Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick doesn’t want any new games in Xbox Game Pass because it wouldn’t really make sense for top titles.
Take-Two Interactive’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, once again comments on the financial situation of subscription services such as the Xbox Game Pass. His views remain unchanged, and he believes subscriptions are useful for catalog games, but not for new entries. He also questions whether it is even possible for everyone in the process – developers, publishers and gamers alike – to benefit from it.
“Our views remain unchanged. We believe that a subscription model for large catalog titles can make sense. But it doesn’t really make sense for front-row titles. For a business model to make sense in the entertainment industry, it has to work for both the makers and the consumers of entertainment. I think a catalog can make sense for the publishers, for the enthusiastic consumers who really want access to a lot of products. But when you look at frontline products, it’s a lot harder economically to make sense of it, ”he said during Take-Two Interactive’s balance sheet conference.
Zelnick noted that consumption patterns for a streaming service like Netflix, which offers linear entertainment, are different from those for interactive entertainment.
“Consumers engaging in interactive entertainment have different consumption patterns than those engaging in linear entertainment. Linear entertainment consumers consume around 150 hours of programming per month. That’s probably well over 100 different titles. In the case of interactive entertainment, consumers consume about 45 hours per month, and that can be one, two, three, or four titles. But there are certainly not 100 titles. From the consumer’s point of view, it is not clear whether a subscription model really makes sense for the majority of consumers. “
Overall, however, Strauss Zelnick does not commit himself to a specific idea.
“That remains to be seen. We are open to everything. We have made catalog titles available for subscription services. Occasionally we have also provided top titles. But we see this more as a catalog offer than a frontline offer. “
The best-known example of a title published by Take-Two Interactive that was included in a subscription service is Grand Theft Auto V developed by Rockstar Games. It was first included in the Xbox Game Pass in 2020, then removed again, and the same happens again this year. The game is due to be removed from service shortly.