Take-Two CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has explained that free-to-play games don't affect the gaming industry, nor do they hurt publishers' chances of making money on paid games.
Games such as Fortnite, which can be downloaded and played for free, have been a subject of concern for as long as said title has been around, and the question of whether or not the free-to-play model is negatively impacting devs and publishers comes up quite frequently.
Zelnick spoke during a presentation at Baird's 2019 Consume, Technology, & Services Conference last week and, having already touched on the subject during a previous conference, went on to explain why games like Fortnite can't and won't affect the pricing of paid games.
According to the CEO, free-to-play games are "different animals," and their success or lack thereof has no bearing on the industry as games that are reputable enough will continue to sell no matter how good free-to-play titles are doing.
via rockpapershotgun.com"I think the biggest disconnect on the topic is sort of a Fortnite disconnect too," he said. "I'm occasionally asked, 'Is the Fortnite effect affecting the industry?' And the answer is, Fortnite never affected the industry. Fortnite didn't affect us in the least. We had huge hits when Fortnite was in the market, because Fortnite is different from our titles, and our titles are different than Fortnite."
"I don't believe for a minute that simply being available in one business model means something that is completely different can't be available in another business model. There is no need for any entertainment property. If there's no movie you want to see, you don't watch any movies. And if there are a number of movies you want to see, you try to find a way to watch them all. But they don't fill up a need - the need doesn't exist in absence of something you want.
"So that's why when people said, 'Is Fortnite crowding out other titles?' No, not in the least. I think some companies point at Fornite as sort of an excuse for why their titles didn't do well. But our view is, when titles are great, they do well, and when they're not as good, they don't do well... Put out something really great in entertainment, and people will show up for it."
Game sale stats alone prove that Fortnite isn't having a significant impact on the industry. Paid titles are selling even more now than they did before, despite the emergence of the attractive free-to-play games available at the moment.
Of course, if Fortnite weren't around, we could imagine other titles would sell a bit more but there's little doubt that even the most ardent of Fortnite players still fork out cash on other games.