Game News GTA: Take-Two Boss Explains Why Rockstar Skips Partnerships
Depicting a world that shares many similarities with our society and sometimes collaborates with real-life personalities, Grand Theft Auto games have nevertheless never included brands that actually exist. A desire affirmed by Rockstar, and explained in detail recently by the Boss of Take-Two.
A satire of our society
The Grand Theft Auto license has made satire its trademark over the years. Each episode has fun parodying and skilfully mocking trends in our society, and systematically draws up a balance sheet tinged with black humor. To succeed in sharing their vision, the Rockstar teams have developed a whole parallel universe particularly close to ours, with the exception of the brands. While it’s possible to find well-known figures like Dr. Dre in the heart of Los Santos, you’ll never see a famous brand in the game.
Just look at the clothes available, fast food or even vehicles, which are strongly inspired by models and brands that actually exist without exploiting them. A choice often bypassed by fans who have made it a real exercise with mods thanks to which it is for example possible to transpose our favorite cars into the world of GTA.
At the service of art above all
This particularly marked choice is above all a creative decision more than a financial one for Rockstar. It is in any case what supports Strauss Zelnick, current CEO of Take-Two Interactive. In a recent interview with Games Industrythe entrepreneur came back in detail on this choice.
The world of GTA is fictional, so in order to implement real brands there, they must be truly iconic and fit into this world. It is above all a creative decision that motivates the Rockstar teams. It is not a financial choice. We run all of our projects with the goal of engaging and captivating the consumer, and we believe monetization takes care of itself. We would not include brands solely on the basis of financial opportunity, in any of our titles (…). There are other games that lend themselves very well to implementing brands or even direct advertising like NBA or PGA. When one gets involved in one of these games within the real world, one expects to see advertisements and sponsors. But those expectations don’t actually exist for Grand Theft Auto, with the exception of fictional brands. So delivering a real-world experience takes a lot of thought and consumer sensitivity, and I think that’s what Rockstar is known for.
Finally, Rockstar therefore prefers to build a coherent universe that is faithful to its vision in order to better share it with players. A logical choice, especially since Rockstar is known to have strong opinions on our society. We also imagine the studio preferring to make fun of a brand created from scratch that echoes real brands, rather than attracting the wrath of large companies. Either way, Rockstar isn’t done exploiting the universe it’s built while GTA Online is still going strong and GTA VI has already been confirmed.
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