The excellent Grand Theft Auto franchise is no slouch. Speaking at this week’s Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference, Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed that the open world crime series has shipped an eye-watering 125 million units since its inception back in 1997. However, despite the brand’s success, the company refuses to release new entries on a regular basis.

“I would argue that saying to people 'make a perfect-rated title that's the standard bearer in the business and do it on this every-other-year schedule' not only isn't realistic, but it also runs the risk of taking a very special franchise and making it less special,” the executive said.

"This isn't a one title company, it's a multi-title company. While we definitely would like to iron some of the slippage out of our business, and we definitely would like to tighten some of our production schedules, the answer is not to put out any given title more frequently at the same level of quality. The answer to diversify to a greater number of titles, increase the quality level of all those and deliver more hits."

Zelnick added that he respects what Activision has achieved with the Call of Duty series, but he clarified that it’s “a different approach to ours”. He concluded: “Intellectual property that is annualised eventually seems to hit the wall, and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."

The next entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise is set to release next year. Its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto IV, launched all the way back in 2008. If you somehow missed the classic, you can currently pick it up at a discounted price point from the European PlayStation Store.

[via gamespot.com, psu.com]