Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of games titan Take-Two Interactive, supports the incoming merger of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard.
Sony is firmly opposed to Microsoft's $68.7 billion merger with Activision-Blizzard, but other industry players aren't up in arms. Take-Two Interactive, one of the most powerful forces in the games industry, actually welcomes the merger and encourages the competition.
The reality is that Take-Two Interactive doesn't have a whole lot of reasons to oppose the merger. The publisher has made billions of dollars through the Xbox ecosystem, whether it be full game sales on the Xbox store, big-budget deals for providing its games on Game Pass, or in-game purchases through its microtransaction-driven live games. Heavy-hitters like Grand Theft Auto V, a bevy of annualized NBA 2K games, and titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 have all leveraged the reach and spending power of the Xbox platform.
"We're certainly of the belief that it's a good thing for Microsoft and the industry. We're in favor," Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick told TheWrap.
"This is a highly fragmented business. There's plenty of room for creativity to grow around. Microsoft is an ally of ours and if this makes their business more powerful, we think that is good for us."
Case in point: Grand Theft Auto revenues jumped to $210 million in Q1'2020 following GTA V's release on Game Pass.
As Xbox grows, so too does the platform, and that gives Microsoft a bigger budget to make some big deals. Remember that Take-Two Interactive has expanded rapidly after acquiring Zynga for $12.7 billion (the second-largest acquisition in gaming history). The publisher is no longer fully dependent on hits like Grand Theft Auto and is diversifying its slate of games.
The publisher wants to release a whopping 87 projects in development across all platforms. With that kind of scale, Take-Two cannot afford to play favorites and exclude one of its biggest business partners.