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Take-Two's Ben Feder

The bossman on GTA, Agent, violence and art.

EurogamerWhat about the Wii? One of our readers was disappointed that GTA: San Andreas Stories wasn't announced for the Wii during the Nintendo conference. Are you looking at the Wii as a platform for a GTA game?
Ben Feder

Nintendo's been a terrific partner for us. We always look at ways in which we can bring our games to platforms that make sense for our games. We're eager to work with Nintendo to bring our games to their platforms. We just haven't yet defined the right title for the right platform.

EurogamerWhat lessons have you learned from the Manhunt 2 controversy? Has it made you more cautious about publishing games with violent content?
Ben Feder

Absolutely not. We firmly believe that games are art. A), we have the right to produce art. B), the consumer should have the right to make their own choices, providing the labelling on the package is clear about the content of the game.

Apart from that, I don't think it's the role of governments to determine what you or any of your readers can, or should, buy. They should be able to make their own choices. Government has no role in that at all.

We encourage our developers to be as expressive as they want to be in their games. Our position has not changed one bit with respect to how we develop games and how we market games and what role we think government should have.

EurogamerWhat about the argument from some critics that even if you accept games as an art form, you have to consider them differently to other art forms because they are interactive?
Ben Feder

I don't think it's a difference that makes a difference. It's not a difference with distinction. It's as if to say art as a painting is different than art as a sculpture. For sure they're different art forms and they use different mediums, but they're art nonetheless - they're forms of expression.

That, at least in the United States, is something that's guaranteed by the constitution, and in democracies in Western Europe there are very similar concepts about the ability for individuals to express themselves. If you stifle that, then society and the economy pay a pretty heavy toll.

EurogamerWhat if Rockstar came to you and said it wants to do a game about sexual violence against women, or a game in which children get hurt and abused? Do you say, "Well, you're an artist; go away and create the game," or do you say, "Well, actually there is a line, and we're choosing not to cross that line"?
Ben Feder

Look, I suppose there's a line somewhere. I don't think we've even come close to it. At the end of the day, we're also a commercial enterprise and we do intend to turn a profit with our games. That, in and of itself, provides a certain boundary beyond which we won't go.

I suppose there are more lines [beyond] which we'd be uncomfortable, but I don't think any of our games in the past, or any of our games that I've seen in development, come even close to that.

EurogamerHave you heard much from Jack Thompson recently? I know he's one of your biggest fans...
Ben Feder

Jack does what he does. One of the things I'm gratified about with GTA IV was that there was a lot less of that kind of talk, and much more of, "This is a masterpiece," "This is the Godfather of videogames," "This is an unbelievable game." The critical acclaim that game has received far outshadowed and surpassed any of the nonsense that we've gotten from some of our critics.

EurogamerWhen is GTA V out?
Ben Feder

When we release it, we'll let you know. But we haven't announced anything.

EurogamerIs it in development?
Ben Feder

I can't really talk about that.

EurogamerOh well. We tried.

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