“We have used the mechanic in the past so it is something we’ve seen and we think it’s just fine,” says Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick.
Controversies surrounding loot boxes are a dime a dozen in our industry. Their detrimental effects are something there’s been a lot of discourse on, with countries such as Germany and the US having recently started taking action to work against them, even while some publishers have continued to stand by them as reasonable practices.
One such publisher is Take-Two Interactive. During the conference call in their quarterly financial briefing, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked to comment on the matter of loot boxes. Zelnick said that loot boxes are something Take-Two themselves have employed in the past – with the most famous (or infamous) example being the NBA 2K games – and the publisher views them as “a perfectly reasonable mechanic”. That said, he also said that loot boxes and the money they make for Take-Two are a very small part of their financial equation, so ultimately, it doesn’t end up being very material to the company.
“That mechanic was responsible for less than three percent of our net bookings in the past fiscal year, so it’s not material to us,” said Zelnick. “We have used the mechanic in the past so it is something we’ve seen and we think it’s just fine.
“There has been some noise around it particularly internationally. As I said, we think it’s a perfectly reasonable mechanic, however it forms a very small part of our business.”
Gearbox Software’s upcoming Borderlands 3 and Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds are both Take-Two published games, and neither of them will have loot boxes (though Borderlands 3 will still feature cosmetic microtransactions).