A year ago, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said he was "pretty optimistic" about Google's Stadia game-streaming service. The concept of "being able to play our games on any device whatsoever around the world, and to do it with low latency, well thats very compelling if that can be delivered," he offered in May of 2019.
Now, though, Zelnick has changed his tune a bit. In an interview given during the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference late last week, Zelnick acknowledges what has been apparent to industry watchers for a while: "The launch of Stadia has been slow," he said. "I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result."
While major publishers like EA and Activision stayed away from Stadia's "Founders" launch last November, Take-Two provided three of the service's highest-profile games in its early months—Red Dead Redemption 2, NBA 2K20, and Borderlands 3. And Zelnick said such Stadia support will continue in the future "as long as the business model makes sense." (Take-Two's PGA Tour 2K21, WWE2K Battlegrounds, and the Mafia series are currently planned for future Stadia release.)
That said, Zelnick was pretty bearish on how much of an impact the streaming business model will really have on Take-Two's bottom-line sales.
"It's not a game changer," Zelnick said. "People who want our games now can get our games now. The fact that you could stream them and not have to have a console interface is really not that big of a deal."
Who is streaming for, exactly?
Zelnick went on to deride a key concept underpinning the entire Stadia business model: the idea that streaming would appeal to billions of potential players clamoring for high-end games on their mobile phone or low-end PCs.
"If you're going to pay $60-plus in US dollars for a frontline release, and more internationally, are you really unwilling to buy a $300 console?" Zelnick mused. "The belief that streaming was going to be transformative was based on a view that there wRead More – Source