The Grand Theft Auto franchise is such a success for Take-Two Interactive that the game company does not consider making a movie out of it. That is according to Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick who, during an investors call, said that they’ve no plans of venturing into the movie business.
The CEO does not rule out the possibility of the IP becoming a success on both big and small screens. However, the odds of that becoming feasible “aren’t that great”. Particularly, he implies that both films and television are “very difficult businesses”.
“I’ve been in them successfully. They’re super challenging. They’re not what we do. We’d much prefer the risk/reward profile of the business we’re in,” he added.
More than just the money
As for the issue of licensing the franchise for others to make a movie or television series instead, Zelnick mentioned profits as the problem. That is, citing how the payoff won’t be much of a bother, even if the adaptations turned out to be a success.
Zelnick goes on to mention the Hollywood movie adaptation of “Barbie,” which was considered a commercial success. Calling it an “extraordinary hit,” he said that the expected profit from that franchise is $125 million. But for Take-Two, that is nothing relative to what the company in general is earning with its games. In terms of actual figures, the company’s net revenue in its most recent quarter was $1.3 billion.
Speaking of hit ratios, or the chance of an undertaking becoming a success, the Take-Two exec said that the success rates in the motion picture business are vastly lower than in the interactive entertainment business. In particular, a difference of 30 percent with the former and 80 to 90 percent with the latter.
Aside from the issue of the bottom line, Zelnick said that should the venture fail, it would mean compromising the underlying intellectual property.