Take-Two boss sees potential in play-to-earn games and NFTs

Strauss Zelnick supports play-to-earn games and NFTs albeit his stand comes with a few caveats.

Over the past year, several key figures in the gaming industry have come out to support or take a stand against NFTs. A good example of someone who took the middle ground is Take-Two Interactive's CEO, Strauss Zelnick. Unlike others, Zelnick's thoughts about NFTs, as well as play-to-earn games, are not as straightforward.

The good news is that Strauss Zelnick doesn't think that play-to-earn schemes and NFTs are going to make their way to Take-Two's games anytime soon.
The good news is that Strauss Zelnick doesn't think that play-to-earn schemes and NFTs are going to make their way to Take-Two's games anytime soon.

According to Zelnick, play-to-earn games have a future. In an IGN interview, Zelnick described the current slate of play-to-earn games as "not highly entertaining and they're not regulated nor are their economics transparent." He says that he's not surprised by how the public has reacted to play-to-earn games, saying that "there's a lot to be done with [play-to-earn games] that's exciting."

Meanwhile, when it comes to NFTs, Zelnick had similar thoughts. As revealed in a pre-earnings briefing call, Zelnick remains open to the possibility of NFTs and blockchain gaming. But, at the same time, he does understand why some people are skeptical, even noting that doubters are right most of the time. In particular, Zelnick believes that "NFTs are real", especially since the industry has sold "digital goods for a very long time." Zelnick also added that people rare goods as well as collectibles. However, Zelnick's concern is that "there's a lot of speculation going on."

Zelnick effectively ended his statement on NFTs by saying that Take-Two's going to stay away from it for now while remaining open to possibilities. Zelnick explains that "losing money on a speculation is not a good experience." At the same time, he remains "convinced there's an opportunity for NFTs to fit with Take-Two's offerings in the future."

The CEO's thoughts on NFTs and pay-to-earn games are surprising albeit some think that it's just Zelnick's way of currying favor among its audience. Zelnick recently came under fire for the comments that he made about GTA: The Trilogy. Specifically, fans couldn't help but take offense when Zelnick said back in January that while the remastered compilation bundle of PS2-era GTA games did "have a glitch in the beginning, that glitch was resolved."

Take-two Boss Sees Potential In Play-to-earn Games And Nfts
For a second straight year, a highly controversial game that was a downright mess at launch still sold very well.

For what it's worth, the numbers don't exactly reflect a game that had a messy launch, with gamers asking for refunds. While Zelnick did not reveal just how well Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition sold, the publisher credits the bundle as one of the main driving forces for net bookings going up by 6% to $866 million and net revenue going up 5% to 903 million.

Zelnick's latest statement was rather telling as well. On top of what we just mentioned, Zelnick might also have accidentally revealed that GTA 6 would be released next year. However, some are under the impression that Take-Two's high financial expectations for the fiscal year 2023 are due to a combination of a Bully-related release, a Red Dead Redemption remake, and a GTA IV remaster.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.