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Take-Two: Retail is the channel for the foreseeable future

Despite new digital releases and DLC, High Street remains primary sales focus for GTA publisher

Take-Two's CEO and chairman have both said that traditional bricks and mortar stores remain the primary retail channel for its publishing business.

Although the company is keen to continue to pursue a digital release strategy – via home consoles, PC and the recently announced projects for iPhone – High Street stores will remain central to sales.

Discussing the success of GTA IV downloadable content via Xbox Live, CEO Ben Feder said, "I think one of the lessons from not just this download but some other download experiences – it’s clear that retail is the channel for the foreseeable future.

"Nonetheless, there is a download component to a lot of our games and there will continue to be a download component. The games live online and they live at retail, they live at both and whether that is download first/retail second, retail first/download second or some combination of the two, that’s an area that we are going to experiment with because we are innovating in that area and it’s likely to change from title to title.

"Everything is going to have a download component, needs to have a download component to it and this is kind of one of the key lessons and we’ll see how GTA in the retail SKU performs," he added.

The company is to release the two Grand Theft Auto IV episodes – The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony – on one disc later this year, after first releasing them over Microsoft's Xbox Live.

"At the same time, retail remains our primary channel and so we are making those episodes available without having to buy the original title on a disc this fall for consumers," offered chairman Strauss Zelnick. "We think it’s a terrific opportunity for consumers."

"I think that is a perfect example of trying something digitally, and making it available in our biggest channel, which is retail, in a way that benefits everyone and primarily benefits consumers."

Feder also added that Take-Two has seen a consolidation at retail in the US, with the bigger stores taking more market share, with possibility of more consolidation to come.

"I will tell you that we are seeing, at least in the US, a greater concentration at retail, so that the top five retailers are taking more market share.

"It's kind of too early to kind of call a trend but it would not surprise me to see further concentration at retail."

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Matt Martin avatar
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.
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