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Take-Two CEO says cloud gaming “will not be transformative”

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The CEO of Take-Two Interactive says that cloud gaming platforms like Google Stadia are unlikely to prove “transformative” within the gaming industry. Speaking to Protocol, Strauss Zelnick says that the suggestion that cloud technology would help video game distribution multiply “doesn’t make any sense at all.”

According to Zelnick, “there was an enormous amount of hype around movement to the cloud,” and points to certain parties who state that while there are only 130-140 million current-gen consoles in circulation, there are billions of PCs and mobile phones, who suggest that “if you can make [...] console video games available to everyone who has a PC or a tablet or a phone, then you market size automatically would be 20x just mathematically.”

Zelnick, however, doesn’t buy into that idea. “That doesn’t make any sense at all. Because the implication is you are super interested in video games but you were just unwilling to buy a console.” That’s definitely possible, but Zelnick says it’s hard to believe that people interested in spending money on a new game would refuse to buy a console to play it on.

There’s also the issue of technology, as many people who own mobile phones or PCs won’t necessarily have the internet connections required to work with cloud gaming. Overall, Zelnick seems to want cloud gaming to do better than it has done so far, but suspects “it will not be transformative.”

“We’ve sold 135 million units of Grand Theft Auto 5, 32 million units of Red Dead Redemption. I wish I could tell you that there will come a point where various cloud gaming services will mean those numbers are doubled or tripled, but I don’t really see it.”

Here's everything we know about Google Stadia, even if Mr Zelnick isn't too impressed.