Have you been keeping up with the customer sentiment around NBA 2K18? There's been a big wave of criticism from fans about how the game approaches virtual currency. It seems Take-Two is diving ever deeper into the side of virtual currency, and fans aren't happy. The thing is, the online sentiment doesn't match the in-game spend. While review averages from fans are being bombed with extremely low scores due to virtual currency, actual in-game sales are up 57% year-over-year. In other words, players are complaining online and ponying up in-game. Here's what Take-Two CEO and chairman Strauss Zelnick had to say on the matter.
"We want to delight our consumers, and we are trying to create a perfect balance between what the game has to offer and how consumers feel about it. That's our primary goal. Our primary goal is not monetization and engagement. Our primary goal is delight. So we take any feedback incredibly seriously.
At the end of the day, entertainment is not a must-have item. It's a wanna-have item. And so people's behavior reflected in engagement, unit sales, and ultimately spending, is probably the best barometer of how the title's being received. That said, we are very concerned about delighting consumers and we're very concerned about any feedback we get and are listening carefully.
There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers. We're not going to grab the last nickel.
You can't give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there's no business model in that, but we're not trying to optimise the monetisation of everything we do to the nth degree. If you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even known that they know, but they feel it.
Think about it anecdotally - when you paid a little too much for something, even if it was something really good, it really irks you. Paying too much for something bad is even worse. Paying too much for something really good, even if you can afford it, just leaves you with a bad feeling. We don't want our consumers to ever feel that way."