Take-Two CEO Explains How Disappointing Games like Battleborn and Evolve Don’t Represent 2K’s Quality
Like all publishers, 2K Games releases some great games, and some that aren’t as successful, like the recent Battleborn and Evolve. During the MKM Partners Entertainment, Leisure and Internet Conference, Take-Two Interactive Software Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick explained how they aren’t representative of the overall quality of the label.
“Listen, I think 2K is doing great. I think when you put out a lot of titles, not everything is gonna work as well as one would like, and Battleborn is an example of that.
Evolve is a little bit different. Tat was bought out of a THQ bankrupcy, and it was developed by an external studio with oversight from 2K, so it’s a totally different situation. We knew it was a very unusual title, and it was a bet on an unusual title. It didn’t surprise us that consumers had mixed feelings about it.
Battleborn was a disappointment. We’ve said so publicly, but I don’t think that’s systemic, because 2K is a company that brings you Civilization, with incredibly high score in the nineties, the company that brings you basketball which scores in the nineties, XCOM 2 and the like where we’re known for having very high scores.”
Zelnick continued by mentioning that not every game is going to be perfect, and while the company has the brand and marketing power to still do well even if something goes wrong, the goal is always to drive quality:
“We’re an entertainment business, not everything is gonna go right all the time. We aspire to have the highest quality products, and we continue to push the envelope internally to do that, but we do not always get it right.
Luckily, we have a very powerful marketing system, so even if we don’t get it perfectly right, we can market through that. Luckily we have really powerful franchises, even if we don’t get it right we can power thorough that. For instance we had one year when the WWE scores were less than we wanted, and we still sold a lot of WWE.”
So, we are in a position where even if we don’t get it exactly right, we can still do well, but make no mistake, our goal is to continue to get it right and to drive quality through the organization. Some times we don’t succeed as well as we would like.”
Earlier during the conference, Zelnick clarified his previous statement, in which he pointed at anomalies within the current reviews system, while mentioning that Metacritic is less important than it used to it, but it’s still very relevant.