Take-Two has ‘strongest development pipeline’ in its history, sequels to biggest franchises

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Take-Two Interactive is notoriously slow in terms of getting out its new releases but in a recent FY20 Q1 earnings call it claimed to its investors that its upcoming slate of games is its strongest ever.

The publisher has a number of big developers under its control, not least of which is Rockstar Games. They’ve also got several 2K Games studios, NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts, and Civilization/XCOM developer Firaxis Games, as well as its Private Division initiative which is publishing The Outer Worlds later this year.

“Looking ahead, we have the strongest development pipeline in our history, including sequels from our biggest franchises, as well as exciting new IP,” said Take-Two CFO Laine Goldstein. 

When it comes to Take-Two’s biggest properties, the standouts are Borderlands, Civilization, NBA 2K, WWE 2K, and, of course, Grand Theft Auto. If we’re talking the absolute biggest franchises in its roster, then it seems assured Goldstein is referred to the elusive Grand Theft Auto 6.

Delving a little deeper, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff explained how research and development costs have jumped significantly this year due to big investments in these new titles. 

“In terms of our out-years’ release schedule, we’ve basically disclosed everything that we can. We’ve already disclosed everything that we’re talking about now. I’m sure there’s nothing more to say about that,” said Slatoff, accounting for the upcoming launches of Borderlands 3, NBA 2K20, and WWE 2K20. 

“You can see it in our numbers, we have talked about R&D expenses going up, particularly this year, which will be indicative of investment in new titles, and we’ve got a very robust–maybe our most robust line–pipeline of all times for new IP. A lot of that’s driven in Private Division, but there’s new IP throughout the entire Company as well. So again, you’ll be hearing more about that soon in the future.” 

Exciting times ahead for Take-Two Interactive then. Borderlands 3 is shaping up to be quite an event (5 million Borderlands games have been sold in the last three months alone) while Rockstar is looking to make some massive strides with Red Dead Redemption 2’s Red Dead Online mode. In the nicest possible way, Red Dead Online has been 90% trash up to this point but in a few weeks, we’re getting a huge update, the aim of which is to bring the immersion of single-player to multiplayer. This includes career paths which players can carve out, whether that’s becoming a trader, hunter, or treasure seeker.

All eyes on the months ahead then; 2020 could shape up to be a very interesting year for Take-Two and Rockstar.