Rockstar Games Owner Doesn't Agree With Putting its Games on Subscription Services on Day One

The CEO of Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns Rockstar Games, doesn’t think it makes sense to put its own games on subscription services like Xbox Game Pass on day one. The rise of Xbox Game Pass is a very new thing and has all kinds of layers that developers are trying to wrap their heads around. While games like Sniper Elite 5 are releasing day and date on Xbox Game Pass, other titles have opted to come to the service months or even years after launch. Some games have greatly benefited from being extremely accessible, allowing word of mouth to spread, getting players to purchase additional in-game content, and so on. There are still some companies that don’t think this is a valid approach for their titles.

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick recently spoke to about the day and date subscription model, expressing skepticism. Zelnick noted that Take-Two likes to support the subscriptions when it makes sense, namely for older titles that have already had price cuts. Zelnick also noted that Sony agrees with this sentiment, referencing their recent statement that suggested they won’t be adding first-party titles to its new tiered PlayStation Plus service on day one because it doesn’t make economic sense. The Take-Two CEO stated that they’re willing to change their thinking in the future if things change or if it makes sense to shift in that direction, but at the moment, older titles are what they’ll be putting on to these services.

“We’ve supported various subscription services and we’re happy to do so,” Zelnick said. “Our skepticism has been around making frontline console products available day and date with subscription. That doesn’t make any sense to us because, economically speaking, we don’t think consumers are prepared to pay for that – why would they? – and we can’t afford to turn our business upside down in a way that doesn’t make sense economically.”

In November 2021, Rockstar Games put the remastered version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Xbox Game Pass on day one. Granted, San Andreas was not available as a standalone title outside of this service and was likely a way to try and incentivize players to purchase the entire remastered trilogy. Either way, it’s good to hear Zelnick isn’t ignorant to the changing markets and is willing to change their business approach if it begins to make sense to release titles on these services on day one.

Do you agree with Zelnick’s comments? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.



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