Take-Two has finally confirmed why Grand Theft Auto – GTA – does not include any real-world brands and opts instead for fake brands that are reminiscent of their real-world counterparts. Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two, stated that it was a creative decision by Rockstar early in the franchise to extend the theme of parody and satire into how it uses brands in-game.
The gaming community has speculated that Rockstar simply wanted to continue parodying brands along with pop culture, while some also speculated it could have been an early decision to avoid copyright issues.
Zelnick, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, confirmed that it was a creative decision however to fit in line with Grand Theft Auto’s overarching theme of parody and satire. Interestingly, in GTA’s recent Cayo Perico Heist, Rockstar brought in two real-world fashion brands, namely Civilist and MISBHV. Players could purchase clothing from these labels from clothing retailers across Los Santos.
Zelnick has confirmed that players shouldn’t expect the title to bring an influx of real-world brands as they “have to fit in with the world”.
“The world of GTA is a fictional world, so to bring real-life brands in, they really have to be iconic and they have to fit within that world
It’s very much a creative decision driven by the team at Rockstar. It’s not a financial decision. We run all of our businesses here in an effort to engage and captivate consumers, and then we figure monetization takes care of itself. We wouldn’t include a brand just based on a financial opportunity in any of our titles.”
Zelnick further explained that there are other titles under Take-Two’s umbrella that would better fit real-world brand endorsements, such as NBA and PGA.
“When you involve yourself with those games in the real world, you have an expectation of seeing advertisers and sponsors. But you don’t really have that expectation in Grand Theft Auto, except for fictional brands.
So, to bring a real-world experience in requires a lot of thought and sensitivity to consumers, and I think that’s what Rockstar Games [257 articles]” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/companies/take-two-interactive/rockstar-games/”>Rockstar Games is known for.”
GTA 6 has been confirmed to be in development by Rockstar and is reportedly using an engine “ahead of its time”. GTA V has also sold over 165 million units and continues to be the world’s most successful entertainment product.