news\ May 31, 2013 at 10:25 am

Take-Two CEO: 'MMOs don't work in the U.S.'

NBA 2k online

Take-Two Interactive is apparently investing in massively multiplayer online games. I know, it came as a surprise to me as well. Although it really shouldn't have given the company's non-interest in the U.S. market for MMOs. According to CEO Strauss Zelnick, MMOs in the U.S. just "don't work," compared to Asia.

"We're actively investing in online MMOs; we're not doing it in the US. Why? Because MMOs don't work here," Zenick said at the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in New York.

In defense of his remark, Zelnick pointed out that only two MMOs have found true success in the U.S.: World of Warcraft and EverQuest. He also specifically referenced how Blizzard had to completely overhaul its Titan MMO project, noting that competitors have had to learn through "very, very expensive lessons" how MMOs perform in the U.S. market.

Recognizing the difficulty of cracking this market, Take-Two would rather focus on the Asian game space with NBA 2K Online and Civilization Online.

"We've stayed away from that market and instead we went to Asia where at any given time ten or twenty are successful in China generating lots of revenue," Zelnick concluded. "And we figured, we don't really know China very well, so we partnered with the best company in China: Tencent. They taught us the business, we taught them something about sports game development and we've launched NBA 2K Online with virtually no economic risk and a straight shot to the upside."

During the same conference, Zelnick also spoke of the Xbox One's rumored used game policy, stating that if "Microsoft has figured out a way to tax used games, then [publishers] should get paid, too."


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