Take-Two CEO: Great Partnership with Microsoft, But It’s Hard to Say If XGP Helped The Outer Worlds
Like many gaming (and tech) companies this week, Take-Two posted its quarterly financial results yesterday. During the usual earnings call with investors, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said The Outer Worlds (published by the Private Division label) significantly exceeded expectations with over two million units sold.
When asked if the game's presence on Xbox Game Pass was of any help, Zelnick replied (transcript by Seeking Alpha):
It’s hard to say. I think what we have said all long is that generally speaking we want to be where the consumer is. Generally speaking, we think subscription offerings to the extent they exist are probably better suited to catalog, but we are willing to take experimental chances when it makes sense for particular title and when the deal underlying that option also makes sense for us. And we are pleased that we have a great partnership with Microsoft and we are mostly pleased that The Outer Worlds is such a big hit, it’s sold in more than 2 million units and has won 75 game awards. So it’s early days for all of these platforms. It’s obviously early days for many technologies, including streaming technology. Our goal is to be where the consumer is. We are ecumenical and we are open-minded.
The Outer Worlds, the Sci-Fi roleplaying game made by Obsidian, found itself in a peculiar position because the development studio got purchased by Microsoft after picking Take-Two's Private Division as the publisher for this particular game. Microsoft managed to cut a deal to get The Outer Worlds on Xbox Game Pass day one, same as the other first-party games, though that certainly had a cost.
Still, with solid critical and commercial reception, it looks like a sequel is probably locked in and we're absolutely fine with that.
The Outer Worlds is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Obsidian. The first-person action RPG features a great setting, fantastic writing and remarkable, complex characters to meet. The moment-to-moment gameplay isn't as exciting, though, failing to measure up with the best in the genre. Still, there's plenty to like here as long as you know what you're getting into, not to mention the potential for a sequel to be much better, particularly if the developers had a higher budget to work with.