GTA 5 has been a huge success since it was first launched in 2013. So far it is certain and this week during the call of the fourth quarter financial results of Take-Two Interactive, it was announced that Grand Theft Auto V has sold a staggering 130 million units.
To put it in perspective, the title of Rockstar Games 2013 has become the best-selling entertainment product in history, when it reached 90 million sales in 2018.
The only thing more extraordinary than 130 million, is that GTA 5 sales represent around 40% of total GTA franchise sales, which currently sit at more than 325 million
With incredible numbers and awards, it’s hard to criticize Rockstar Games magnum opus.
(clears throat) however.
The only criticism you can give to Take-Two (and Rockstar) is how the company has more or less ignored the mobile gaming market and failed to capitalize on the huge success of GTA 5 and GTA Online as well.
While the company has dipped its feet in water by re-releasing classics such as GTA Vice City, Bully and a few more they have never really pursued the market in a meaningful way.
That could change in the coming years; and based on the thinking of one videogame analyst, this is an area that Take-Two should pay attention to.
Earlier this week the Take-Two president, Karl Slatoff, confirmed that the company would release 93 new titles in the next five years.
Providing further details will be seen, as if 63 titles were described as “core experience”, including 15 platform extensions of existing titles. 17 will be mid-core titles, and 13 games are considered ‘casual games’.
Furthermore, 47 is set to come from “existing franchises”.
72 is expected to be released on a combination of console, PC and streaming platforms and makes 21 a mobile game only.
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This is the area where Rupantar Guha, Senior Analyst for Thematic Research at Global Data, believes Take-Two can improve, as detailed in the report published Friday.
“Take-Two Interactive has benefited from increased game activity caused by COVID-19 being locked around the world. To maintain its long-term growth, Take-Two has indicated that it will increase its focus on fast-growing themes such as mobile gaming, but achieving success in these competitive segments of the gaming market is easier said than done.
“Take-Two only scored three out of five for mobile gaming in the thematic card gaming software sector GlobalData due to the lack of cellphone titles. The company has ambitious plans to launch 93 games over the next five years, 21 of which are planned specifically for mobile. It is unclear whether this will be enough to compete with rivals like Tencent, which has a large portfolio of very popular games, including Arena Valor and PUBG Mobile.
“Take-Two needs to develop games that can challenge the popularity of Fortnite Battle Royale and Call of Duty Mobile if you want to get a foothold in the mobile gaming market. His limited experience in this field is another challenge that needs to be overcome quickly.
“The company is currently ranked 14th th of 36 companies in the GlobalData thematic card, with a rating of 5 out of 5 for game development because of the popularity of such titles NBA 2K , Grand Theft Auto 5 andThe outside world . Mobile games are undoubtedly the best bet to ride, but will face challenges. You may have to wait until you have some of these releases under your belt before you have enough experience in this market. ”
What game do you want Rockstar Games to release next?
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Realistically, if Take-Two takes the Mobile game seriously, there are only a few areas they can improve to improve.
NBA 2K already has a fairly successful Cellular game, as does WWE 2K.
But seeing the other major Take-Two IPs there isn’t too much room for true market-leading games outside the Rockstar portfolio.
Borderlands, for example, is undoubtedly a very large game and can translate to mobile pretty well if needed. But is that big enough to overcome people like Fortnite, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile for popularity and expense? That’s for debate.
Then there are Bioshock, Mafia, XCOM, all big enough games but titles that don’t seem to be able to get cash as mentioned above.
And then you have Grand Theft Auto. A sleeping giant who feels like it can work very well on a cell phone if given the right execution.
Especially if it’s in a developing world format like GTA Online.
There is no doubt that there is a market for it, you just need to see how Call of Duty Mobile broke the record with 100 million downloads in the first week to see it.
Just where the Grand Theft Auto Mobile game is on the priority list for Rockstar Games – which of course is also working on GTA 6 right now – is unclear.
But it seems without question that if Take-Two Interactive will take mobile games seriously in the coming years, this is their ace.
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