We hope you’re cool with microtransactions, because if you’re a fan of Take-Two series like Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, or even Borderlands, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
In a recent conference call following the release of its quarterly earnings report, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick made it clear that the publisher plans on introducing microtransactions in every game it releases.
“We’ve said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company,” Zelnick stated. “It may not always be an online model, it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that 42 percent of Take-Two’s “net bookings” from this past quarter have come from microtransactions. But it could mean an interesting shift in Take-Two’s revenue model, especially when it comes to introducing microtransactions in unexpected titles.
Two of its most popular titles, Grand Theft Auto Online and NBA 2K18, have become synonymous with their respective virtual currencies. GTA Online‘s Shark Cards have extended the game’s financial lifespan to the point where they basically killed Rockstar’s need to create single-player DLC and could even be delaying Grand Theft Auto VI indefinitely. And the amount of money players spent on NBA 2K18‘s microtransactions, despite voracious online dissent (including in our review), still increased over last year, according to a recent report by Venture Beat.
But Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K aren’t the only properties that Take-Two publishes. Borderlands 2 already had a version of microtransactions in the form of upgrade packs, so it sounds like Take-Two will prod developer Gearbox Software to increase the amount of packs when it finally announces Borderlands 3. That might be disappointing, if not expected, but another property that raises some serious concerns is BioShock.
It seems pretty obvious, at this point, that developer 2K Games is gearing up for the next BioShock, a series that, up to this point, exists as a top-tier single-player experience with expansion packs in lieu of microtransactions. Introducing a “recurrent player spending” model to a series like BioShock would open up a major can of worms for the series.
BioShock creator Ken Levine’s Ghost Story Games (formerly Irrational Games) is another 2K and Take-Two studio, which could mean that its planned sci-fi, open-world, immersive sim will be forced to include a microtransaction revenue model as well.
If Take-Two’s obsession with microtransactions sounds familiar, that’s because another major publisher, EA, recently expressed the same attitude towards microtransactions, namely in that it would like to expand its subscription-based services in order to derive more revenue from its “live services” like Ultimate Team.
Source: PC Gamer