Take-Two made under $87m from loot boxes in fiscal 2019

Take-Two made under $87m from loot boxes in fiscal 2019

Less than three per cent of Take-Two's net booking revenue for the 2019 fiscal year came from loot boxes.

That's according to CEO Strauss Zelnick (pictured), who was asked about the monetisation mechanic by Buckingham Research Group's Matthew Harrigan, with the top exec saying that it doesn't constitute a huge amount of its net booking earnings.

Net bookings typically refer to digital in-game on-going spending, so items like Season Passes and other purchases within an experience. For the 2019 fiscal year, Take-Two made $2.929bn in net bookings - an increase of 47 per cent year-on-year - with Zelnick's "less than three per cent" meaning that $87m was made via loot boxes.

PC and "other" platforms brought in just $431,567 in net bookings for the 12 months ending March 31st, 2019, just 15 per cent of that total $2.929bn, with console raking in an 85 per cent lion's share of $2.5bn for the year.

"That mechanic is responsible for less than three per cent of our net bookings in the past fiscal year," Zelnick said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

"So it's not material to us. We have used the mechanic in the past. So it is something we've seen and we think it's just fine. There has been some noise around it, particularly internationally. As I said, we think it's a perfectly reasonable mechanic. However, it forms a very small part of our business."

The Take-Two top bod also said that the company is "open minded" about new business models and means of delivering content to consumers, such as Google's Stadia streaming service.

"On subscription services, we’re open minded, we want to be where the consumer is," he said.

"We also have to be in a place where it makes sense for our creative folks and for our shareholders. So you need to find that intersection in business models that serve the customer successfully, and also serve everyone else who participates in the value chain. And that may prove to be a little challenging for subscriptions in the space because I think people will consume. People do consume video games differently than they consume linear entertainment."

He continued: "With regards to streaming technology and what it could mean for us, we're very optimistic about the notion of streaming technology, bringing our titles to consumers who currently don't have access to them. And the promise of being able to sign on to a service, you with virtually no barriers without a box in between and being able to play our games on any device whatsoever around the world, and to do with low latency. Well, that's, that's very compelling, if that can be delivered. And the folks at Google minimally have said it will be delivered and will be delivered in relatively short order. Conceptually, we want to be where the consumer is, and we’ll support new entrants. And we are a believer in streaming services. Again, we need to have business models that make sense for us. And so far, we're pretty optimistic."

During the Take-Two earning call, Zelnick also said that 110m units of 2013's Grand Theft Auto V had been shipped to retail, while Red Dead Redemption 2 had sold in - not sold! - 24m copies since its October 26th release date.

Furthermore, the firm said that one million people still play 2012's Borderlands 2.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.