It's no secret that Grand Theft Auto 5 continues to be a massive financial success years after its release. Somehow the game is still topping sales lists, and GTA Online is one of the most popular multiplayer games available.
However, just because it's a gift that keeps on giving doesn't mean the future of the GTA franchise is being put on hold.
A recurring fear expressed by fans over and over again is that so long as GTA 5 continues to be a massive success - sales numbers have actually been increasing year-over-year - Take-Two will hold off on the next game in the series to pull more profit from the previous investment.
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Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, recently put those fears to rest in an interview at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference.
While Zelnick avoided revealing any concrete release plans for "unannounced projects", he did offer a metaphorical answer, using another Take-Two property as example.
Several years ago the NBA 2K Online service was launched in China and became a huge hit. Much like GTA Online, years after launch it remained an all-time favorite and one of the company's highest earners, but several departments indicated a need for innovation. Despite continued success, NBA 2K Online 2 was released.
The result? The two games coexist to this day. The sequel became an even bigger hit than the original, but the previous title was still entertaining a huge playerbase (49 million, to be precise), so both were kept active.
Any time you look at a business and you take the position, 'This is great, it's the gift that keeps on giving. I'm just going to stick with it and I'm not going to worry about innovating because everyone loves what we have,' you are just moments away from being destroyed by your competitors.
In the same interview, Zelnick addressed the sizeable pipeline of Take-Two's forthcoming 93 releases, to be spread throughout the next five years. Take-Two's main subsidiaries, Rockstar Games and 2K have been known for an approach of quality over quantity, the former especially. This number had some players concerned that said approach is changing.
Zelnick dismissed these concerns, pointing out that the 93 games include titles from every division, including the more recent acquisition Social Point, a mobile game developer, as well as the Private Division label which helps indie releases with funding. The number of major AAA releases will still be relatively low, with a handful each year.
While this isn't exactly breakout news regarding GTA 6 itself, it's good to know that we don't need to wait for falling GTA 5 sales numbers to start expecting news. As for everything we know about the game so far, check out our master post.