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OnLive model "doesn't really speak to our business" - Take-Two

New digital services expand opportunities, but won't transform business in foreseeable future, says Zelnick

Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick has stated that on-demand gaming services such as those offered by OnLive aren't that appealing to the publisher, despite already committing back catalogue titles to the digital service.

OnLive hopes to offer full PC titles to consumers on-demand and has drummed up support for the service from multiple publishers and developers. However, Zelnick said that the publisher would not be moving from home consoles to such a service in the foreeseable future, and will continue to focus primarily on the packaged goods business.

"The bulk of our business is packaged goods because initial releases are for the console business," Zelnick told the UBS Global Media and Communications Business. "Basically what they [OnLive] are offering is to say 'you go ahead and develop however you want, we'll put it in a live situation and it scales infinitely'.

"If you believe that that's going to occur – and I don't need to opine because it doesn't really speak to our business model – that would meaningfully and beneficially transform the economics of our business. Why? Because we'd create for one platform, not multiple platforms, we wouldn't create inventory, we wouldn't have price protection and you wouldn't have trucks."

"Anything that's good for the broad distribution of our titles to consumers is a good thing so that kind of situation could be very powerful for our consumers and beneficial for us, but it doesn't appear to be around the corner, not at all."

For now, OnLive is another route to market for PC games – with the publisher already committing BioShock and Major League Baseball 2K9 to the service. Zelnick also acknowledged the shift to digital markets, and he expects first-parties such as Sony and Microsoft to continue to grow their online businesses as packaged goods sales decline.

"I suspect what you'll see is the continuing growth of downloadable content and there will reach a point where even our console first-parties will have good reason to be in the downloading business as opposed to the packaged goods business.

"It would benefit our business but it probably won't be a sea change in our business," he concluded.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.