2K Games owner Take-Two held its latest earnings call yesterday, and in one of the questions that was posed to the company, chairman and chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick was asked about how Take-Two feels about subscription models (which incorporates the likes of Xbox Game Pass) from a business perspective.
In response, Zelnick advised that "our views remain unchanged" on the matter, and the company believes "a subscription model can make sense for deep catalog titles, but it doesn't really make sense for frontline titles". He explained that "for any business model that makes 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 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."
2K's Grand Theft Auto V is an example of a game under the Take-Two banner which is leaving Xbox Game Pass this month after just a short period on the service, most likely due to the game becoming a "frontline" title once more following the release of its enhanced edition for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S later this year.
That said, Take-Two has included frontline titles on Game Pass such as NBA 2K21, so it's not a hard rule.
"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 front-line offering."
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