Take-Two CEO Doesn’t Think New Games Should Launch on Subscription Services

By | August 5, 2021

Xbox Game Pass has quickly become one of the most popular and polarizing subscription services in all of gaming, and while Microsoft continues to pour tons of brand new games onto the service, not every company thinks the model is sustainable.

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During a recent earnings call (via GameSpot), Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick recently spoke about the financial situation surrounding services like Game Pass, and why he doesn’t think that launching brand new games on the services makes much sense.

“Our views remain unchanged. We think a subscription model can make sense for deep catalog titles,” Zelnick said. “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.”

Zelnick went on to talk about how he believes that “consumption patterns” are different when it comes to consumers of video games and other forms of entertainment, but that at the end of the day, the company was open-minded to change in the future.

“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 said.

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“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…”