Take-Two Has ‘Backburnered’ Mobile Games from Big IPs, But Hasn’t Given Up

Take-Two mobile games
Take-Two mobile games

Take-Two Interactive paid billions to acquire Farmville and Words with Friends developer Zynga 2022. While this seemingly opened the door for franchises like Grand Theft Auto to come to mobile, there hasn’t been much movement on that front.

CEO Strauss Zelnick explained the situation in a recent interview, saying that mobile games based on legacy IP were “backburnered.” However, Take-Two hasn’t abandoned those plans entirely.

Take-Two CEO says legacy IP “backburnered” on mobile, but “we will try”

Zelnick fielded a question about Take-Two’s mobile gaming plans during the recent TD Cowen conference, as VGC reported. He explained how, while the merger represents an opportunity, the most successful mobile games tend to be native to that platform. Meanwhile, those based on outside franchises tend to struggle. He acknowledged Activision’s massive success with Call of Duty: Mobile but argued that Call of Duty was a special case. “Basically everything else has paled by comparison in our space,” he said.

As a result, Zynga is focusing on games like its 3D puzzler Match Factory rather than something like BioShock or Red Dead Redemption. “I would love to be able to announce a successful mobile title based on legacy Take-Two IP,” said Zelnick, “and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do it, but you’re right that it has been backburnered a bit in service of a bunch of other opportunities.”

However, the CEO says that Take-Two still intends to eventually bring its major IPs to mobile. “It is in our pipeline, but that doesn’t mean it will succeed. It could fail, in which case it would be irrelevant. No, worse than irrelevant, it would actually cost us money because failures cost us money. But we have to try, and we will try.”

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