Is the Grand Theft Auto franchise heading to Facebook and other social networks? Probably at some point, along with Take-Two's other high profile franchises, but at this point the company is dipping its toes into the waters. Speaking to IndustryGamers, Take-Two COO Karl Slatoff says that the recent launch of Civilization World on Facebook is the beginning of a larger strategy that will ultimately see social and traditional game spaces converging ever so slightly.
"So to us it’s about building bridges - building bridges to engage and expand our audience base for our existing triple-A franchises," Slatoff said. "I think you’re going to see a little bit more out of that title in terms of converging the two worlds. I do think as the platforms get more sophisticated, there will be some convergence, but as of now, our strategy as it relates to social networks... I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are platform agnostic and we are focused on compelling, engaging triple-A experiences. So [we believe in the experience] where you sort of sit forward and you’re playing for hours and you’re really engaged in it, and we’re going to develop for every platform - even if it’s an online platform - that can support that kind of experience. To date, social networks have not really been able to support that kind of experience. At least we haven’t seen that kind of iteration."
The publisher wants to use the social gaming space to open up its IP to a larger audience.
"So for us, it’s a very interesting space. It’s an ability for us to build an audience for our franchises potentially, and if we can push the edge of those platforms, which we’re known to do - I mean we’re constantly pushing - what can we do on the platform? What more can the platform do? How can we push it using our intellectual property? You’re going to see us doing that. And I think with Civilization World...it does take things to a new level. So to us it’s about building bridges - building bridges to engage and expand our audience base for our existing triple-A franchises. And if we can make a few bucks in the meantime, that’s fantastic," he said.