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Evolve is a 'permanent' franchise alongside GTA, Red Dead and BioShock

Strauss Zelnick says Take-Two is "really happy" with Evolve, even though it was a "bit too multiplayer-focused."

Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock's monster-hunting game Evolve is now considered a "permanent" franchise, according to Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick. Others that Zelnick has previously referred to as "permanent" include heavyweights like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock, Civilization and Borderlands.

Zelnick made his comments this week as part of the 43rd Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in New York. Though the executive appears to be pleased with Evolve's performance so far, he acknowledged that the game's multiplayer-focus might have held it back somewhat.

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Turtle Rock Studios

Zelnick also stressed that Take-Two was fully aware of the mutliplayer nature of Evolve when it paid nearly $11 million to buy the franchise from THQ.

"As you know, Evolve is very multiplayer focused, and that's worked for people -- we've had something like 27 million game sessions played," Zelnick said. "And we've sold-in over 2.5 million units. We're really happy with where it's going. It isn't 10 million units...yet. But it is an important franchise for us.

"I think we come out of that experience reminding ourselves we have to have a strong single-player opportunity. But we knew that about Evolve," he added. "We think we've developed another permanent IP. But if there were something lacking, I would say it would be that it was probably a bit too multiplayer-focused, which we knew all along."

Zelnick previously referred to Evolve as a "key long-term franchise" for the company.

"Our goal is to try to create permanent franchises, that's the unique goal in the industry," he said back in 2013. "Our competitors do not see it that way. Our competitors' view is that our franchise will have a certain life, and at the end of that life, you move onto the next thing, so you better make hay while the sun shines. Our view is to the contrary. The best franchises are permanent franchises. Outside of our business you can look at James Bond, for example."

Take-Two has not announced plans for Evolve's future, though Zelnick labeling it "permanent" would suggest that the company plans to return to it someday. Until then, players can expect even more add-on content for Evolve. Just this week, Turtle Rock released a new Arena mode for the game.