Mobile developers may be making a killing off of progress paywalls, pay to win features, and constant microtransactions, but one company who says that doesn’t work for console gaming is Take-Two Interactive.
As the parent publishing company of Grand Theft Auto, they know what they’re talking about. Grand Theft Auto Online has been highly profitable for the company, so much so that any significant story-based Grand Theft Auto V DLC has yet to be seen. But as their president Karl Slatoff pointed out at a Piper Jaffray business summit this week in New York, putting up roadblocks in the form of paid content isn’t what got them there (quotes courtesy of Gamespot):
“When you put up roadblocks, and that’s how you monetize–that might work in a casual context, that sort of repetitive, addictive-type behavior–but we don’t believe it works at all and doesn’t really have a place in the context or core gaming…So you have have to enable people to enjoy and play the game and content that you offer to them is either enhances that gameplay experience but is not necessarily required to enjoy the game. It enhances it and it enhances it in a meaningful way.”
He also goes on to say that most if not all of Take Two’s upcoming games will have some form of post-launch monetization but adds that each game is different and that while there are many approaches, “it’s all about the right kind of content”:
“And not shoving it down the consumer’s face where they feel like in order to actually enjoy and play the game that they have to keep anteing up. That can get very frustrating. That make work in a casual environment, but I just don’t see that that works with a core consumer.”
While he may be right about their core gaming strategy, mobile gaming monetization has become a finely tuned money making machine, one that is great facilitated by the disposable and addicting nature of the games themselves. For a fascinating but horrifying look into that process, be sure to read Who Killed Video Games? (A Ghost Story) by Tim Rogers, which illustrates just how finely tuned it really is.