Game news Take-Two: The GTA publisher criticizes the Game Pass model and the metaverse!
GTA V continues to be a hit, but all eyes are beginning to turn to GTA VI, whose development has been confirmed by Rockstar Games. But, in a world where access to games via a subscription is becoming widespread, the question arises: can GTA and the next Take-Two games directly integrate a service when they are released?
the Game Pass from Microsoft continues to develop, and its business model, clearly advantageous for gamers, is beginning to make sense to the general public. During this time, Sony chose another approach, with a redesign of its PlayStation Plus. No Day One games in its catalog, but demos of a few hours, retro games in the cloud or for downloadand a selection of games already released.
Will Take-Two add day one games to subscription catalogs?
For Sony, whose income partly depends on video games, applying Microsoft’s strategy is not viableand “would lower the quality” games developed in-house. On his side, Ubisoft has its own service Ubisoft+, with its own games. A model that other publishers could possibly follow, including Take-Two. So are the publisher’s next games, Grand Theft Auto VI in the lead, will they be integrated as soon as they are released in a subscription?
Strauss Zelnick just don’t see the point. Questioned by Games Industry, the CEO of the brand indicates that certain games are available in the services, but that he had no interest in releasing the day one games on them. And when we think of the enthusiasm generated by GTA, NBA 2K, Mafia or even Red Dead Redemption, we understand quite easily that thethe financial interest of such a practice would be debatable for the editor:
We have supported various subscription services and are happy to do so. (…) It doesn’t make sense to us because, economically speaking, we don’t think consumers are willing to pay for it – why would they? — and we can’t afford to disrupt our business in a way that doesn’t make economic sense.
There must therefore always be an intersection between what the consumer wants and what the publisher is able to do (…). I think Sony kind of agrees with us, because they said so. This can be potentially interesting for games that have been on the market for a while. If their price has been reduced, it may make economic sense to offer them on a subscription basis.
In other words, reach new players and give new impetus to games already released, yes, do without income from a title that has just been released, no. On this point, Strauss Zelnick joins Jim Ryan’s statements, but does not mention the qualitative aspect of the titles. However, he does not rule out going back on his remarks if the evolution of the industry forces him to do so.
This company doesn’t operate on the opinions of just one person, including my own, and when it makes sense, we’ll support subscription services, and if that’s where the consumer wants to be, that’s where we’ll be. It’s one of the most terrifying things about working in video games – we’re so cutting edge, any prediction will necessarily make someone look like a fool.
Stauss Zelnick is wary of ‘buzzwords’
At the end of last year and at the beginning of 2022, the words NFT and blockchain were on everyone’s lips, especially on the industry side of the video game. Many games based on NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have appeared, Steam has rejected them, publishers like Ubisoft have launched their platform, studios have tried their luck before backtracking, and Square Enix has expressed great interest.
But what is Take-Two’s position on the subject? Among the rumors about the content of GTA VI, we mentioned a critique of the blockchain within the gamewhich could give an indication of the state of mind. Strauss Zelnick spoke about it, and is very suspicious “buzzwords” such as NFTs, metaverse, blockchain or cryptos:
I’m always skeptical about buzzwords because they mean different things to different people, and people who invest behind buzzwords probably don’t get great results. I’m not at all skeptical about huge, interactive, dynamic and entertaining worlds because our company is responsible for hosting, at least, three of them. (…)
I think where my skepticism lies is that every company suddenly believes that by saying the word “metaverse” on top of their company’s business strategy, it means that somehow they will be transformed and that nirvana is at hand, and of course it is not.