The CEO of Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto VI (also known as GTA6), would like to see players pay more for longer games.
Rockstar Games recently announced: the first official trailer for GTA6 will be broadcast in early December 2023 (probably during the Games Awards ceremony). It wouldn’t really be an exaggeration to say that this is the most anticipated video game of the decade and its release should have the effect of a tidal wave. GTA V is also, even now, the most profitable cultural product of all time, with a total of $6 billion in profit on its own, and without additional paid content.
It is also the second best-selling game of all time, trailing behind Minecraft, with 190 million copies sold. This shows the enormous weight the franchise is worth Grand Theft Auto for Rockstar and its publisher Take-Two. Despite everything, the latter does not seem completely satisfied. According to him, GTA could and should bring them even more.
Ten years ago the colossal GTA 5 was released
Like a Skyrim, GTA 5 never tired of the players. Rockstar managed to leverage its strength and while it worked on its next projects, it almost turned down its blockbuster three generations of consoles ! New editions of GTA 5 were so numerous that it almost became a joke. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the game continued to sell massively.
Because beyond the single-player campaign (which many still return to), there’s the incredible density of it the multiplayer aspectwhat gave him such a long life. Mods allowed players to take over the city of Los Santos and turn it into an arena for combat, adventure and most importantly… role-playing. Thanks to what we call now GTA RPThe Rockstar title is still up for grabs ten years later the top 5 most popular games on Twitch . Only that.
GTA roleplaying produced some memorable scenes on Twitch
Of GTA 5, so we get what we pay for. And we may even be getting a little too much for our money, says Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two. During a financial conversation (written transcribed by The motley fool), the publisher reportedly said it was frustrated by players not paying more for longer-than-average games. If GTA 5For example.
During the same conversation, Zelnick mentioned it by name a new algorithm who would adjust the price of their products based on the potential lifespan of a game (and it’s not very clear):
“In terms of prices and for each entertainment the algorithm would calculate […] the value per hour, multiplied by the number of scheduled hours, plus the terminal value perceived by the customer in possession of the title if it is actually owned and not, for example, rented or subscribed.”
Barely controlled skidding?
A game that pays by the hour?
If we put this strange algorithm aside, Zelnick’s reflection is not uninteresting. It seems very reasonable to say that the monetary value of many games should be based more on their longevity than on the graphics or the fame of the franchise. But how can you determine this fairly? Because between the lifespan the game claims to have and the time players will actually spend on it, there is a large theoretical gap. This is the basic difference between a Starfield and a Baldur’s Gate 3 For example.
And how can we increase the prices of games that are already increasingly expensive? If GTA6 Had to cost hundreds of dollars because it has very solid multiplayer, it seems somewhat excessive. Not to mention that with this logic, all the roguelites in the world should be luxuries. We remember thatHades, with a phenomenal lifespan and named Game of the Year at The Game Awards, sold onlyaround twenty eurosat launch.
And there’s no doubt that GTA 6 will be a big hit, regardless of the price
Furthermore, if Zelnick suggests that a game’s longevity only benefits the player and causes the publisher to lose, he is wrong. Because what matters most to a video game company today is right the profitability of its shares in the long term . This is why there are so many free games with microtransactions.
The publisher wants people to continue playing and paying for their games, even years after launch, to stabilize their financial health. And a very high price can even be counterproductive in certain cases. If GTA 5 was also profitable for Take-Two, which is actually due to that its durability and not its selling price.It seems surprising that the publisher does not recognize it.