Take-Two CEO Says Video Game Industry's Pandemic Boost Is "Permanent"

The CEO of influential publisher Take-Two said that the boost to sales and revenue that the video game industry enjoyed over the pandemic will stick around.


Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick recently said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that he believes that the additional sales and revenue that the video game industry racked up due to the pandemic represents a "permanent shift." This follows Take-Two's year-end earnings report last week, where the publisher cited a "transformational shift in entertainment consumption" that would benefit not only the company, but the video game industry as a whole.

"Interactive entertainment is now the number one entertainment vertical in terms of revenue, and I guess people still don't fully realize that," Zelnick said. "And a good deal of that growth was driven by people either discovering or rediscovering interactive entertainment and its social aspects during the pandemic. And what we've found is that while certain trends should be expected to moderate, that shift is permanent."

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Zelnick further clarified that he believes that the social aspects of popular games are driving this growth. He said that consumers who enjoy "shared entertainment experiences" are coming into the video game market, similar to those who enjoy going to theme parks or watching movies together. Additionally, Zelnick said that Take-Two would like to take its popular core brands and extend them into the mobile space, similar to what Activision did with Call of Duty Mobile.

The interviewer also asked Zelnick for his thoughts on the ongoing Epic Games and Apple lawsuit, which some observers feel will likely have a large impact on how the revenue pie is split up in the future. Zelnick stated that he's not really concerned about the outcome, because Take-Two will continue to meet consumers where they are. However, he did predict that platform-holders will take smaller shares of revenue in the future.

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