Grand Theft Auto parent company CEO sleeping outside for charity

Strauss Zelnick to sleep outside in New York City on November 21 to support child homelessness charity Covenant House.

Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive, will sleep outdoors in New York City on November 21 to support child homelessness charity Covenant House. Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s overnight. The city saw snowfall earlier in the week.

Strauss Zelnick

"I am sleeping out on November 21 so that homeless youth don't have to. It will be dark. It will be tough. But for one night, I can give up the comforts of home knowing it can bring warmth and hope to young people who need it most," reads a statement on Zelnick's page.

Zelnick is one of many executives and celebrities who are taking part in the Sleep Out: Executive Edition to raise money to support Covenant House. Joining him will be New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and New York Red Bulls general manager Jerome de Bontin, among others.

All participants must raise at least $5,000. Zelnick has raised over $8,000. The entire New York City campaign, however, remains short of its $1,234,000 goal, with $733,000 raised so far.

Covenant House provides help for homeless children, giving food, shelter, crisis care, and other essential services to homeless and runaway children. The charity also strives to assist these children achieve an independent adulthood. The group helped over 60,000 young people in 2012 alone.

Zelnick's own Zelnick Media is a sponsor of the 2013 Sleep Out.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

77 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

All I gotta say is at least they are doing it in November instead of July.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Here's hoping that Zelnick's night outdoors is nothing like a night in Grand Theft Auto.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"Joining him will be New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman" Lol, Cashman? That sure is a suitable name for an executive if I ever saw one. Quite different from the situation of the homeless as well, unless him being a general manager doesn't make that clear enough already.

jurk182
jurk182

So all the homeless kids in NYC will get to sleep in his mansion that night?

FTB_Screamer
FTB_Screamer

My grandmothers brother's uncle also slept outside once. Maybe you should add that to the article as well. Just as news worthy!

quidditch3
quidditch3

That pretty cool and original and for all of those who bash this should stop and think, we have a little charity called childs play where we play video games and livestream it for 24 hour (in this years case 25 hours thanks to DST) which I think is still pretty cool and fun to do but its unoriginal considering most people on this site would be doing that with or without a charity backing, would you normally go outside and sleep on the sidewalk on a regular basis?

decoy1978
decoy1978

They make it out to be a big deal. Apparently they never went to Comic Con to line up at Hall H... I'd be more impressed if he slept outside for a week! One night is a breeze... thats like camping for Black Friday in the old days.

djames12345
djames12345

Maybe if he takes a shit on the sidewalk theeeen id be impressed

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Too easy. After a football match, i always get drunk, sometimes i sleep on the streets. Well, i'm doing something good then.

Toadamus
Toadamus

I'll trade him some hot chocolate for a gta v copy  if i see him on the streets

hadlee73
hadlee73

Its probably just as well he's doing this now. If he'd done it before GTA V was released the devs probably would have put it in the game. At some point when you'd switch over to Trevor you'd find him stealing Zelnick's shoes while he slept.

kipsta77
kipsta77

He has one of the greatest names ever!

Unreal-Aeon
Unreal-Aeon

I don't understand why people are getting so god damn pissy about this, a man is doing charity work? 

fieldofview
fieldofview

Rockstar North's parent company, not Grand Theft Auto's parent company. GTA's parent company is Rockstar North. It is wholly owned by Rockstar Games which is merely an alias parent company owned wholly by Take-Two. I know you're aiming for hits, but players really need to learn who is making the games they love.

Not glorify the publishers who have nothing to do with the games and take a much larger piece of the pie than they actually deserve. Rockstar North (primarily), Rockstar San Diego (technology) and Rockstar Toronto (ports and additional services) — my hat is off to you. Keep up the good work.

Rockstar North != Rockstar Games.

And I find this sleeping on the street business quite distasteful, especially coming from yet another money-grabbing CEO.

WereCatf
WereCatf

Wow, the guy sleeps on the street for one night, but then returns to his own life with tens of millions of dollars on his bank account and can't even be bothered to actually donate anything himself? I'm am wholly unimpressed. Also, I just checked that 30 Fahrenheit is about -1 Celsius. That's just laughable, I'd have absolutely no trouble sleeping with such temperatures.

wgerardi
wgerardi

More than what 90% of you knuckleheads do.

mattcake
mattcake

I'd rather he took his pocket change (e.g. $100k) and just donated that, and slept in his solid gold bed like usual.

Mr_Mark_Legion
Mr_Mark_Legion

""I am sleeping out on November 21 so that homeless youth don't have to. It will be dark. It will be tough. But for one night, I can give up the comforts of home knowing it can bring warmth and hope to young people who need it most..."

welcome to what the boy scouts do all the time.

jimbothef
jimbothef

To the people complaining: he's raising money for charity (over $8,000 it sounds like) and is hopefully making people aware of the issue involved (homelessness).  Those things are laudable.  The end.

phrasesound
phrasesound

Yes, we accumulated more than 1 billion on GTA but all we can do for charity is to sleep outside. We can't donate to homeless anything because money is evil.

jyml8582
jyml8582

Because there are no other ways to do charity......between donating money to charity and sleeping outside for charity, he chose to sleep outside...

theKSMM
theKSMM

@decoy1978 I would be more impressed if it were a 24-hour stint.  Then they would get to experience the hunger and waking discomfort -- where do I use the restroom? -- of homelessness as well.  Sleeping outside on a cold night isn't trivial though.

kswhite609
kswhite609

@Unreal-Aeon Just respond with: "Ok then, why don't  you do it?" they'll drivel on with excuses but none of them will actually take the plunge...except this man. Charity is charity even if it's for publicity.

WereCatf
WereCatf

@Unreal-Aeon It's the fact that he's sleeping on the streets in his waterproofed sleeping bags, stomach full, with showers and shops and everything close by should he need something and knowing that he's still got millions on his bank account should he just want to get up and go buy something, and yet he acts like he's doing the homeless some sort of a tribute by pretending to be like them.

fieldofview
fieldofview

@Unreal-Aeon When you make a shitload of announcements and other crap, you're just conducting business and working on your public relations. People forget that real charity comes privately and nobody boasts about it. Not even gives the media a chance to do it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@fieldofview If Rockstar North is the parent company to Rockstar Games, which is the parent company to Take-Two, I'd call Take-Two the grandparent company to GTA. At least Gamespot has written it correctly now, because they used to have publisher/developer switched for some reason in their game info boxes, like Dice publishing BF4 and EA developing it, lol.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@fieldofview if Rockstar Games is owned by Take-Two then GTA is owned by Take-Two as well unless Take-Two gets rid of Rockstar Games 

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@fieldofview It's still money for charity, and honestly to the people it's given to, they probably don't give a rats ass who he is.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@WereCatfIt doesn't say whether he donated something out of his own pocket, so I wouldn't assume that he didn't personally donate anything. The fact remains that he has raised 8000 dollars and that money will go the charity organisation. Whether he did so out of the goodness of his heart or had an ulterior motive is irrelevant. Man, people sure are cynical around here, turning this into a proclamation that you can't consider a deed to be good/generous/noble unless you had absolute proof that the intention behind the deed was purely good/generous/noble.

Kickable
Kickable

@WereCatf Well I guess you'll be out there too then?  Let us know how much you raised.

enderx
enderx

@wgerardi 

 @wgerardi

Who cares? People will continue to be poor and live on the streets. It's the world we live in.

SystemOnline
SystemOnline

@mattcake "Zelnick's own Zelnick Media is a sponsor of the 2013 Sleep Out" like, the guy's raising awareness, anyone with half a brain and experience with charities would know that it's so much more effective to raise awareness than donating your 2 cents, not to mention he already is doing that

Kickable
Kickable

@Mr_Mark_Legion if there's any justice in this world Strauss will be diddled by a randy scoutmaster as well.

ck10304
ck10304

@Mr_Mark_Legion Ohhhhh so that's why the homeless do it so much! Because it's fun! Just like being in the goddamn boy scouts!

Kickable
Kickable

@WereCatf @Unreal-Aeon helps raise awareness when you go through what you're raising money for, even if it's a half-assed attempt.  other potential donors will think "well if some pampered rich guy can do it..."  I know bitching about it will bring in 0 dollars.

ck10304
ck10304

@WereCatf @Unreal-Aeon He's doing them a tribute by raising money to actually help keep them off the street. And no matter what, sleeping on the streets when it's this cold sucks even if you have a sleeping bag

theKSMM
theKSMM

@fieldofview @Unreal-Aeon If you're writing a check, then no, you shouldn't boast about that.  If you're trying to raise money, then yes, you should tell everybody you can.

Kickable
Kickable

@fieldofview @Unreal-Aeon that's silly, publicity brings in more money for a cause.  the kids couldn't care less about your snobby guidelines and other donors shouldn't either.

fieldofview
fieldofview

@Deadlysyns87 @fieldofview Ownership is not in dispute here. It's just where the credit goes. Ownership is about money and power. For example, if you take a look at the hierarchy of the company like Bethesda Game Studios which made the third entry into the Fallout series and also the entire Elder Scrolls series, you'd find it is tremendously dehumanized and goes into a huge tree, all the way up to Delaware. But Bethesda Game Studios is the company that should be getting the props, if any, by gamers at least.

SystemOnline
SystemOnline

@enderx @wgerardi Yeah, why don't you be one of those people who live on the streets then? Nobody else wants to do it anyway

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Kickable @fieldofview @Unreal-Aeon As long as they're actually supporting them, by donating money, I'm all for it. It may be a PR stunt, but PR stunt money is just as good as anyone's money. When I first read about this I said to myself "Show me the money!", because simply sleeping outside for a night in solidarity/sympathy/whatever won't change anything. Funds does make a difference.

Kickable
Kickable

@ck10304 @enderx I bet those kids turn the money down after hearing about the entrepreneurial shenanigans behind it.  they better.

ck10304
ck10304

@enderx Donating to receive something you really want isn't really donating now is it? Why couldn't you have donated the "more than the minimum" you paid by itself? Why did you have to receive a product in return if you're such a philathropist?

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

@enderx 

LOL probably 1 0r 2$ more over the average

enderx
enderx

@SystemOnline @enderx @wgerardi 

Because I'd rather work my ass off on a shitty paying job. 
And I've donated plenty to charity... those indie bundles. I always donate way more than the minimum. I really don't think it makes a difference though.