Oh boy, here we go again! Much like Sony’s recent comments on day one subscription service releases, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick believes launching “frontline titles” day and date doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.
As part of Take-Two’s recent quarterly earnings report, Zelnick discussed subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus, questioning whether the choice to launch first-party games day one on these services is the right call. Specifically, Zelnick was responding to a question about Xbox Game Pass potentially “nearing saturation” on console, following Phil Spencer’s comments that XGP console growth has been slowing down recently.
“I think the second area of skepticism was whether it made sense, and this is a rhetorical question because I think the answer is no, to offer frontline titles day and date with titles on a subscription service. 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. So, I wouldn’t want to speak for my friend, Phil [Spencer], but our views remain unchanged.”
This isn’t the first time the Take-Two boss has talked this way about Xbox Game Pass, also stating back in 2021 that the service didn’t make sense for frontline titles, despite acknowledging that the company had still occasionally added frontline titles to the service (but usually not until months after launch).
We’ll likely never know all the nitty gritty business details behind Xbox Game Pass; no company is ever that forward with its behind-the-scenes dealings! On the face of it the model seems to be working though, and we can’t see Xbox changing its Game Pass approach anytime soon. Don’t expect many day and date launches from Take-Two, though.
Here’s more of what Zelnick had to say on the matter:
“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, implying 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.”
What do you make of these Take-Two comments? Leave your thoughts down below!