Take-Two doesn’t agree with Microsoft’s approach to have new video game releases on Xbox Game Pass at launch. The publisher has already voiced its opinion on the matter a while back when it revealed that the service doesn’t generate enough revenue to sacrifice game sales in favour of having day-one releases. Instead, Take-Two agrees with Sony’s approach to release games for sale at launch and later on, list them across subscription services.
According to Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick, day-and-date launches on Xbox Game Pass are lost opportunities for publishers. During the company’s Q2 earnings call, Zelnick says that the Game Pass structure doesn’t make sense and he thinks it will never make sense.
“I don’t think that ever made sense. I still don’t think it makes sense. And I believe that it’s now becoming obvious that it doesn’t make sense. It’s just a lost opportunity for the publisher. There probably is a subscription business. It’s a catalog business. It’s probably best aimed at very avid consumers because those are the consumers who are interested in playing catalog titles, and playing a whole bunch of different titles in a given month. But I don’t think it’s a mass market service that supplants the interactive entertainment business as we know it at all. And I don’t think there’s any evidence to the contrary so far.”
Zelnick says that he doesn’t think publishers are aware of how big of a lost opportunity it is for them to release games on Xbox Game Pass at launch. He says that it is not obvious to publishers yet and that his views remain unchanged.
Take-Two also reported on some massive milestones for the GTA V series during the earnings call. The company revealed that the series has surpassed 170 million copies sold. However, Take-Two has lowered its financial forecast for the year ahead after it didn’t meet its original target. The publisher only managed to ship 1 million copies of GTA V during the last quarter. While this seems like a lot, in the previous quarter, they shipped 5 million copies.
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Zelnick says that the company had a “great, solid quarter” despite the lower sales and decline in revenue. He says it was expected given the somewhat disappointing but not surprising economic backdrop at the moment.