Zelnick: 2K Marin now "responsible for" Bioshock franchise
And Take-Two CEO calls Red Dead Redemption a "permanent franchise"
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick made some revealing comments about the company's best-loved franchises yesterday,suggesting a new Red Dead Redemption is on the way, and that Bioshock has not been forgotten.
The future of the BioShock franchise has been unclear since its home studio Irrational closed in February, but Zelnick made clear that it was still a priority for the company.
"We haven't given any colour on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it's beloved; we think it's important [and] certainly something that we're focused on; something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward," he told the Cowen and Company analyst conference, as reported by GameSpot.
The mention of 2K Marin has surprised many, given the reports last October that staff cuts had taken the employee count to zero and effectively closed the studio.
Former 2K Games UI artist Pat Guarino addressed the issue on Twitter. "Hell there are probably about five people left there that had any contribution to Bioshock 2 at all," he told followers.
@EmberDione "Ummm sir? Regarding 2K Marin..." *whisper* *whisper* "The Fuck?! All of them? Why are they still in Outlook?"— Bat Grrrrr-eeno (@Patorama) May 30, 2014
"I think there's a lot of upside in that franchise," continued Zelnick on the subject of BioShock.
"It hasn't necessarily been realised yet. And the question for the future, assuming we decide to answer the question, would be 'How do you stay true to that creatively?'; 'How do you do something exciting?'; and 'How do you do expand the market?'. That would be the natural drill. We're starting from a good point on it. And certainly it's been a great piece of business for us; it's been a profitable piece of business."
He explained that Take-Two had taken a "selective" approach to titles since 2007, but admitted mistakes had been made. One of those mistakes, he said, was Duke Nukem, which he called a "misguided decision on my part."
"I pretty much know the [franchises] that I can assure you are permanent. It's obvious that GTA is a permanent franchise as long as we keep delivering this incredible quality; it seems quite obvious that Red Dead is a permanent franchise, again with the same caveat, or Borderlands, for example, and NBA and others," he added.
"But not everything is going to be a permanent franchise. We can do very well even if it's not. I would like to see us grow with a couple more great franchises in the next couple years and we're launching Evolve; we have very high hopes for that."