Fortnite's stellar success was always going to stir some negative feelings, but some theories are really pushing it, suggesting Epic are bleeding the market dry. Take-Two Interactive's CEO Strauss Zelnick didn't take long to dismantle that.
Speaking at Baird's 2019 Global Consume, Technology & Services Conference, Zelnick said that the question of free-to-play models and their potential impact on the rest of the market is a recurring one.
When it comes to Take-Two's business, however, Fortnite: Battle Royale's has had, and continues to have, exactly zero impact.
"I'm occasionally asked, 'Is the Fortnite effect affecting the industry?' And the answer is, Fortnite never affected the industry. Fortnite didn't affect us in the least. We had huge hits when Fortnite was in the market, because Fortnite is different from our titles, and our titles are different than Fortnite", he said.
Zelnick said he doesn't see how different business models built around different games can threaten the existence of one another. It's much like the movies, he said - it's not like you can permanently quench that thirst - it's an ongoing process.
"I think some companies point at Fornite as sort of an excuse for why their titles didn't do well. But our view is, when titles are great, they do well, and when they're not as good, they don't do well. Put out something really great in entertainment, and people will show up for it", he added.
And if there's anyone who can say it with authority, then it's Take-Two and Rockstar. In fact, Red Dead Redemption 2 didn't seem to mind Fortnite's sabotaging, becoming one of the most successful entertainment products of all time, $725 million of which came from the opening weekend alone.
Zelnick is of the opinion that the industry is likely to switch to Epic's 12-88 per cent model "very quickly", and that more quality stores mean better leverage, both for platforms and publishers.
In the case of the latter, he's referring to Take-Two's portfolio, i.e. GTA, RDR2, NBA 2K, Civilization, Borderlands, and that's just scratching the surface. In other words, if you don't plan to include 2K, "Good luck to you", because you'll need it.
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