Xbox Game Pass subscribers are losing GTA V this month as Take-Two is pulling it off the service. It seems that while the benefit of having the game as a freebie was great at first, the publisher isn’t really keen on hosting its games on subscription-styled platforms. This goes for all Take-Two games in general as chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick says the service just doesn’t make sense for most consumers.
In the latest Take-Two earnings call, Zelnick expressed his opinion in regards to Xbox Game Pass and other subscription-based gaming platforms. He says from a business perspective, these services just don’t make sense for frontline titles. He says that any business model in the entertainment business needs to work for the creators and the consumers of the entertainment. Of which, most of these subscription-styled services don’t.
Zelnick’s main issue with these gaming services is the fact that all gamers consume entertainment at different rates. These services don’t cater for all these demographics according to the Take-Two CEO. He says:
“I think catalog can make sense for the publishers. It could make sense for consumers who are avid who really want access to a lot of product. But if you’re getting into front-line product, then the economics are much more difficult to make sense of. And remember, 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.”
Take-Two sees GTA V as a frontline title. The game has just recently sold 150 million units and the company clearly wants to milk it even more by removing it off Xbox Game Pass. However, games such as NBA 2K aren’t classed as “frontline” and more “catalogue”. Zelnick says that catalogue games make a lot more sense on the service due to their common releases. It sounds as if the return on investment is a bit low when releasing a high-budget triple-A “frontline” game on Xbox Game Pass. Zelnick just doesn’t want to say that.
Source: Take Two