Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick recently has stated in an interview that “We have Red Dead Online coming, and Rockstar’s announced that, so clearly that’s intended to be an expression of ongoing engagement after the initial sale. What we haven’t talked about is any path to monetization because it’s just not our primary concern. Our primary concern is keeping consumers engaged.”
Talking about microtransactions so blatantly isn’t new to developers, it’s become such a touchy subject – especially with the boycotting of Battlefront 2 – that developers consistently use the lack of “loot boxes” and “cosmetic-only” purchases as an actual selling point. And it works.
Zelnick completely disregards the possibility of creating Red Dead Redemption 2 and its online mode as a service, something a lot of game studios are doing. Games-as-a-service has become a dangerous trend with the rise of Fortnite but Zelnick is having none of it.
Speaking of Fortnite, Zelnick also implied that a clone of it would be pointless and foolish, but doesn’t rule out the addition of Battle Royale in Red Dead Online.
“We’ve used battle royale mechanics before. I wouldn’t rule it out, but any mechanic you use would want to be in service of the core entertainment experience and would be consumer-focused. No one is looking for a clone of Fortnite. I wish we had Fortnite — we don’t — so wishing we had Fortnite is not going to help me.”
Zelnick does, however, state that “[y]ou can’t possibly believe that battle royale is the only mechanic that has captured people’s attention that interact with entertainment,” leading us to think that he doesn’t see it as a worthy addition to a game that should be lasting longer than a year.
You can read the full interview here, or a more condensed version at VGR.