Grand Theft Auto boss thinks the Xbox, Activision deal is 'good' for the industry

Take-Two Logo
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Take-Two Interactive is the publishing house responsible for games like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, and NBA 2K. 
  • A successful quarterly earnings report sent $TTWO stock surging yesterday, on hints that Grand Theft Auto 6 is on the horizon. 
  • During the call, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked to comment on the Xbox-Activision merger, and offered some support for the deal. 

Yesterday, Take-Two Interactive offered its quarterly earnings report, and investors seemed to enjoy what they heard. 

Take-Two hinted heavily that Grand Theft Auto 6 could be on the horizon, sending the stock on an upwards trajectory. Take-Two was also buoyed by strong results for its sports games like NBA 2K, while signaling that its 2024-25 financial year should be a strong one for the company. 

During the investor's call (via IGN), Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reiterated some previous comments he'd made about Microsoft's massive deal with Activision-Blizzard, which is tied up in regulatory battles in the United Kingdom and United States. 

"What's good for [Xbox] is also good for the industry," Zelnick said, emphasizing that the firm had been vocally supportive of the deal for some time. Zelnick also discussed Xbox Cloud Gaming and cloud gaming in general — which has become a focal point in regulatory "concerns" over whether or not Microsoft's merger with the Call of Duty maker should go ahead. Zelnick described Xbox Game Pass and cloud gaming as a distribution mechanism, rather than a separate business model. His stance echoes the European Commission, which just approved Microsoft's Activision merger, on the basis that cloud is simply a small part of the wider gaming ecosystem of which Microsoft is not a dominant player. "I think it's important never to confuse a distribution technology with a business model. I would love to believe that streaming our titles would massively expand the marketplace. I'm not sure there's any reason to believe that."

Grand Theft Auto 5 Michael Hollywood sign

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

In recent years, Take-Two has increasingly mirrored Activision-Blizzard's service-game model, with Grand Theft Auto Online remaining one of the world's most popular online games. Take-Two also has strong mobile gaming chops since its acquisition of Zynga, which enjoys a large share of online casino games and casual social games, with titles like FarmVille. 

Take-Two likely sees the Activision deal as a way to grow Xbox and thus make PlayStation and Microsoft more competitive in the console space. Right now, PlayStation's dominance means it can demand better deals on content, reducing competition for content acquisition and thus reducing the power publishers have to negotiate favorable deals for themselves. A stronger Microsoft would level the playing field in this area somewhat, which is just one reason why players like EA and Take-Two have largely been supportive of the deal. 

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!