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GTA doesn't need to be an annualised franchise - Take Two

Unnamed key title delayed beyond fiscal 2010 to optimise schedule

Take Two has said that Grand Theft Auto doesn't need to be an annualised franchise in order to best benefit the company.

"We don't feel that GTA ought to be an annualised franchise," Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick told investors during an earnings call.

"There's a balance between how long it takes to develop such an incredible title... and how long you wait for the [customer's] appetite to be both satisfied and whetted for the next title. That's something I think the company has done well."

Take Two is pleased with the results of bringing GTA to new platforms, he added. "By bringing the title to handheld we achieved the highest Metacritic score ever for DS and PSP for that title. I applaud the team for doing that."

In order to optimise its release schedule over the next three years, it was confirmed that one unannounced, triple A title originally planned for next year would be moved out of the 2010 fiscal year.

"We determined we needed to make this adjustment," said Zelnick, adding that, like all of the company's triple A games, it was an important title.

However, he noted a roster of releases was still on schedule for next year. "There are 16 franchises that have sold over a million so it's a long list," he said, naming Civilization, Bully and Midnight Club as examples.

The publisher held the call following its release of a revised and lowered profit expectation for 2009.

A number of factors were blamed, including the poor retail performance of some of its key titles. The publisher also announced it was putting back the release of Max Payne 3 to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.