Once again, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has made it clear that he doesn’t want brand new games coming to subscription services, like Game Pass. So, GTA fans looking forward to any future titles launching on the service from the start, are simply out of luck. Zelnick’s views have unchanged–subscription services make sense for older titles, but not brand new ones. This is a point he has been stressing for years. He questions if it’s even possible for everyone along the chain–developers, publishers, and consumers–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,” Zelnick stated during the Take-Two call.
He observed that “consumption patterns” for a streaming service like Netflix–which offers linear entertainment–differs 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 stated.
However, Zelnick is not completely closed off the 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 example of this is Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto V, which made its way to Xbox Game Pass. It was then removed, then made a return, and is now on its second way out and will be removed from the service shortly.
You can check out more from Take-Two’s earnings report below: