Video Games

Take-Two CEO Says GTA 6 Leaks Didn’t Impact Business, But Were ‘an Emotional Matter’

It’s been a difficult quarter for Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive. Theft Auto 6 was hit with a massive leak late last year.

Finally, at least CEO Strauss Zelnick isn’t worried about the leak’s potential impact on his business. But speaking to IGN ahead of Take-Two’s earnings announcement today, he called them “emotional issues” and focused on their impact on the developers working on the game.

“We take the leaks very seriously and they’re letting us all down. It’s really frustrating and upsetting for the team,” he said. It doesn’t affect us as a person, but it does affect our team as a personal and emotional issue.”

That said, earnings suggest that Take-Two employees may soon be feeling more tangible business implications in the form of layoffs. With quarterly net bookings falling below guidance of $1.41 billion after he reported $1.38 billion, Take-Two will implement cost-cutting measures that it expects to save approximately $50 million annually I am preparing. One of the areas Take-Two suggests is people where it impacts.

When I asked Zelnick if this meant layoffs, he replied, “That’s not the plan,” but said he didn’t expect any major layoffs, but that some jobs could be lost. I warned you.

“We do not expect some kind of extensive RIF [reduction in force] But sadly, it doesn’t guarantee lifetime employment,” he said.

The company notes that the guidance failure and subsequent cost cuts were a result of “macroeconomic conditions” that pushed consumer spending toward more established blockbuster franchises and selling games. Two admits to having benefited from this, but spending on new releases (which may be referring to Marvel’s Midnight Suns, released in December) and some console and PC games. Repeated consumer spending has taken a hit, especially with multiple tech and gaming companies reporting similar

Elsewhere on its earnings report, Take-Two provided an update on the sales figures for its two biggest games, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. A feat that has been accomplished quarter after quarter for years. It was also his third best-selling game in the US in terms of unit sales in 2022, and his second best-selling game on Steam last year.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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