Here's How Much Money Take-Two Makes From Microtransactions And Which Games Are The Biggest

Take-Two makes a lot of money from microtransactions, and that money is expected to grow.

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As part of Take-Two's latest earnings report, the Rockstar Games and 2K Games owner revealed how much money its titles make from microtransactions and which games are the most popular.

Microtransactions are labeled by Take-Two as "recurrent consumer spending," which includes virtual currency, add-on content, and in-game purchases. For the quarter ended March 31, recurrent consumer spending increased by 40 percent and made up 54 percent of Take-Two's overall net revenue ($760.5 million), for a total of more than $410 million.

Some of the games that performed the best in terms of microtransactions included NBA 2K20, NBA 2K19, Grand Theft Auto Online, Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Red Dead Online, Borderlands 3, Civilization VI, and SocialPoint's mobile titles such as WWE SuperCard and WWE 2K20.

For NBA 2K20 specifically, Take-Two said the game "significantly outperformed" the company's expectations for microtransactions. The releases for the MyTeam mode in February helped grow microtransaction spending.

In fact, NBA 2K20 outperformed all of Take-Two's other releases in terms of microtransactions, even surpassing the juggernaut of GTA Online. NBA 2K20 microtransaction spending grew 30 percent to set a new record. GTA Online also performed exceptionally well, CFO Lainie Goldstein said, noting that microtransaction spending in the game grew 87 percent for the quarter and 40 percent for the full year.

Red Dead Redemption 2's multiplayer mode, Red Dead Online, was also called out a top-performer for microtransactions. Goldstein said the game continues to gain momentum as it relates to microtransactions.

Looking ahead, Take-Two expects microtransaction spending to continue to grow in the fiscal year, driven by NBA 2K20 and GTA Online.

Microtransactions are controversial in some circles. Take-Two has said it wants to put microtransactions in every game that it releases, and the company wants to do so in a fair and responsible way.

CEO Strauss Zelnick explained that the company needs to make money ("we're not a charity," he said), but the player must feel that they are getting a fair deal. He said it's like going to a restaurant and then getting shocked when you get the bill based on the level of quality and service. That's the kind of situation that Take-Two is keen to avoid as it relates to microtransactions.

"We always deliver more than what we charge and that's the goal of our company and that's the goal all of our labels," Zelnick said.

Take-Two is donating 5 percent of microtransaction sales from GTA Online and Red Dead Online through the end of May for COVID-19 relief. Given how much money those games bring it, that could be a lot of cash.

In other news, Take-Two recently announced that is has 93 titles in development right now, though not all of them will be released.

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