As the collapse of global capitalism and the dawn of a Mad Max
-style post-apocalyptic future draws ever closer, we're getting used to the phrase "cautiously optimistic" in reference to the outlook for games sales. Strauss Zelnick, chief executive of GTA
-maker Take-Two, has a new one for us, however.
Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, Zelnick said, "I think everyone was encouraged by Black Friday. It was better than expectations, but it's pretty hard these days - being slightly down is the new up." Looking at how companies such as Electronic Arts, THQ and Activision have been doing in recent months, you've got to say that Zelnick has a point.
Microsoft was certainly encouraged by Black Friday (the post-Thanksgiving sales in America), having bragged about its PS3-beating sales figures
Anyway, Zelnick followed up with the inevitable phrase. Apparently solid titles will keep doing well, but "everyone's at best cautiously optimistic. You're unlikely to be celebrating, but you'll be OK. In terms of how our titles are performing, I feel that it's within that range."
Frankly, SPOnG would be a little disturbed if Zelnick was coming out all gangbusters. The last sale of Take-Two stock is listed at $11.29 (£7.70) on Nasdaq - a huge drop from the $26 (£17.70) per share offer made by Electronic Arts to Take-Two
earlier in the year.
Still, Take-Two feels good about its positioning as an independent company after getting past the EA non-takeover, Zelnick says. In what might have been a little dig at EA, Zelnick uttered, "We are well financed and well structured (and) we own our intellectual property." It should be noted that, while Take-Two owns its intellectual property, it now owns a little bit less than it used to