In a new interview, Take-Two Interactive’s CEO says he thinks Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision would be good for the gaming industry.
In a wide-ranging interview published online, Take-Two Interactive chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick says he believes Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be good for the gaming industry as a whole. Zelnick’s statement of support for Microsoft follows news in early 2022 that Take-Two Interactive had acquired Zynga, the mobile game developer behind mobile megahits such as Farmville and Words with friends.
Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been a source of speculation and frustration for gamers and gaming executives alike since Microsoft announced its intentions to purchase the World of Warcraft and Call of Duty developer in early 2022. The proposed acquisition has attracted scrutiny from international regulators and concerns from gamers who worry their favorite franchises will become Xbox exclusives. Concerns about PlayStation losing access to Activision titles have even grown to the point where a report claims PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan visited EU regulators to voice his opposition to the takeover.
In an interview published on YouTube by entertainment and media website The Wrap, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick shared his belief that a Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be a net positive for the industry , attracting more players to the overall market. Contrary to the views of some industry figures such as PlayStation’s Jim Ryan, Zelnick stated that he did not view Microsoft games as direct competitors because they did not offer the same franchises and experiences to players that Take-Two could. With hype for Take-Two developer Rockstar’s next title at an all-time high after the Grand Theft Auto 6 Leaks, it’s clear that Zelnick believes demand for Take-Two’s titles won’t be affected by Microsoft’s takeover plans.
At one point in the video, the interviewer debunks the idea that the Microsoft deal could help Take-Two, leading Zelnick to issue a response that gives some insight into why he thinks Take-Two could benefit from a greater Microsoft presence in the industry. Zelnick notes that Microsoft wants to respond to the wishes of its players, and that many of those players have made it clear that they want to play Take-Two’s releases, meaning it’s likely in Microsoft’s best interest to promote its titles. Take-Two. Whether that promotion comes in the form of highlighting Take-Two titles on the Xbox Store or letting players play the latest GTA game on the rumored Xbox streaming console, Zelnick believes that more players overall just means more potential Take-Two customers.
Whether Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finally approved or not, it’s becoming clear that consolidation is becoming the norm in the gaming industry. From Sony acquiring a bigger stake to acquiring VR developers from From Software to Meta, mergers are becoming a daily occurrence in gaming. While these mergers are profitable for the companies involved, it may take a long time to see if these deals work just as well for everyday players.
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