GTA parent publisher talks next-gen used games

Take-Two Interactive CEO says "If Microsoft has figured out a way to tax used games, then we should get paid, too."


Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive has weighed in on the discussion surrounding next-generation consoles and used games.

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Speaking today during the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, CEO Strauss Zelnick said if Microsoft receives a cut of used game sales--as is rumored--so should Take-Two.

"There's no question that if Microsoft has figured out a way to tax used games, then we should get paid, too. It's hard to imagine why they should and we shouldn't," Zelnick said.

Retail sources told MCV last week that retailers will be able to charge whatever they want for secondhand Xbox One games, but Microsoft and publishers will receive a cut of every transaction.

Take-Two's stance on used games, Zelnick said, is not to "whine" about missing out on revenue, but rather to focus on creating compelling experiences so gamers do not trade their titles in.

"Our view about used games has been, as opposed to whining or figuring out ways to punish the consumer for buying used games, we've figured out we better delight the consumer," Zelnick said.

"Let's push up our quality, which you've seen in our Metacritic scores, and then let's make sure to give people DLC, often free, three or four weeks out; which is the time you're at risk for them trading in their game," he added. "If you can keep the game in consumer's hands for 8 weeks, you almost don't care anymore about used game sales because it's the first 8 weeks that really nail you."

Overall, Zelnick explained that Take-Two would rather have the ability to sell new games, but isn't sour on the used game prospects for next-generation consoles just yet.

He said the company is "somewhat hopeful" that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will allow Take-Two to participate in used game sales, though he did not provide any further details.

The Xbox One and PS4 will support used games, though how systems will work for both platforms remains unclear. Microsoft told Wired that users must pay a fee to play secondhand titles, while Sony has said decisions about activation fees will be left up to individual publishers.

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