Zelnick re-iterates scepticism of free-to-play

Ben Parfitt
Zelnick re-iterates scepticism of free-to-play

In what appears to be an annual traditional, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has again questioned the viability of the free-to-play business model.

"The problem with the free-to-play model is 95-97 per cent of people who engage with your content don't pay for it. 3-5 per cent do; on a good day, ten per cent," he told an audience at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference, as reported by GameSpot, while adding that 100 per cent of people who play Take-Two games pay for the content as their content uses the premium model.

Zelnick went on to address other concerns he has with the model, too.

"One of the reasons that free-to-play companies like Zynga did so well for a period of time is they had zero acquisition costs because they could use Facebook as a free acquisition platform," he added. "Then Facebook changed that, and Zynga changed.

"The other thing that's problematic with free-to-play games is in many instances, although not all, they're vastly less engaging. And if you look at the history of the entertainment business across all media, the only entertainment companies that really succeed over a long period of time are those that surprise and delight consumers with incredibly high quality content."

Zelnick delivered a similar message at last year's Credit Suisse event, saying that "I'm not psyched about a business where three per cent of your customers pay you, which is what you're dealing with".

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