The Hollywood Reporter
has been given an interview with Take-Two Interactive CEO - but this time it was in his role as head of the investment group ZelnickMedia. It's interesting that Mr Zelnick should give an interview to one of the major Hollywood trade papers at a time when Take-Two is under threat of take over from a very bullish Electronic Arts.
Why interesting? Well, it should be born in mind that Zelnick has many more irons in the fire than Take-Two and that by giving the interview he is apparently making it very plain that these irons are as hot - though less inclined to flatten his investments - as a single video games company.
In his comments - a selection of which are below - he appears to see strong growth in video gaming as a business proposition ("That's why we're in the Take-Two deal"), which tends towards the belief that his company will hang on to that 'deal'.
He is, however, also allowing some wiggle room for his shareholders. He states that he values Take Two's 'independence' and that EA's 'specific' approach isn't good enough. But he also makes clear that "we're seeking high-return deals" and that "We are here for our shareholders" - Take Two or ZelnickMedia's shareholders is - of course - the question.
Once again, on that question of Take Two's independence (although independent of what, we're not sure); that will only stand up as a business model "In the absence of an opportunity that our shareholders value more..."
So, as they say, the plot thickens.
Here is something of what he had to say:On the future of Take-Two
"This is not just a math lesson, this is a creative enterprise.
"Does consolidation create better games for consumers? Does it create better careers for the creatives? Those questions are just as important.
"If all stakeholders aren't taken care of, then none of the stakeholders will benefit.
"We've been at Take-Two only for 10 months and are really proud of the progress we've made. And we think this company has a really bright future as an independent company."On another possible future
"In the absence of an opportunity that our shareholders value more than this (independence) approach, that's our business model."On the business strategy of ZelnickMedia
"...we're seeking high-return deals...we're pretty risk-averse people."On the Take-Two investment
"We are very, very excited about interactive entertainment. It's really the only growth area in the pure entertainment business. That's why we're in the Take-Two deal."On rejecting EA's proposal
"We are here for our shareholders. They made a (specific) proposal, we rejected it. Next!"On rejecting video gaming as an investment
"The nature of consumption is changing rapidly, but generationally. That is why the average gamer is 33 years old, because video games are 25 years old essentially. People who grew up with them still enjoy them to this day. This graying of the video game demographic is another reason why we're benefiting from so much growth."
See the full interview here
Finally, on the Take-Two front, we were contacted today by Lord Riccivader of Evil Acquirers, Inc., who brought his satirical, anti-EA website to our attention.
Now, although SPOnG would never sully the purity of the video gaming business world itself, we do think that you might like a look at the eattake2.com
site - which appears to have its roots somewhere in South East London.
Here's how we were told about it,"We at Evil Acquirers, Inc. have today launched a new website, explaining our plans to consume the small insignificant planet Taketooine. We believe this deal is in the best interests of both parties, both the eaters and the eaten.
We look forward to enslaving, I mean welcoming, a whole new batch of workers.
See what they did there with Evil Acquirers (EA) and Electronic Arts (EA)?
Thank gods someone in video gaming still has a sense of humour!