick is talking about games made specifically for mobile as opposed to ports, which Take-Two has done over the years.

“Not every piece of intellectual property belongs on mobile. Not every piece of intellectual property should be a console title. It depends on the ownership. Conceptually, we would like to, but to each their own,” he said.

That said, Zelnick said Take-Two is looking at its franchise catalog and trying to make smart, strategic bets about how best to adapt a mobile series in the right way. Take-Two recently acquired mobile gaming giant Zynga for $12.7 billion, which was the video game industry’s most expensive acquisition until Microsoft made a $68.7 billion bid for Activision Blizzard. Zelnick said he would love to bring some of Take-Two’s “core” IP to Zynga for mobile game adaptations, but it’s too early to talk about specifics.

“Specific titles? I’m probably not going to talk about specific titles. We don’t even announce them once is developing them until we’re ready and close to launch,” he said. “We’re looking at our entire portfolio of intellectual property and we’ve said we’d like to bring some core Take-Two IP to Zynga to produce mobile hits. It’s a very difficult thing.”

Also in the interview, Zelnick said Activision Blizzard has had success bringing Call of Duty to mobile as part of what he called a “great expression of intellectual property” with Call of Duty Mobile. Activision is building on this with another game, Call of Duty Warzone Mobile in the future.

Zelnick sees this as an anomaly when looking at the wider gaming industry. Not all adaptations of a mobile console game have seen the level of success that Call of Duty has enjoyed, he said.

“But that’s one time. First of all, mobile has a very low success rate as a business. Most of the time, if you’re trying to take a piece of intellectual property from one space and translate it into another, it’s hard — it’s hard to create a hit,” he said. “So I hope we will, and we’ll do it very selectively and we’ll focus and make sure we enhance our chances of success as much as we can, but we won’t do it across the board.”

By comparison, Activision Blizzard has said it will bring each of its franchises to mobile over time.

Mobile is the fastest growing segment in the video game market. This is why Microsoft is pursuing Activision Blizzard for acquisition — the deal was primarily about mobile (and PC).

As for Take-Two, one of its next big games is Grand Theft Auto VI from developer Rockstar Games. The company’s indie game company Private Division is also on the move, recently announcing a Lord of the Rings game in the works from none other than Weta Workshop itself.

The products discussed here were independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of the revenue if you purchase anything featured on our site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *