GTA 5's online mode is the "gift that keeps on giving," Take-Two says about its monetary opportunity

In the past, Take-Two would ship a product and the collect its money, but now the company can create platforms that allow for recurrent consumer spending, CEO Strauss Zelnick says.

From a financial standpoint, Grand Theft Auto V's multiplayer component Grand Theft Auto Online is "the gift that keeps on giving," according to Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive.

Speaking today on FOX Business' Risk & Reward program, Zelnick said GTA Online is an example of Take-Two adapting its business practices to create platforms that generate sustained revenue instead of a one-off jolt.

"Just a few years ago when we put out a product no matter how big, we put out a hit, we collected our money, we went on to the next [game]," Zelnick said. "Now [what] we're finding is we're creating recurrent consumer spending and we have the gift that keeps on giving."

"I talked about that when we took over Take-Two six years ago...It's nice to see it coming true," he added.

GTA V has shipped 32.5 million copies and some 70 percent of all users have played Grand Theft Auto Online. Take-Two is keeping the all-important ARPU (average revenue per user) figure a secret, but from the enthusiastic way in which Zelnick talks about GTA Online, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that the online mode is performing quite well monetarily.

For Take-Two's quarter ended December 31, the company reported that net revenue from digitally delivered content grew 42 percent year-over-year to $132.8 million. This was led by GTA Online, Zelnick said at the time.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

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

Want the latest news about Grand Theft Auto V?

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Follow

Discussion

212 comments
Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9


R* keeps on giving to people who never liked GTA in the 1st place(wahhha other players kill me too much online! WAHH! Not enough money! even though it's always been easy getting money in this game). How about fixing the game for us die hard fans? Let us turn off the stupid newb friendly screen flash and X marker that pops up for every kill we make. Seeing my tv screen flash white with an X over every enemy I kill brings a whole new level of lameness to combat GTAV, especially in story mode, where blood and bullet wounds, followed by my target no longer moving is sufficient enough as a kill indicator. Also, let us beat up/kill npcs in ALL buildings(strip clubs too), not just some. GTAV is supposed to be an open world. 

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

Its the gift that keeps on giving because you take our money and reduce payouts every update in a sad attempt to force people to buy cash cards. Give us heists that were promised with the game, until then me and the rest of the world will keep glitching the game to get money.

Zombrex
Zombrex

I would much rather have a constantly evolving GTA Online that I can support monetarily through post release transactions, rather than an online mode that never adds anything new and gets replaced by an inevitable sequel.

69
69

I hate stats like "70% of all users have played GTA online"... I really enjoyed the single player game, but I played MP for maybe 1 hour and thought it was just as dumb as I anticipated it would be. Now I'm just a part of that 70% apparently, and the fact that I "played it" is being used to make it sound like MP is great or something. I wonder what the % would be if they only included the player base that spent more than 1 hour, or 3, or 10, etc. I bet it drops quicker than a sack of hammers.

RapidFirE53211
RapidFirE53211

Wow, so shamelessly admitting that you consider customers little more than wallets is a thing now.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

worst multiplayer mode ever 


this article is full of bull 

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

How amazingly clueless.  Really?  The gift that keeps on giving?  This guy is talking about milking customers on all four tits like it's something to be proud of.  I'm pretty much done hearing what CEO of any company has to say about anything.  It's just out of touch dumb shit like this.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Played the hell out of the singleplayer and online on the PS3 and eventually platinumed it. Hope to do the same when it gets released on the PC.

monster637
monster637

i gave up at rank 50....when hackers gave everyone cash game was fun as all hell, pure madness like you expect from gta,,,then they took back all the money and now ya can make 1000$ ona mission with a friend ya spent 45 minutes doing and wasted 6 gz worth of ammo,,, reason dudes just driving in circles on criminal record track for ever..


5 x the money and more people will come back........when ya spend more on ammo then you get back for a mission, whats the point,, oh yeah to buy shark cards

straightcur
straightcur

so before they would make a game get payed then go make another game. now, they make a game , get payed, get payed , get payed, and no incentive to go make something else, bigger or better or just different.  So in the end, gamers/consumers lose because we now have fewer great games, fewer different games fewer choices.    Game developers have become increasingly lazy and unimaginative.

meck01
meck01

I play most of my games in p.c, have played this on 360 and it's not the best game in the series or ever.


Why it's not on p.c as yet is beyond me.

jagcivtec
jagcivtec

Who the hell is spending money in that crap?  

cboye18
cboye18

Yet you messed up single player with a dull story and most important of all, the limited free roam. It's like an open-world Max Payne ( no offense to that series), with lack of weapon variety, aggressive cops and too many realistic elements that only restrict the overall gameplay. GTA San Andreas and Vice City are still the best GTA games IMO. 

notfrylock1987
notfrylock1987

"The Gift that keeps on giving....You just have to buy our cash cards to afford the shit we put up for you guys as you still wait for Heist almost a year later =-D"

stationplay_4
stationplay_4

lol GTA V online isn't even finished yet! still no heists! HAHAHAHA what the hell 

flashn00b
flashn00b

2 years later...:


Grand Theft Auto Online is released as a free to play standalone for PS4 and Xbox one

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

?? They sell stuff in online mode?? Who's buying it? You can play GTAV online for free ya know.

noigel
noigel

Leaving aside whether you like the game or not, GTAO is the perfect example on how to implement microtransactions without milking the user. It is not "Pay to Win" (P2W) it's "Pay To Have It Now Instead Of Later" (P2HINIOL) which is fine with me. And it doesn't take over9000 years to get the car, the house, and the tank you want... I personally support this kind of microtransactions (maybe EA -and some others- should learn from R*)...

alexbartle
alexbartle

gta online is terrible apart from pissing around with a friend. I have spent zero money online and dont intend to

Psycold
Psycold

I'm sure the main reason they haven't released a PC version is because we would find a way around micro-transactions so we don't get ripped off like everyone else. 

Mercaptan
Mercaptan

Ok... anything about pc release with  improved next gen  graphics, and no  god damn port ...?? Dont they whant to take my money for pc release or pc gamers money its not good?

Lamesy
Lamesy

This is how company reps begin their downward slides. After this, people will be actively looking for the next questionable comment because now we can read intent into it. The saving grace here is that it's not coming directly from Take Two, but it's hard to imagine R*'s rep going down without taking T2 with it.

pure_evil_80
pure_evil_80

Erm I have killed literally everyone in the strip club before.

Not entirely sure you have been playing the same game


jagcivtec
jagcivtec

@Dredcrumb9  Totally agree, R* made this game for everyone except GTA fans.  This is a casual gamer imitation of a GTA game.  DUMBED DOWN 100%.  Lost my support.  

noigel
noigel

@Zombrex  I guess you meant "offline mode" but yeah, agreed.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@RapidFirE53211  I took his comments to be a slap in the face as well, we havent even gotten the online experience we were promised, and they are bragging about how much money they made and are continuing to make off this game.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@RapidFirE53211  He's not saying that at all. He's saying that it's better for the company to make a game and for the consumer to continue to support it by purchasing new content rather than continue to make entirely new games. I could easily dump hours into the game to afford stuff OR I could spend a few dollars an have that money instantly.


I personally would much rather have a FTP GTA Online that I can occasionally dump a few bucks into since I don't care much for the single player aspect

TheKeef
TheKeef

@monster637

Wow you must be about extremely terrible at GTAV Online, and you want money for nothing, spoiled gamer if I ever saw one.

Base Invaders is so easy you can do it solo on hard, and half the time a Jet spawns for you.

kc87d88
kc87d88

@monster637  There are at least twelve missions where you can make over $15,000.  Most of them you can complete by yourself.  None of them take 45 minutes or "6 gz" worth of ammo.

ACMC85
ACMC85

@monster637 Never was a GTA fan, but I expect GTA to be crazy and filled with madness. Some games are better broken.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@straightcur  How is making a great game people come back to screwing the consumer? If the game is good enough to continue playing while occasionally supporting monetarily it's a win for everyone.

If they never made another Battlefield game but instead continued to support Battlefield 4 with with a-la-cart new maps, weapons and other items to keep me coming back I would be happy.

noigel
noigel

@straightcur  Sorry but you are mistaken. The incentive is time; players lose interest in your game over time, so if you don't invest that money you get now in making another game you'll soon have no new game, and no players on the old game, so, no income. 


Also, there are fewer different games/options nowadays, because considering the cost of making a AAA game it is very difficult to find an investor with the balls to risk XXX million dollars in something other than a proven formula.

flashn00b
flashn00b

@meck01  It's not on PC yet because nobody's bribing Rockstar into porting it.


I agree that the lack of GTAV PC sucks, but what can we do about it?

notfrylock1987
notfrylock1987

@cboye18  


Probably the biggest map in Rockstars Gaming history so far and in singleplayer, the entire world was open to explore the moment you took control Franklin. No restrictions at all on actually exploring.

hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@cboye18  Story was super good, considering SA's story was (in respective comparison) not nearly as replayable for how awesome that game was. Limited free roam? What? It's the biggest map in Rockstar history, and you're able to access 100% of the map. It is QUITE the contrary.

Mercaptan
Mercaptan

@hewsdaddy You wouldnt want a port , you would only get a ps3 version with same graphichs , you need a gta5 for next gen , thats what i whant for my pc , dunno what is in  rockstarr's head...

roganth
roganth

@Get_Shorty I think there are cosmetic microtransactions "pay to bling" and you can "pay for cash" if you are too impatient to play for it.

Psycold
Psycold

@Mercaptan  Since I only play PC games, I've given up on Rockstar. If they want to release a PC version, fine..I'll probably get it eventually, but I'm not going to grovel. 

hs_alpha_wolf
hs_alpha_wolf

@Lamesy  Did you read the article or just stop at the headline? The person quoted is the CEO of Take-Two....not a member of Rockstar. This is coming from the publisher side of the business, not the development side, and should not come as a surprise. You realize that a publisher's purpose is to provide developers with the capital to make a game and the distribution and advertising channels to get it out there with the intent of getting a return on their investment.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@kc87d88 @monster637  Hell, even parachuting alone nets you around $1500 for 50 seconds worth of falling by yourself.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@noigel I'd suggest less lens flare and more substance, but keep championing these business practices, I'm sure you can afford them.

notfrylock1987
notfrylock1987

@TheKeef @chemicalegypt  

From 

"I cant wait to play Heist online my first day like they advertised!!!!!!" to "heist are coming anyday now...almost a year later...."

hewsdaddy
hewsdaddy

@Mercaptan @hewsdaddy  


I'm cool with a port. i've just always found the GTA games something to kill time between other games. I'd pay another $10 the same way it worked with COD/BF4 etc, 

notfrylock1987
notfrylock1987

@Zombrex @kc87d88 @monster637  


but...you can't keep spamming it...cause the more you play it, the lower the payout becomes until it sits at se number until you log off and log back in again.....so No. You can't do that.

noigel
noigel

@Tuckpoint @noigel  Pay nothing (apart of original game price) if I don't want to? Yes, I can afford that.