Take-Two CEO Doesn't Want New Games On Game Pass

"It doesn't really make sense for frontline titles."


Once again, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has responded to the financial situation surrounding subscription services like Game Pass, and once again, GTA fans hoping for a future game to launch on the service from the beginning shouldn't hold their breath. His views are unchanged--subscription services make sense of catalog games but not new ones. This is a point he has been stressing for years already. He also questions if it's possible for everyone in the chain--developers, publishers, and consumers alike--to come out ahead.

"Our views remain unchanged. We think a subscription model can make sense for deep catalog titles. But it doesn't really make sense for frontline titles. For any business model to make sense in the entertainment business, it has to work for the creators of the entertainment as well as the consumers of the entertainment. I think catalog can make sense for the publishers, it can make sense for the consumers who are avid, who really want access to a lot of product. But if you're getting into frontline product, then the economics are much more difficult to make sense of," he said during Take-Two's earnings call.

Zelnick observed that "consumption patterns" for a streaming service like Netflix--which offers linear entertainment (for now at least)--are different from interactive entertainment.

"Consumers who are involved with interactive entertainment have different consumption patterns than those involved with linear entertainment. Linear entertainment consumers consume something like 150 hours of programming a month. That's probably well over 100 different titles. In the case of interactive entertainment, consumers are consuming something like 45 hours a month, and that may be one, two, three, four titles. But it's certainly not 100 titles. So from a consumer point of view, it's not clear that a subscription model really makes sense, for the bulk of consumers," he said.

Overall, though, Zelnick said he's not married to any one idea.

"That remains to be seen. We're open minded. We have made catalog titles available for subscription services. Very occasionally we've made frontline titles available as well. But we do see this more as a catalog offering than a frontline offering," he said.

One high-profile example of a Rockstar Games-developed title that went into a subscription service is Grand Theft Auto V. It was added and then removed from Xbox Game Pass originally, and the same is happening again. It's slated to be removed again from the service sometime soon.

For more from Take-Two's earnings report today, check out the stories below.

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