Take-Two Interactive's fiery CEO Strauss Zelnick has taken to the stage to bang the GTA drum, revealing that the series has shipped a colossal 125 million units worldwide to date. There was also room during Zelnick's presentation at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference for a few pops at Activision and Call of Duty, perhaps the only console franchise that can rival GTA's commercial girth.
Zelnick conceded that Call of Duty is a "quality product", but argued that annualisation will eventually kill even the most loved of franchises. GTA is "special", he went on, because Rockstar takes its time with each game.
"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise," he observed. "[Activision] obviously views the world differently."
The exec pointed to Black Ops 2's relatively underwhelming launch sales as evidence of this - while massively popular, the game has fallen short of its predecessors' sales records. "That's never been the case with one of ours," he added. "Ours do better each time.
"Our view is it's hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualize it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that's proven to be the case. IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."
Zelnick's remarks echo those of Rockstar's Leslie Benzies from earlier in the month. "We could easily have churned out a new version year after year without really progressing as a franchise," he said. "But if we did that eventually the fans would lose interest."
Here's a round-up of recent GTA newsbytes. Rockstar's Dan Houser has explained why the forthcoming GTA 5 isn't a next gen game, alleging that there's "plenty of power" in current gen hardware. According to ASDA, GTA 5's release date is 17 May 2013.