Ditch the B-titles, says Take-Two CEO

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Publishers should adopt a more focused product portfolio to offset the recession, says the CEO of Take 2.

And speaking to MCV in an exclusive interview, Ben Feder reckons that consumer confidence is strengthening despite the credit crunch.

Feder, who last year helped his firm stave off an aggressive takeover bid from EA, said that publishers make more profits by working on a slate of fewer, but better selling triple-A titles, rather than a deluge of unreliable games.

The publisher owns Rockstar Games and its GTA franchise, and also the BioShock and Civilization franchises plus new casual brand Carnival games.

Feder told MCV: Some recent reports have indicated that our economy may be beginning to stabilise and consumer confidence may be strengthening. The retail environment does appear to be more stable now.

"Consumers are continuing to spend, albeit cautiously, and retailers remain interested in our titles, while keeping a close eye on inventory levels.

Our industry continues to show resilience, especially as compared with other consumer sectors,” he added.

The best way to attract scarce consumer dollars is to serve the audience in two very important ways: quality and value. In tough times, consumers spend on products that deliver on these criteria, and very little in between.

E3'09 : Most publishers are adopting a strategy that Take-Two has had for some time: to release the strongest possible titles on a highly selective basis as opposed to offering a wide variety of ‘B' titles.”

Feder also joined the chorus of execs tipping this year's E3 as being key for the games industry – pointing out the sector's resilience will further prove its validity as an entertainment medium.

Interactive entertainment remains one the few bright spots in our economy and is still the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry,” said Feder.

I expect that this year's E3 will reflect the industry's prominence and dynamism.

We have every reason to believe that this year's E3 will be as exciting and enticing as it gets.”