Take-Two Is Working with Indie Developers on Several Upcoming AAA Games
Take-Two Interactive is in a peculiar position within the game industry. Even being the third largest publicly traded game company in the USA and Europe, Take-Two historically focused on quality rather than quantity when it comes to releases, with CEO Strauss Zelnick stressing that annualizing titles like Ubisoft did for many years with Assassin's Creed would be more harmful than anything else.
On the flipside, this also meant that sometimes Take-Two didn't have a big, triple AAA game coming out in a specific year outside of their sports franchises (NBA 2K and WWE). The company is trying to remedy that, with Strauss Zelnick telling GamesIndustry in a recent interview that "a number of titles" are being worked on in collaboration with independent developers, and that these will be AAA games.
We have a number of titles that Michael Worosz's group is developing with independent developers, which are intended to be AAA products. We are quiet about it because there isn't much to say. They are in development and we'll bring those to market as and when.
Interestingly, Zelnick had first talked about this "indie program" within Take-Two in July 2016 with GamesIndustry. At that time, he mentioned that the program had been running for about a year.
Now that two years have passed, it seems reasonable to expect news on at least some of these upcoming titles either at Gamescom or, in any case, by next year's E3 at the latest. As to which independent developers have partnered with Take-Two, it's just guesswork at the moment since no announcements have been made in that regard.
We know very little about the company's schedule anyway, besides XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, due in a couple months, and of course Red Dead Redemption 2 which is due in Spring 2018 barring any further delays.
This should become a "third label" for Take-Two after 2K and Rockstar so that whenever Civilization, XCOM, Borderlands or Grand Theft Auto are still in development the company can manage to launch AAA products anyway. As a reminder, Take-Two also recently acquired Kerbal Space Program as part of the plans to expand their portfolio.