Take-Two's Zelnick: It's our job to innovate, not chase trends like battle royale

Take-Two's Zelnick: It's our job to innovate, not chase trends like battle royale

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has once again warned about the dangers of following trends.

Speaking to investors in its recent financial call, the exec said that hits are by their definition a surprise and not something you can really replicate; doing so means you will end up in second place or worse.

That said, we have no doubt that Take-Two will be doing a battle royale game at some point. There are already rumours doing the rounds that Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature such a mode. Maybe it'll be called cattle royale. Hilarious.

"The fact is Fortnite surprised everyone, particularly given where Fortnite came from after all what is now in the market was based on a prior release that didn’t perform although well, which is just a reflection of the fact that if you innovate and give consumers what they want you can get an extraordinary results," Zelnick said, as transcribed via Seeking Alpha.

"And while we would love to corner the market and hits, and we certainly see it as our job to do so we don’t have all of the hits, and we shouldn’t expect too.

"But I don’t think what one takes away from this properly is that a particular approach, a particular mode had suddenly redefine the business I don’t believe that’s the case. And in fact to the contrary I think if one change in one’s business to follow other people’s big hits you constantly be playing catch-up and to say that you wouldn’t be in second place is an understatement you might remain in last place. So it's our job always to innovate and more often than not that has driven our success."

He continued: "In terms of what the competitive landscape was, there is no doubt there are a couple of big hits in the marketplace, Fortnite and PUBG and their big hits, that creates a lot of benefits. We think it brings new players into the market and it just shows what a robust industry that we operate in.

"Naturally we would like to have all the hits, I don’t think that’s necessarily a realistic goal. It's pretty hard to determine what competitive landscape effects are however. Because entertainment properties compete with each other with themselves and with nothing at all. So, entertainment is nice to have and another must have good. So it's impossible to determine whether a particular title have an impact. Although I think we've all observed that Fortnite is going to create a lot of activity around it."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.