Publisher "didn't even have a fantasy" of making Undead Nightmare zombie add-on when game launched, says first add-on freebie was intended to combat used-game sales.
When Take-Two launched Red Dead Redemption in May of last year, few could have guessed the publisher would follow that up with the zombie-themed Undead Nightmare expansion. As Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick confessed during a presentation at ThinkEquity's 8th Annual Growth Conference in New York City today, he was not among those few.
"Once we do the core development, which takes a long time and is pretty hard, doing the development related to the DLC in a high-quality way is a lot easier and a lot quicker," Zelnick explained. "And we can be very responsive to what the market wants. So at the time we put out Red Dead Redemption in May, we didn't even have a fantasy that we'd be putting out a zombie title for Halloween. But we were."
Not all of the publisher's Red Dead DLC plans were so spontaneous. The Outlaws to the End pack, a free add-on focused on cooperative gameplay that launched a month after the game hit shelves, was in fact part of Take-Two's plan to combat used-game sales.
"The theory was, let consumers know there's a reason to hold onto your games because the bulk of impact of used game sales on front line sales is in the first six weeks," Zelnick explained. "So if we can get people to hold onto their game for the first six weeks, the titles aren't in the stores in the used game section, which means people have to buy the front line title from us."