The real reason why GTA makes its own products

May 17, gamesindustry.biz posted an interview with Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick. Writer Brendan Sinclair began by asking if Rockstar was planning any other real-world brand collaborations, to which Zelnick replied, “The world of ‘GTA’ is a fictional world, so to bring in real world brands, they really have to be iconic and they have to adapt to this world.” As to why Rockstar has yet to take advantage of major brand deals, Zelnick explained, “It’s really a creative decision made by the Rockstar team…We wouldn’t include a brand based solely on on a financial opportunity in any of our titles.”

Zelnick added that there are games where real-world ties seamlessly integrate, such as sports titles like “NBA 2K” and “PGA Tour.” He clarified that players expect to see real-world ads in these games because the world needs to be realistic. This reasoning makes sense, as a McDonald’s restaurant, for example, would look out of place between a Cluckin’ Bell and a Taco Bomb.

“So bringing a real-world experience takes a lot of thought and sensitivity for consumers, and I think that’s what Rockstar Games is known for,” Zelnick concluded. “GTA” fans might be happy to hear that, as the long-awaited “Grand Theft Auto 6” shows no signs of conformity by throwing out every real-world brand that approaches the company for a collaboration. Unfortunately, players will probably have to wait a long time for “GTA 6”.


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Rozella J. Cook