UPDATED: Strauss Zelnick did not mean to imply that games should be paid for by the hour, but that games provide much more value than other media because they are deeper and longer.
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, the publishers of Grand Theft Auto 6, believes that players should pay for games by the hour, reports Rock Paper Shotgun.
This became known from the financial report for investors, in which Zelnick said the following:
“In terms of our pricing for any entertainment property, basically the algorithm is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is to say the per hour value times the number of expected hours plus the terminal value that’s perceived by the customer in ownership, if the title is owned rather than rented or subscribed to.”
Fortunately, Zelnick also said that the video game industry does not yet have the power, and perhaps does not want to have it, to charge players by the hour. Furthermore, he said that the company’s strategy is to give players much more value than consumers pay for.
“We want to ensure our experience is first class, and the nature of the experience is not just the quality of what we offer, it’s what you pay for it,” Zelnick continued. “Everyone knows that anecdotally. So that’s how we look at it. There have been precious few pricing increases in the business. The price increase to, for example, 70 dollars for certain frontline products [in 2022] was the first price increase for many years after many generations. So I think we offer terrific value to consumers.”
Whether this means that GTA 6’s price tag will be higher than $70, or whether the executive, who already received $42 million in salary last year, is simply expressing his hypothetical thoughts on the future of the gaming industry, is unclear.
As a reminder, Rockstar Games, owned by Take-Two, will present the trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 in early December.