Grand Theft Auto Company Boss Isn't Sold On Video Game Subscription Services

Xbox is leaning into monthly payment models for the next-gen, and while it seems to be working out, not everyone is convinced.


The next generation of Xbox, including the Xbox Series X and Series S, is going all-in on subscriptions and payment plans, with both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox All Access providing customers with over a hundred games, and potentially a whole new console, for a nominal fee each month. Xbox's revenue is on the rise, and many developers seem very happy with the deals they've made with Microsoft, but not everyone is convinced.

Speaking to Barron's for a piece about Microsoft's strategy with the next Xbox models, Strauss Zelnick, who is the CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software (the parent company that owns Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar Games), has expressed some caution towards this strategy.

"I think it may be somewhat hard to do in the interactive entertainment business," Zelnick said. He cites the fact that TV and movie subscription services make more sense because, on average, people watch far more content than they play--150 hours a month of TV and film against 45 hours of gameplay. This makes something like Netflix far more attractive than Game Pass, he argues.

"It's not clear that it would be a great deal to spend $35 a month to have one of the two platforms, even with a good deal of content," Zelnick argues.

Curiously, two major Rockstar titles, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II, have both appeared on Xbox Game Pass in the past. Neither title was available on the service for long, though, and judging by Zelnick's comments it's unlikely that their games will join a service like Game Pass long-term.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will expand on September 15 in many territories with Cloud Gaming. The next wave of Xbox Game Pass titles has also been announced.

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