Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has gone on record to say that the company is not really interested in developing its own digital marketplace. In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Zelnick was questioned about his feelings on Epic Games' new storefront and what he thinks about new marketplaces cropping up. Surprisingly, his stance is that Take-Two is more of an entertainment maker than a retail outlet.
"When it comes to broad-based entertainment offerings, you are better placed to be where the consumer is, rather than indicating to the consumer where they need to be," Zelnick stressed. "If your focus is solely on capturing retail margin, then you have to be very convinced you're going to be a great retailer. That's not something that's in our DNA. We make entertainment. We're really not a retailer."
Zelnick brought up Random House Books as an example. As he stated, most people don't buy Random House products directly from the company. Shoppers usually go with Amazon or whichever retailer best suits them, which in turn helps Random House make a profit. To Zelnick, a powerful publisher could dictate where consumers shop, but it is better to make your products available on multiple platforms than a single one.
As for Epic Games' storefront, Zelnick said, "From our point of view, we don't see another retailer as a disruption. We want to be where the consumer is, and if there's a competitive offering that benefits consumers, generally speaking, if the business model makes sense for us, we will support it." Again, he stressed that being where the consumer is is the most important aspect.
This is actually something that we talked about on Impulse last week. Take-Two could theoretically come in, create a launcher, and lock a PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2 on it to drive customers to its platform. It would likely work incredibly well, too, but it seems Take-Two would rather have its games on Steam, Epic, and the Rockstar Social Club instead of just one outlet. I can't believe I'm agreeing with a mega-corporation, but I like the sound of that.