Take-Two Interactive has no plans to open its own Epic-style games store, according to the company’s CEO.
Epic is here to take on Steam with their very own digital distribution platform. They’ve already corralled a few exclusives, such as the upcoming Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 and Metro Exodus, and plan to offer more in the future. Those exclusives were snagged in no small part to Epic’s more generous profit sharing, which gives 88% of the profit back to the developer instead of Steam’s 70%.
But Epic isn’t the only big game publisher out there. Take-Two Interactive, publishers of such blockbuster franchises as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, XCOM, and Civilization, has more than enough cash and clout to set up an online store of their own. But according to the company’s CEO, they've got no plans to step into the digital retailer space.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that it’s extremely difficult to attract consumers to a single place and that it’s just easier to go to the consumer instead.
“To use an analogy that doesn't speak to our business, if you read Random House books, I presume you can get them directly through Random House, but you probably don't,” Zelnick explained. “You probably go to Amazon or other sites. So if you have something incredibly powerful, then I suppose you can say to consumers that it's only available here. But generally speaking, when it comes to broad-based entertainment offerings, you are better placed to be where the consumer is, rather than indicating to the consumer where they need to be."
When asked point blank if Take-Two has any aspirations to opening an online store like Epic, Zelnich made it clear: “That's not something that's in our DNA.”
However, Zelnick still praised Epic for opening their store saying that competition is good for business. More retailers just mean more ways for people to buy games, and if the consumer is there then so too will Take-Two.
Zelnick also seemed to hint that Take-Two has no plans to abandon Steam in favor of Epic’s store. One can assume that Obsidian’s upcoming Sci-Fi adventure game The Outer Worlds is a bit of a test to see how well Epic is able to capture an audience. If it sells well, then maybe we’ll see more Epic exclusives.
For now, that's a big maybe. Steam is by far the biggest player in the PC games market, and so far we haven't seen the numbers so much as budge.