2K's Borderlands 3 still costs £50. Rockstar's seven year-old GTA V costs £25. Just some food for thought. Anyways, Take-Two Interactive, the mega corporation who own the likes of 2K and Rockstar, think they're charging players a lot less than their games are worth.
"We deliver the highest quality experiences in the business, and we charge much less for them than we believe they're worth to consumers," CEO Strauss Zelnick said in Take-Two's earnings call yesterday.
"Then we deliver, typically, an ongoing component that is free. And that's already a great deal of value. Any monetisation, of course, it's totally optional. And unlike many, sort of, casual titles, the monetisation is not necessarily to enjoy the experience, it's an additional benefit."
It's his response to a question wondering if GTA or NBA 2K would benefit from free-to-play-style models like Call Of Duty: Warzone. It doesn't sound like there are any concrete plans to completely split the online portion away from GTA's singleplayer (aside from offering GTA Online as a standalone game on PS5), but never say never.
"We're open minded about our business model, and I wouldn't rule out the possibility that at some point, certain experiences can become free as a matter of the entry point," he says.
Zelnick says he likes the idea of "tethered free-to-play", which is pretty much what GTA V does already. You have to buy the single-player portion of the game, and you get the "free" bit with it. Someone really ought to tell him that's not what "free" means, but considering they think their games are worth more than they're currently selling them for, this tracks.
Another interesting portion of the earnings call had some talk on subscription services. Take-Two president Karl Slatoff doesn't sound too convinced that services like Microsoft's Game Pass are taking over.
"We're highly skeptical that subscriptions will be the only way or the primary way that interactive entertainment is distributed. And that's because of the way people consume it, and the price point for owning a title, which is very reasonable and very, very low, actually, on a per hour basis," he says.
They do plan on continuing to support subscription services, though. While Red Dead Redemption 2 left Game Pass a little while ago, The Outer Worlds (which is published by Take-Two-owned Private Division) has been on the service since launch, and doesn't seem to be leaving soon.
There's also some discussion around how much money they make off of GTA and Red Dead Redemption. It is: a lot.
Oh to be a business man, chatting about the millions of dollars your company makes.