The chief executive of Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive has spoken out on the subject of microtransactions, one of the industry's hot-button topics. Speaking this week during the 43rd Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in New York, Strauss Zelnick said players should never feel as if they're being robbed.
"You never want to the consumer to feel as though you've picked their pocket," he explained. "You want a consumer to feel like you gave them a great experience. You want them to be happy that they spent money on the experience."
This might seem like an obvious approach to take, but Zelnick also said, without naming any names, that some developers prioritize monetization over creativity.
"But I think some interactive entertainment companies, typically not the console companies, but some of the free-to-play companies, have focused entirely on monetization and, 'creativity as a necessary but annoying pre-condition to monetization,'" he added. "And we just don't look at it that way at all. Monetization stems organically from creativity. And so the more that we give consumers to do that they love doing, the more likely they are to spend money while they're doing it."
Zelnick said 2K Sports' NBA 2K franchise has a "really high pay rate" for in-game currency sales. The executive has also previously spoken about Grand Theft Auto V's online mode, GTA Online, as "the gift that keeps on giving" as it relates to microtransactions. In addition, he pointed out that, importantly, Take-Two designs its games to be fun, complete experiences that don't require people to pay extra for in-game items or currency.
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