Take-Two has indicated why it might have a policy of delaying games until they’re considered perfect.
Take-Two is known for delaying games, with L.A. Noire the most recent example having been pushed into 2011. Analysts say these delays will prevent all but the most successful Take-Two games from turning a profit, but the publisher refutes the idea with CEO Ben Feder recently saying that if you don’t make a great game, you’ve made a bad one.
At a recent investor’s conference, Feder professed his belief that if a publisher only puts out a good game, it won’t make it in today’s economy. “Our industry more than ever is driven by hit products,” he said. “Today, consumers are very careful with the way they spend their dollars.”
He calls the current worldwide sales environment “challenging,” but that doesn’t mean that he thinks Take-Two should rush its games out the door. Once again championing the success of Red Dead Redemption, Feder pointed to it as an example of what consumers will spend their money on.
To Feder, good just isn’t good enough. “Good games don’t make it anymore,” he said. “In fact, good is the new bad. Games have to be great, and there’s no company like Take-Two to make the best games in the industry.”
Take-Two’s subsidiaries’ constant delays could be related to a mandate from the top of the company that require they only put out products worth the price of admission, which will ideally show it to consumers with a high overall review average. I’ve got to say, this definitely makes Take-Two seem like one of the most gamer-friendly publishers, because it seems like it wants to earn money by putting out not just good games, but great games.
In the case of Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games publishing Gearbox’s upcoming Duke Nukem Forever, I would make an exception to the mandate. That game doesn’t need any more delays.