CEO of video game publisher-distributor-behemoth Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, displayed a stance in favour of microtransactions at a press conference today. Take-Two, having just acquired Kerbal Space Program, has a number of notable subsidiary studios, chief among them the various international Rockstar and 2K studios.
Franchises published by Take-Two include Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, BioShock, Red Dead, XCOM and Borderlands, to name a few.
Zelnick talked about the basis of Take-Two’s business model, saying that “the better the product, the more people will pay for it”. He also remarked of the entertainment business being “not analytics and monetization driving content creation”, but instead that “it’s content creation based in passion and genius that leads to financial rewards”.
He did, however, diverge to talk about the financial ‘necessity’ of microtransactions: “..you can’t give stuff away for free in perpetuity, there’s no business model for that.” Immediately afterwards, he defended himself by saying “[Take-Two] are not trying to optimize the monetization of everything to the nth degree” because “the consumer knows, they might not know they know, but they feel it.”
Zelnick also said that Take-Two would “stop short of saying ‘how do we grab the last nickel out of your pocket?'”
What do you think about this duality with regards to microtransactions? Let us know if you think they’re necessary, of if the games industry should leave them behind sooner rather than later in the comments section below.