Grand Theft Auto Doesn't Need Annual Sequels, Says Take-TwoS

Annual iterations to reliable blockbuster games—like Call of Duty—would likely go a long way to improving Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive's bottom line. But execs for the publisher don't believe GTA is in need of annual sequels.

"In any non-GTA year, should we just assume you're not going to make money?" an investment analyst asked Take-Two CEO Ben Feder and chairman Strauss Zelnick during an investor call today.

"We're certainly not saying we can't be profitable in a non-GTA year," Zelnick responded. "We don't feel that GTA ought to be an annualized franchise."

Take-Two published Grand Theft Auto IV last year, following that with two downloadable expansions, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony in 2009. It also shipped Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS and PSP this year and a collection of the two downloadable episodes as Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. Just don't count on a new GTA next fiscal year.

Zelnick argued that there's "a balance between how long it takes to develop such an incredible title and meet consumer expectations and how long you need to make sure that an appetite has been both satisfied and whetted for the next franchise."

"That's something I think the company has historically done rather well and I think the high profitability and resiliency of the franchise reflects that," he added. "I wouldn't see that changing."