The Gloves Are Off: Take-Two CEO Shares Some Harsh Words About EA and Ubisoft

Take-Two CEO Takes a Few Shots at Ubisoft and EA

There’s no denying that Take-Two, you know, the publisher behind the hugely popular series Borderlands and Bioshock and more specifically the owners of Rockstar, is a massively successful company. With games like GTA V, the highest selling media item of all time, and Red Dead Redemption, there isn’t much room to dispute this. As such, it seems their CEO Strauss Zelnick, is very proud of Take-Two, and definitely isn’t scared of taking some shots at the competition.

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In an interview with Gamesbeat during E3 2018, Take-Two’s CEO spoke honestly about why he believes the company’s strategy is the strongest of the industry. And of course, this couldn’t exactly happen without throwing some shade towards a few of the big dogs in the industry either. In fact, he boasted that Take-Two brings in more revenue with a smaller crew than the 14,000 person team at Ubisoft does. “We are a global business, but we’re not that big. We have 4,200 people. We have 17 studio locations. It’s not that far-flung. We’re still able to get our arms around it.” To which the interview stated, “I recall from Ubi that they have 14,000 people now.” And here’s where it gets interesting, “They have 14,000 people, and their revenue is less than ours. We don’t understand it.”

During the course of the interview, Zelnick also discusses the strategy of relying on the same engine for every single game, which he says just doesn’t make much sense. When specifically asked what he thought of this centralized technology, and EA using Frostbite for all of their games he simply stated it’s not a strategy they used at Take-Two. And then he was asked if he believes it’s the right call, and damn EA better have some Aloe on hand because they definitely got burned by his response. Zelnick dishes out the shade with, “Take a look at our quality versus theirs. I don’t think it’s realistic to say to people, ‘We think you’re the best creators in the business. Come in and do your best work. Oh, and incidentally, you have to use this technology over here’. We do care what the technology is. We do care how much we spend on development. Rockstar has a proprietary engine. Within the 2K label there are proprietary engines. We also license external software. We don’t think there’s much of a percentage in having a corporate engine. Midway had a vaunted corporate engine, corporate technology library. Midway filed for bankruptcy. There’s little evidence that having a corporate technology system is in service of the best entertainment properties. But reasonable people can disagree about that. It’s not our strategy.”

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