Publishers that annualise IP risk boring that game’s fan base, says Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference, Zelnick praised Activision for the consistently high quality of Call of Duty titles, but quickly added that such a release schedule would never be a goal for his company.
"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently," said Zelnick.
He warned that burnout was inevitable, citing weaker sales of Black Ops II compared with last year’s Modern Warfare 3 as evidence that the appeal around Call of Duty series was beginning to wane.
"That's never been the case with one of ours," he said.
"Ours do better each time. 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 likened Take Two’s Grand Theft Auto to the enduring James Bond film franchise, stating that the release schedule of the two franchises made each iteration “special”.
According to Take Two, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has shipped 125 million units to date.