In an extensive interview that was published online, Strauss Zelnick, the chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive, expresses his opinion that the proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft would be advantageous for the gaming sector in general.
Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick expressed his idea that a Microsoft takeover of Activision Blizzard would be a net good for the industry by luring more players into the overall market in an interview published on YouTube by entertainment and media business site The Wrap.
Zelnick asserted that he did not regard Microsoft’s games as direct competitors because they did not provide gamers with the same franchises and experiences that Take-Two could, in contrast to the opinions of some industry stakeholders like PlayStation’s Jim Ryan.
It’s a highly fragmented business and there’s plenty of room for creativity to go around, and Microsoft is an ally of ours, and if this makes their business more powerful we think that’s good for us.”
It is obvious that Zelnick believes that Microsoft’s takeover intentions won’t have an impact on demand for Take-games Two’s given the unprecedented level of excitement around Rockstar, a Take-Two producer, for its upcoming game in the wake of the Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks.
The interviewer pushes back at one point in the video on the concept that the Microsoft purchase could aid Take-Two, which prompts Zelnick to respond with a statement that sheds some light on why he believes Take-Two could profit from a stronger Microsoft presence in the sector. Zelnick points out that Microsoft wants to cater to the needs of its players, and that a significant portion of those players have made it apparent that they want to play Take-Two releases, thus it is probably in Microsoft’s best interest to promote the company’s titles.
At the end of the day if [Microsoft is] focused on the power and strength of their own business they’re going to want to be pushing the most successful properties, and if consumers are showing up for our properties and Microsoft isn’t engaged, isn’t involved, isn’t a partner, than that would be a bad thing for Microsoft.
In other words, we compete with everything, in a way, we compete with nothing. You can’t replace one of our titles with another title.”
Regulators from around the world are actively looking into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to antitrust concerns at a time when the gaming industry is becoming more consolidated. Brazil’s regulatory body earlier this month gave the transaction its full approval. The decision was made in response to the General Authority for Competition in Saudi Arabia’s August statement that it had “no objection” to the proposed purchase of the gaming business.
Whatever the final decision on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it is becoming obvious that consolidation is taking over the gaming sector. Mergers are occurring often in the game industry, from Sony buying a greater interest in From Software to Meta acquiring VR companies.