Take-Two CEO Says the Company is Under-Monetizing its Users

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Take-Two CEO Says the Company is Under-Monetizing its Users

gta-online-320

Don't be surprised if you see more microtransactions in Take-Two published games in the future.

Yesterday, as Take-Two was announcing its acquisition of Kerbal Space Program, its CEO, Strauss Zelnick was speaking at a technology conference. During his presentation, he discussed the topic of microtransactions, and how he felt Take-Two was doing with regards to them.

Zelnick said that Take-Two wasn't maximizing its microtranaction business. "We are convinced that we are probably from an industry view undermonetizing on a per-user basis. There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers."

But Zelnick also acknowledged that you can go too far in charging players for every last bit of content. "You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," Zelnick said. "But we're not trying to optimize the monetization of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it."

"We're not going to grab the last nickel," he said.

What's the takeaway? Well, you can expect Take-Two published games to continue supporting microtransactions, and you may see them ramp up a bit in the future. Rockstar has already said that Red Dead Redemption 2 (which was recently delayed into Spring 2018) will have an online component, so don't be surprised when it sports microtransactions.

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Well I sure am glad I found the last GTA kinda boring and am not really interested in the next one.

Hopefully this just means heaploads of paid cosmetics and not anything that'd actually interfere with the gameplay of their future games.

That's a shame. I've always praised Rockstar and Take Two for releasing regular free content for GTA:O and not holding the wallets of gamers to ransom. Guess $$$ has finally won out over customer satisfaction.

and straight after they annouced they own kebral space program too

I expected the following rows:

Disclosure(s): Strauss Zelnick, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is the head of ZelnickMedia, an investor in both Take-Two and Defy Media, LLC, our parent company. This article was published without approval or consent of ZelnickMedia or Take-Two.

Or was this article published with approval or consent?

I will continue not purchasing their games then.

Not because of some personal crusade...but because I'm just not interested in their titles and talk like this certainly isn't making them more appealing.

Lol company CEO stands up in front of crowd and tells people that he believes his company aren't being big enough dicks and that believes they could be bigger dicks in future without making it seem like they are being bigger dicks... what a total dick.

Should I be hopeful that he still cares enough about appearances to at least pay lip service to creativity and player experience? Or just despair that CEOs can now openly discuss not just microtransactions but optimizing microtransactions without fear of getting torn to pieces by an angry mob?

I understand that the costs involved with "AAA" game development continue to climb, but by every power, I wish microtransactions had stayed in "free-to-play". Or better yet, never been invented in the first place.

I don't even care if this is ultimately good or bad for any party. As a CEO, he should know that saying "we're going to start charging you for stuff"[1] is a sure way to get bad PR.

[1] Yes, I know things cost money. That's not my point.

Laughing Man:
Lol company CEO stands up in front of crowd and tells people that he believes his company aren't being big enough dicks and that believes they could be bigger dicks in future without making it seem like they are being bigger dicks... what a total dick.

At least he's honest about it.

I guess that means Take-Two won't interfere with development of Civilization 7 except require downloadable graphics and UIs.

ffronw:
My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows.

That's the concern he has huh? Doesn't exactly instill me with a lot of confidence. At the very least I'd recommend not pre-ordering anything they make until after you get a good look at the monetization scheme.

I have 2 words for this: FUCK MICROTRANSACTIONS!

>Title

So this gonna get 2K The Happy Merchants Award for Biggest Shekel-Grubber of 2017?

>Article

Guess not, though it still depends on them how they ultimately go about it. I doubt theyre going to go full retard and make remastered versions of games available only by purchasing a premium edition of a new game that looks like total shit.

I tend not to crusade to hard or get very loud about these sorts of industry shenanigans, but this guy really sounds like a huge douche. Like, you could cleanse a whale's vagina with this guy.

Well, I wont be surprised if Kerbal Space Program suddenly will have MT's aswel.

Dear Take Two:

Red Dead Redemption 2, now with more dlc horses then you can bat an eye at. Don't forget you need to buy bags, safes and train cars of gold with real money to purchase them in the first place. Oh and remember those Outfits with effects you could find whilst playing the last RDR? Well we both known where that's going! *wink* (Also forget the pre-order one, it's a golden gun skin this time around!).

Well just saying this going off the GTA5 Shark Credit Cards as reference.

Did anyone even read the post?

But Zelnick also acknowledged that you can go too far in charging players for every last bit of content. "You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," Zelnick said. "But we're not trying to optimize the monetization of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it."

"We're not going to grab the last nickel," he said.

He is pretty much justifying his company's decision to not squeeze every last nickel from their customers even though from a industry perspective there is "money on the table".

This made me barf in my mouth a little. By far the scummiest thing i've read all year about gaming.

Undermonetizing. Wow. Go f**k yourself.

deadish:
Did anyone even read the post?

But Zelnick also acknowledged that you can go too far in charging players for every last bit of content. "You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," Zelnick said. "But we're not trying to optimize the monetization of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it."

"We're not going to grab the last nickel," he said.

He is pretty much justifying his company's decision to not squeeze every last nickel from their customers even though from a industry perspective there is "money on the table".

Except

"We are convinced that we are probably from an industry view undermonetizing on a per-user basis. There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers."

Shows that he does want their games to get at more of the money on the table whilst bamboozling their consumers into thinking it's all part of the creative visions and don't worry they'll enjoy it. Just because he doesn't want your last nickel doesn't mean they won't try to price up for the rest.

Considering they milked Evolve, and are stil milking the dying Battleborn community, I'm not suprised. I'm pretty pisses that these sort of practises are common now, however, and fear what they'll pull off with Borderlands 3.

Nile McMorrow:

Shows that he does want their games to get at more of the money on the table whilst bamboozling their consumers into thinking it's all part of the creative visions and don't worry they'll enjoy it. Just because he doesn't want your last nickel doesn't mean they won't try to price up for the rest.

Oh, he wants your last nickel, he's just smart enough to realize it's a bad idea to say so.

COMaestro:

Nile McMorrow:

Shows that he does want their games to get at more of the money on the table whilst bamboozling their consumers into thinking it's all part of the creative visions and don't worry they'll enjoy it. Just because he doesn't want your last nickel doesn't mean they won't try to price up for the rest.

Oh, he wants your last nickel, he's just smart enough to realize it's a bad idea to say so.

As long as they keep that crap in the multiplayer, I don't give a fig.

deadish:
Did anyone even read the post?

But Zelnick also acknowledged that you can go too far in charging players for every last bit of content. "You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," Zelnick said. "But we're not trying to optimize the monetization of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it."

"We're not going to grab the last nickel," he said.

He is pretty much justifying his company's decision to not squeeze every last nickel from their customers even though from a industry perspective there is "money on the table".

Micro transactions are bad by any amount. Ofcourse he says hes not going to be evil about it, but thats a blatant lie. If he did not want to be evil, he would not put in microtransactions at all. I mean, he also says essentially "We arent getting enough money out of people".

Zelnick said that Take-Two wasn't maximizing its microtranaction business. "We are convinced that we are probably from an industry view undermonetizing on a per-user basis. There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers."

Well, with the ever increasing costs of game development, it's either micro-transactions or paying more upfront.

(I mean, they could spend less on development, but then what will the PCMR spend their money on?)

altnameJag:
Well, with the ever increasing costs of game development, it's either micro-transactions or paying more upfront.

(I mean, they could spend less on development, but then what will the PCMR spend their money on?)

I would rather they find more cost effective methods of developing games rather than gouging me.

Canadamus Prime:

altnameJag:
Well, with the ever increasing costs of game development, it's either micro-transactions or paying more upfront.

(I mean, they could spend less on development, but then what will the PCMR spend their money on?)

I would rather they find more cost effective methods of developing games rather than gouging me.

I'm just saying, accounting for inflation, SNES games were in the $80-$90 range on the low end.

*shrug* Increased sales can only count for so much at a static price point.

altnameJag:

Canadamus Prime:

altnameJag:
Well, with the ever increasing costs of game development, it's either micro-transactions or paying more upfront.

(I mean, they could spend less on development, but then what will the PCMR spend their money on?)

I would rather they find more cost effective methods of developing games rather than gouging me.

I'm just saying, accounting for inflation, SNES games were in the $80-$90 range on the low end.

*shrug* Increased sales can only count for so much at a static price point.

Really? Because that's a price I refuse to pay. Fuck inflation!

Well I had to look up what Take Two actually publishes.

That I've played in any recent memory;
GTAV/O (Awful gameplay, awful writing, microtransactions out the *** in the online thing, which took them years to release promised content for and become even vaguely intriguing (still garbage gameplay though), Borderlands (Awful gameplay and horrible writing again), and Xcom (the first one was alright, the shooter thing was terrible, and when I played 2, it was a glitchy broken mess that I ended up refunding after the third game breaking bug inside the first 2 hours).

And the sports games I suppose. Which are just a yearly roster update with no innovation unless you skip a decade or so). And more recently have been their own ludicrous DLC dispensers.

Eh. I only have two conditions as far as microtransactions go.

1: Keep the advertising in the store. I already paid for the game, I don't want to see advertisements on all of the loading screens, leaderboards, and gear selection about how I should be paying for more shit.

2: Make sure that without seeing the advertisements anywhere, I can walk away from the base game feeling as though I had finished playing a complete game. Don't make me feel that I paid full price for a sub-par experience because I didn't want to pay extra for what should have been there to begin with.

Oh, you added more plot behind a DLC section of the game? Did I get a fulfilling story with the base game and it didn't feel like I'm being asked to pay extra for the final segment of the game? Okay, then I'm fine with that.

You decided to make a huge selection of special equipment that's only available by paying extra money? Do the base game's equipment fulfill their purpose? If yes, and I can comfortably play with the base gear, then feel free to do what you please. If no, and I'm essentially trying to fight a Lv 75 boss with Lv 15 weapons and armor, then fuck off.

Thing is, I usually play single-player games. I'm not very big on multiplayer stuff. If you want to absolutely piss me off, though, make me feel as though the single-player experience on the base-game is shit and I need to buy extras like EXP boosters and other MMO-style shit just to play the game that I already paid for. Cosmetics is fine. Multiplayer gear is fine with me, I don't mess with it. Just keep things balanced for decency's sake. Just leave the ads out of the single player game, and away from any screens I might go through to get to said single player game, and I will continue to give you my money. Don't force me to buy DLC, I will do it if I enjoyed the base game and wanted more.

deadish:
Did anyone even read the post?

But Zelnick also acknowledged that you can go too far in charging players for every last bit of content. "You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," Zelnick said. "But we're not trying to optimize the monetization of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it."

"We're not going to grab the last nickel," he said.

He is pretty much justifying his company's decision to not squeeze every last nickel from their customers even though from a industry perspective there is "money on the table".

This.

Microtransactions were shit, and honestly the current solution of having free dlc/paid cosmetics that is now very popular is a good one for me. Basicly the people that pay for those cosmetics (because they have more money available to spend in such rather "useless" content) are basicly paying for the cost of making the other dlc free for everyone.

If there is an even better way of making microtransactions then go ahead and try.
And the argument that the free dlc should have been there from the start isnt even true in most cases with these games since the stuff that they are adding is stuff that the game already had in good amount (with GTA is weapons, clothes and cars). One thing is the shit starting state of a game like Evolve, the other is the much more already fleshed out games like GTA V or Rainbow Six Siege

Canadamus Prime:

altnameJag:

Canadamus Prime:

I would rather they find more cost effective methods of developing games rather than gouging me.

I'm just saying, accounting for inflation, SNES games were in the $80-$90 range on the low end.

*shrug* Increased sales can only count for so much at a static price point.

Really? Because that's a price I refuse to pay. Fuck inflation!

Accounting for inflation I feel is very misleading though, cause as I understand it, it just means our money used to be "worth more" back then. Everything will be more expensive if you "account for inflation". It is not the fault of prices then but the worth of our money.

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