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Rockstar may release games at a faster rate at Take-Two's behest

Reports say Rockstar is being pressured to release more games at a faster rate by parent company Take-Two Interactive

By Derek Strickland on Jan 17, 2020 05:13 pm CST - 5 mins, 21 secs reading time

Rockstar Games may speed up its game release cadence to appease parent company Take-Two Interactive's desire for accelerated launches.

Rockstar may release games at a faster rate at Take-Two's behest | TweakTown.com

According to reports from Rockstar Games aficionado YouTuber SWEGTA, Take-Two is pressuring Rockstar Games to release their games at a faster rate. "Take-Two is reportedly pressuring Rockstar Games to return to their more frequent game release schedule. Although this probably would be bad for bigger franchises like GTA and Red Dead, it could incentivize them to continue focusing on much smaller titles like Bully and Manhunt," SWEGTA said on Twitter.

This pretty much goes against everything Take-Two stands for, at least when it comes to Rockstar's titles. The publisher has repeatedly given Rockstar lots of flexibility and freedom--for instance, Red Dead Redemption 2 was delayed twice--and Take-Two understands that rushing projects only hurts them in the long run.

"All of our labels are focused on releasing the title when they reach that apex of effort and perfection," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in an early 2018 investors call.

Outside of annualized sports games like NBA 2K, Rockstar Games is pretty much Take-Two's big breadwinner. The publisher has good reason to let the devs pretty much do whatever they want. Not only are their games sales revenue juggernauts, but the online components ensure long-term earnings via microtransactions--especially with GTA Online, which regularly contributes hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

Here's some figures that show just how important Rockstar is to Take-Two Interactive:

And honestly there hasn't been a huge void in Rockstar's recent timelines (although it's markedly slower-paced than previous generations). Over the last decade Rockstar has launched a game every 4-5 years or so.

  • Red Dead Redemption - 2010
  • L.A. Noire - 2011
  • Max Payne 3 - 2012
  • GTA V - 2013
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - 2018

The cadence is a lot slower than Rockstar's 2000s era for sure, which looked like this:

  • GTA III - 2001
  • Max Payne - 2001
  • GTA Vice City - 2002
  • Manhunt - 2003
  • Max Payne 2 -2003
  • Midnight Club II - 2003
  • Read Dead Revolver - 2004
  • GTA San Andreas - 2004
  • Midnight Club 3 - 2005
  • The Warriors - 2005
  • Bully - 2006
  • Manhunt 2 - 2007
  • GTA IV - 2008

There's some evidence Rockstar could be working on multiple titles. First there's a bunch of Bully 2 rumors and info floating around, but apparently Rockstar gave up on Bully 2 after two years of development.

Then there's Grand Theft Auto 6, which has been teased repeatedly by Take-Two Interactive.

We could also see smaller and more original games fill the gaps in between releases, similar to passion projects like The Warriors, Bully, and the Manhunt series. Rockstar recently conscripted indie studio Ruffian Games to help work on unannounced projects.

Whatever Rockstar is working on next, I doubt Take-Two is pressuring them at all. The company has a lot of moving parts right now and a lot of games are in the works.

Take-Two just recently announced a new BioShock sequel, and plans to re-release the BioShock franchise on Switch. There's Private Division, a new indie label that published The Outer Worlds, annualized sports game like NBA 2K, Social Point mobile gaming, and the new 2K Games studio led by Michael Condrey.

And that's all the stuff we know about. There's probably a lot more that's under wraps, and not all of it has to do with Rockstar Games.

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Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements, whether it's VR with the Oculus Rift or Augmented Reality. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the technology that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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