Take-Two takes consumer feedback on monetization "very, very seriously"; Aims to have "recurrent consumer spending options for every title"
So they hear you, but they are still doing it.
Take-Two's Q2 FY 2018 earnings call revealed two things, Take-Two heard the concerns about in-game monetization and they are going to keep them coming.
According to CEO Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two is listening to feedback and are taking it into consideration, but the concerns haven't changed how consumers purchase their products.
"Look, we take consumer feedback very, very seriously indeed. And you’re right. There’s been some pushback about monetization in the industry. The good news is the title was reviewed extraordinarily well. People love it. And the other news is, entertainment is a want-to-have business, not a must-have business and people vote ultimately with the usage and the usage on the title is up 30% in terms of average daily users. The title itself, say, unit sales were up 20% year-over-year. So, people clearly are voting that they love NBA 2K18 and the reviews reflect that as well. That said, we are concerned about any perception, any negative feedback. And we’re focused on it and we’re taking it really seriously."
Consumers haven't dropped NBA 2K18 a year after release and because of that, Take-Two has been able to continuously rake in revenue due to the purchase of virtual currency.
Zelnick believes that the gaming community has moved from engaging with a game for a few hundred hours to engaging with a game "say after day, week after week" and that's all due to Take-Two crafting a "robust world" filled with "robust opportunity" in their games.
Ultimately, Take-Two has no plans on taking a step back with in-game monetization. Take-Two will "aim to have recurrent consumer spending options for every title" that they release and you can sure as heck bet they will be in Red Dead Redemption.
"If we create a robust opportunity and a robust world in which people can play delightfully in a bigger and bigger way that they will keep coming back and they will engage and if there is an opportunity to monetize that engagement. And we've announced that there will be an online component to Red Dead.
"And furthermore we've said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending options for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model. It may not, probably won't always be a virtual currency model, but there'll be some ability to engage on an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.
"And that's a sea change in our business, and recurrent consumer spending is 42% of our net bookings in the quarter. It's been transformative for us and the only reason it's transformative for us is because it's transformative to our consumers. The business that once upon a time was a big chunky opportunity to engage for tens of hours or perhaps 100 hours has turned into ongoing engagement, day-after-day, week-after-week. You fall in love with these titles and they become part of your daily life."
[Transcript via Seeking Alpha]