Take-Two Skeptical About Game Subscriptions

In an earnings call yesterday, the president of Take-Two Interactive expressed a disinclination towards game subscription schemes such as Xbox Game Pass becoming dominant in the industry, while the CEO addressed the possibility of existing PC and console titles being adapted to mobile platforms.

Karl Slatoff, Take-Two’s president, fielded a question on the call asking for opinions on how the company views subscription services like Game Pass when the average consumer seems to only play a few titles a year.  Slatoff replied, “We’re highly skeptical that subscriptions will be the only way or the primary way that interactive entertainment is distributed. That’s because of the way people consume it. And the price point for owning a title, which is very reasonable and very, very low, actually, on a per hour basis.” He went on point out that Take-Two has supported Game Pass and similar systems previously (both Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 were on Game Pass briefly), and stated, “I imagine we’ll continue to do [that]. At the end of the day, the consumer will decide and we will be where the consumer is.”

CEO and Chairman Strauss Zelnick fielded a question about the likelihood of AAA console titles like GTA or NBA 2K getting a mobile entry.  His response wasn’t particularly enthusiastic.   “We deliver the highest quality experiences in the business and we charge much less for them than we believe they’re worth to consumers,” Zelnick said. “And then we deliver typically an ongoing component that is free. That’s already a great deal of value at any monetization — of course, it’s totally optional.”  He finished off by saying, “We have not done that yet [and] we have not announced any plans to do it.”

Food For Thought

Take-Two seems to be quite happy with the status quo at the moment.  Whatever fears some gamers may have about “games delivery as a service,” Take-Two appears to be focusing on letting gamers build up libraries of games, ideally ones they have published.

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