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GTA’s publishers believe they’re “undermonetising” you


Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reckons his company are “undermonetising” its customers relative to the rest of the industry, and “can do more” when it comes to microtransactions. 

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Zelnick was speaking at a technology conference yesterday (meanwhile, Take-Two were announcing they’ve just acquired the much-admired indie game, Kerbal Space Program). He emphasised the lucrative margins on selling digital content, and said “you can’t give stuff away for free in perpetuity. There’s no business model in that.”

Zelnick says Take-Two “are convinced that we are probably, from an industry view, undermonetising on a per-user basis.”

That said, “we’re not trying to optimise the monetisation 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.” Zelnick says if you pay too much for something, even if it’s high quality, it “just leaves you with a bad feeling. We don’t want our consumers to ever feel that way.”

So he’s aiming to strike a balance, but he reckons Take-Two can go further without giving you that bad feeling. Specifically, Zelnick says “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. We’re not going to grab the last nickel.”

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V continues to rake in money for Take-Two, having sold a staggering 80 million copies in four years. A large part of its lasting appeal is its regularly updated online component, which features microtransactions. Rockstar’s next game is Red Dead Redemption II, due next year, which will have an online component.

It’ll be interesting to see how it’s monetised in light of these comments.

Thanks, GameSpot.