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Zelnick: “We're probably undermonetising our users”

Despite ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto Online, CEO insists publisher is “not going to grab the last nickel”

Take-Two believes there is still more money to be made from its players through microtransactions, claiming it has purposefully avoided overmonetising them with in-game purchases.

Speaking at the Cowen & Company 45th Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, as reported by GameSpot, the publisher's CEO Strauss Zelnick posited that his firm does not charge as much or for as many things as its competitors - although, naturally, he didn't specify which ones.

"We are convinced that we are probably, from an industry view, undermonetising on a per-user basis," he said. "There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers.

"We're not going to grab the last nickel."

Elsewhere in his talk, he said it is only sensible for publishers to attempt to make money from its users after launch, particularly if you're running a game that is constantly being expanded and updated.

"You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that," he said. "But we're not trying to optimise the monetisation of everything we do to the nth degree. If you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even known that they know, but they feel it.

"Think about it anecdotally - when you paid a little too much for something, even if it was something really good, it really irks you. Paying too much for something bad is even worse. Paying too much for something really good, even if you can afford it, just leaves you with a bad feeling. We don't want our consumers to ever feel that way."

Take-Two's most recent financials were driven somewhat by the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto Online, a game that continues to sell strongly and top charts four years after release. The game continues to receive free new content updates, much of which is no doubt funded by the use of microtransactions.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is expected to have an online element, much like the original had. If it receives the same level of resource and support as GTA Online, it almost certainly will generate revenues via IAPs for years to come.