Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says mobile gaming isn't economically meaningful for the company

Price point isn't viable

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says mobile gaming isn't economically meaningful for the company
As I noted in my E3 roundup piece - The five key mobile game industry trends we saw at E3 2011 - some of the big console publishers seem positively antagonistic to mobile/portable gaming.

One such is Take-Two, which with the notable exception of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, hasn't touched the medium.

But according to CEO Strauss Zelnick, that doesn't mean it hasn't been thinking about it.

Available opportunity

Taking to Forbes' Metagamer column, he commented, "We've certainly said we've got to do something for iPad and iPhone. We've got to try to do something for Android.

"We've tried a bunch of things. We tried Chinatown Wars for the iPhone, and we're thrilled that we did it, and it was creatively successful."

However, he pointed out that even at $9.99, the price point means the business isn't economically meaningful for the company.

Price point says no

"At the end of the day, we are interested in creating economic value, and what we intend to do is make something and sell it to millions and millions of people, and sell it at a high price," he explained.

"You don't want to spend lots and lots of money to make something you are going to sell to a small amount of people at a low price."

Tablets could be go

Asked about the potential for tablets in terms of charging up to $40 for a game, Zelnick was more enthusiastic, if still circumspect.

"I don't see why we wouldn't be able to sell a robust product for the same price point [as console]. The reason the price point is currently lower for an iPhone app is it is used for five minutes, and not for a hundred hours."

Of course, this isn't true in terms of the total time spend playing games such as Angry Birds and Mega Jump.

'Meaningful economics' aside, it highlights the attitudinal problems larger publishers have when attempting to make the most of the opportunities available in the mobile space.

[source: Forbes]
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.