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Take-Two: Game Pass day and date releases are a lost opportunity for publishers

Xbox Game Pass' day-and-date releases are a 'big missed opportunity for publishers,' GTA parent company sides with Sony's idea of game subscriptions.

Take-Two: Game Pass day and date releases are a lost opportunity for publishers
Published Nov 7, 2022 10:01 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Dec 2 2022 2:11 PM CST
1 minute & 43 seconds read time

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick is still skeptical about video game subscriptions, and agrees with Sony's opinion of the Xbox Game Pass model.

Take-Two: Game Pass day and date releases are a lost opportunity for publishers 22

The Xbox Game Pass model is a big hit among consumers who want to access Microsoft's first-party games with no extra cost. But for Sony and major players like Take-Two Interactive, who make hundreds of millions of dollars a year from premium game sales, the Game Pass model is just too disruptive. Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick says that day-and-date launches are actually a lost opportunity for publishers.

Although Grand Theft Auto V certainly has enjoyed a healthy earnings jump from its brief stint on Xbox Game Pass, the day one release cadence just isn't something that major publishers like Take-Two are willing to pursue. Zelnick shared his thoughts on subscriptions in a recent Q2 earnings call:

"I think the the secondary skepticism was whether or not it made sense 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.

"I believe it's not becoming obvious that it's just a lost opportunity for the publisher. So I don't want to speak for my friend Phil, but our views remain unchanged.

"There probably is a subscription business [that makes sense], it's a catalog business, it's probably best to aim 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. I don't think there's any evidence to the contrary at all."

These opinions line up with what Sony Interactive Entertainment's Jim Ryan said about the day-one Game Pass model in that it interrupts Sony's "virtuous cycle."

What's interesting is that on page 33 of a recent investors presentation, Take-Two Interactive lists streaming and cloud gaming as possible growth opportunities for the company. However based on Zelnick's comments, these models would align more towards Zynga and older games--not new mega-hits like Grand Theft Auto 6.

Take-Two: Game Pass day and date releases are a lost opportunity for publishers 11
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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