Strauss Zelnick: Switching to next gen will cause casualties

Take-Two boss doesn't think all publishers will make the transition

Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has told listeners at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference in Scottsdale Arizona that he doesn't believe that every third-party publisher will survive the jump to the next console generation.

"If you're not capitalized for the transition, you can find out that you're not there for the transition," GameSpot reports Zelnick telling the crowd.

"And historically, in every transition that's occurred in this business, one or two third-parties have gone out of business. Last time around it was Midway and a couple of others. Reasonable people can argue about which one it'll be this time. I have my own point of view, which I haven't exactly been quiet about. We make sure we're not on the list of casualties; to the contrary, we're on the list of winners."

Although a Take-Two spokesperson was keen to point out that no individual companies had been named by Mr Zelnick , the CEO's "point of view" is likely to refer to his prediction of the end of THQ, which he argued would be out of business within six months in April this year.

THQ has proven him wrong, but continues to struggle with the financial realities of the current market, delaying its catalogue, defaulting on a $50 million loan and losing key executives.

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Latest comments (4)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
There is one in the UK that has been teetering for a while.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
It's already happening. If THQ survives to this time next year as an independent entity, I'll be mildly shocked.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games5 years ago
perhaps that is why wiiU hasn't made a huge tech leap, and the same reason why 3DS didn't either. nintendo considers the business factor more than the tech factor. with nearly the same budget as you have today, you can create a wiiU game with some new gameplay possibilities. the experience, if done right can be renewed or at least mildly enhanced. for nearly the same cost, nearly the same hardware that you used for development the last years. having to develop games of much higher resolution, more advanced AI, animation complexity and 3d model complexity would increase production cost and the hardware in your studio, more certain than not will need a generous upgrade. holding back the tech helped 3ds a lot in order to have many more games than Vita, and it might be the case that the same will happen with wiiU over other, more technologically advanced consoles from competitors that will come in the future.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University5 years ago
Yiannis, this was one of the ideas behind Wii. Developers didn't jump on board (having all ready bet on 360 and PS3) and Nintendo didn't give developers enough time to get strong launch titles ready, so it never really worked as well as it could have. It might work out better for some publishers with Wii U--I'm looking at you Ubisoft--because a few are on board heavily from day one and did fairly well with Wii. Capcom, Square-Enix and other Japanese publishers should back Nintendo heavily. The entire third party publishing world won't back Nintendo the way they back Microsoft and Sony though, for a variety of reasons.

Responding to the article, it stands to reason that if development costs increase and publishers don't diversify both what content they offer, and how they offer it across consoles, then there will be casualties. Big blockbusters are here to stay on consoles, but they shouldn't be the only kind of content that publishers invest in and they definitely shouldn't be the only kind of profitable content on home consoles, but new business models and delivery methods need to be pushed as well as blockbusters.

(edited some typos and shocking grammatical errors)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 3rd December 2012 12:36pm

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