Red Dead Company: We Make Entertainment, Not Games Alone

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Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V recently surpassed Wii Sports to become one of the most commercially successful games in history. With sales of more than 95 million units globally, GTA V is also one of the biggest pieces of entertainment of any kind in history.

Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive, says in a new interview that Take-Two doesn’t necessarily see itself as a video game company. While the company’s labels, including Rockstar and 2K Games, do make video games, Zelnick says a better description is that its products are pieces of wider entertainment that transcend the video game label.

“We’re not a video game company. We’re not an interactive entertainment company. We’re an entertainment company,” Zelnick said on a recent episode of the KindredCast podcast. “Our teams have proven that our titles can be the most important entertainment properties on Earth. And yet, it’s just the beginning of this industry, and therefore, I think, for us.”

Zelnick elaborated and said what makes Rockstar’s games so widely appealing is that they are often designed to be easy to approach but difficult to master. As a result, their games appeal to the masses while also giving dedicated players a level of depth that keeps them coming back–and spending money. Regarding GTA V’s immense popularity, Zelnick said–perhaps jokingly–that every hardcore gamer on Earth over the age of 17 owns the open-world game.

This is not the first time that Zelnick compared video games to entertainment. The executive–who was the CEO of movie studio 20th Century Fox in the ’90s–said Red Dead and GTA franchises are similar to the James Bond series because they are “permanent.”

Rockstar’s next big game is Red Dead Redemption 2, which launches at the end of October for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In other news, Rockstar recently confirmed that the sequel will feature one playable character instead of three that you switch between as was the case in GTA V.

A PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 hasn’t been announced, though evidence suggests that it may come to the platform. You can read more about the title in our roundup of everything we know so far about Red Dead Redemption 2.



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