Take-Two Head Not Worried About AT&T-Time Warner Deal

At least one video game company exec doesn’t believe a federal judge’s decision to allow AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner will have a negative impact on the game business.

Take-Two Chairman and CEO and ZMC Partner Strauss Zelnick met with Variety during the week’s E3 video game conference to discuss the state of the industry and Take-Two. While he said he believes that the ability to stream video games via online services – as a sort of Netflix for video games – will “almost certainly” be useful technology for the industry, he doesn’t think that the merging of one of the largest broadband and wireless providers in the country with a massive media company will cause issues for consumers or the game industry.

Some have argued that the merger will lead to higher prices and fewer choices for internet access. But Zelnick doesn’t see it that way. When asked if he was concerned that the merger would have a negative impact on gaming, given the growing dependence the industry has on bandwidth, he said, “Why would it?”

“So they’re going to limit use to make money?” he said. “No, they’re going to encourage use to make money. If they act in a predatory way they’ll have competition to deal with. Secondly, if you act in a predatory way as a communications carrier you’re going to have real problems with the government.”

Zelnick added that he does believe cloud-gaming and game-streaming, both of which rely heavily on internet connections, are going to play a greater role in the game industry and that Take-Two, which publishes a number of games including Rockstar’s titles like Grand Theft Auto and the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2, will always publish games where the consumer is.

“I don’t think consoles are going away,” he added. “Consumers will find their products in a variety of ways.”

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