Take-Two Unlikely to Create Online Game Store, Will Go Where Gamers Are

While Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick is happy that Epic Games launched its own store, he doesn’t see Take-Two Interactive doing the same thing for its popular titles, nor does he think exclusivity agreements make sense for the company.

“If you have a powerful enough game line-up you can narrow your distribution and not leave anything on the table,” Zelnick told Variety. “But consumers like to shop where they can buy a multiplicity of things.”

Zelnick likened a publisher-centric store to doing the same thing in the book industry. If you’re a fan of, for instance, HarperCollins, it doesn’t mean you don’t want to read books from other publishers.

Speaking later, during an earnings call, on the same topic, Zelnick added that the company has never been a big believer in exclusive relationships — something that seems tied to a number of games now being published on the Epic Games Store.

“I wouldn’t comment on any particular store,” he said. “But for example, the question has been raised about why we wouldn’t as a company be exclusively direct-to-consumer. I think our experience was that consumers want to shop in a place where they get a multiplicity of titles. We have terrific titles coming from all of our labels. We have a very broad offering. But there are other titles besides those coming from Take-Two that people want. So generally speaking, our strategy is to be broadly distributed.

“There are times when an exclusive distribution relationship can make sense. And, I wouldn’t be in a position to comment on what one of our competitors chose to do. But on balance, we’re happy that Epic is going into that business. We’re happy to have someone else at the table.”

Previously, Take-Two has distributed most of its PC titles on Steam, which takes a higher cut from developers, including Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V.”

Zelnick declined to say if there were plans for “Red Dead Redemption 2” to come to PC, and if so where it would be sold.

“Rockstar games makes announcements about what platforms their games support,” he said. “I don’t.”

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