Posted on June 13, 2008, Chris Zelnick: 2K Sports Outsells and Out-rates the Competition
EA Sports might be the 800-pound gorilla in the world of sports videogames, but according to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, 2K Sports both out-rates and outsells EA Sports’ titles when the two go head-to-head. He made the comments at the 28th annual Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference, according to GI.biz, where he also revealed lifetime sales for the three major sports franchises of 2K Sports’: NBA 2K has sold 6 million, MLB 2K has sold 5.5 million, and NHL 2K has sold 2.5 million.
“We pride ourselves on our quality,” Zelnick told the audience at the conference.
“When we go head-to-head with ‘Brand X’ we out-rate them significantly,” he said in reference to EA Sports. “We outsell them when we go head-to-head. It’s sort of an unheralded achievement. This is a tough business.”
Despite the apparent quality of the 2K Sports games (their NBA games are definitely the best on the market), it’s unlikely that the division will manage to turn a profit once again. But things are headed in a good direction, Zelnick believes — although he’s not taking any of the credit for the investment, which was something that took place before his time.
“We feel pretty good about where this is going and we’re committed to the business,” he said.
“We also have significant visibility into the business because we have long-term licenses and because it is an annual business, unlike many of our other businesses.
“And it is a business that, to a certain extent, can be seen as somewhat less technically complex and challenging which means it is a little more dependable and reliable.”
At least I can breathe easier for the time being. Year-to-year, there’s nothing I play more than the NBA 2K games, and the thought of an EA takeover threatens one of my favorite franchises. Zelnick’s confidence in the brand is somewhat reassuring, but that wouldn’t have much of an impact on what EA would do with it if Take-Two is ultimately acquired.