Take-Two: “THQ Won’t Be Around in Six Months”
Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick predicted that THQ will be dead before the end of the Mayan calendar, and credits his company’s success over THQ to a difference in business plan.
“THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that. And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property.”
The CEO explained that licensing properties results in diminishing profit margins as licensing costs increase over time with brand recognition.
But that’s not all; Zelnick believes the key differentiator is quality:
“The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good game, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.
“Strategy didn’t work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small. THQ won’t be around in six months.”
If Zelnick is correct, this does not bode well for the future of franchises like Darksiders and Saints Row.
Do you think Zelnick was being too harsh?