Does Take Two Need Another Grand Theft Auto?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Does Take Two Need Another Grand Theft Auto?

While out roaming the news channels looking for something interesting to bring you today, I found something that downright spoke to me. Specifically, the confluence of two particular chunks of news about popular game studio Take-Two. One, a bit of news about their investor call, and two, a bit of news about a pre-order title that's doing quite well.

Take-Two had its investor call earlier today, and on the lips of many investors was a common theme: "Where is Grand Theft Auto V?"  Sufficiently so that Take-Two got hit with three questions about the title in rapid succession, and by all reports, answers were short in coming and even shorter in terms of satisfaction. Making things worse were the fact that GTA 5 was apparently factored in to Take-Two's impressive revenue projections, but despite this, still had a TBA release date. Given that holiday shopping season--Christmas, naturally, but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others in there too--isn't exactly far off, this was a good question. But my question is, does it really matter?

That's where the second point of news came in. Turns out that another Take-Two title, Borderlands 2, is currently enjoying the highest pre-order status of a game ever in Take-Two's history that doesn't have the words "Grand", "Theft", or "Auto" somewhere in the title. Seriously, the only two higher games in terms of pre-orders are GTA IV and GTA: San Andreas.

So then, comes the question: Does Take-Two really need another Grand Theft Auto? The answer will vary depending on who you ask, of course, but I would say that the answer is actually no. They don't need another Grand Theft Auto. They'd be crazy not to release one, they'd be missing out on a huge opportunity, they'd leave the door wide open for competitors and imitators to come storming in, but they can make other games. Other good games, moreover, and make some fresh opportunities that way. They've made some good progress with the Borderlands series--not what I'd like to see in a game, of course, but far from terrible--and it's evident in the huge preorder run for the second one.

Take-Two doesn't need another Grand Theft Auto. They can make other games, every bit as good. They should release one this year, to take advantage of the huge following and holiday shopping sales, but maybe, just maybe, in 2013 they can focus on making something else, a whole new Borderlands, only for some other property.

Take-Two can make good games. They just don't strictly need to make Grand Theft Auto games.