Take-Two says the Epic Store is 'a good thing,' but exclusives sound very unlikely

The launch of the Epic Games Store has been surprisingly controversial, primarily because of Epic's willingness to spend some of that sweet Fortnite cash on high-profile exclusives. A number of gamers don't care for what they see as fragmentation of the market that's forcing them to use multiple storefronts and run multiple launchers: Steam, Origin, Uplay, Battle.net, Bethesda, and now Epic. 

One publisher that could probably leap successfully into that fray, but apparently isn't going to, is Take-Two. The strength of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption alone would make a proprietary storefront hard to ignore, but CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry that he thinks it's difficult to attract an audience "through a wholly-owned captive site." 

"If you have something incredibly powerful, then I suppose you can say to consumers that it's only available here. But generally speaking, when it comes to broad-based entertainment offerings, you are better placed to be where the consumer is, rather than indicating to the consumer where they need to be," Zelnick said.  

"If your focus is solely on capturing retail margin, then you have to be very convinced you're going to be a great retailer. That's not something that's in our DNA. We make entertainment. We're really not a retailer." 

At the same time, Zelnick doesn't view the Epic Store as a "disruption," and said that as long as consumers benefit and it makes sense as a business model, Take-Two will support it—just not, apparently, by tying Take-Two down to exclusivity deals.   

"We want to be where the consumer is," he said. "We see competition on the retail side to be a good thing. It just means more distribution." 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.