Take-Two unfazed by potential loot box ban

CEO says “perfectly reasonable mechanic… forms a very small part of our business”

Take-Two has said it’s not worried about a potential ban on loot boxes as the controversial mechanic only accounts for a small amount of its sales.

During the publisher’s earnings call on Monday, CEO Strauss Zelnick said loot boxes accounted for just three per cent of its net bookings during the financial year ended March 31, 2019.

The company reported net bookings of $2.929 billion for the period, suggesting loot boxes accounted for approximately $87.87 million of the total.

Zelnick’s comments on the matter came in response to a question about US Senator Josh Hawley, who recently announced plans to propose new legislation that would ban loot boxes and ‘pay-to-win’ mechanics in video games targeted at minors.

“On the loot boxes question, just to put it in context, that mechanic is responsible for less than three per cent of our net bookings in the past fiscal year, so it’s not material to us,” Zelnick said.

“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,” he added. “As I said, we think it’s a perfectly reasonable mechanic. However, it forms a very small part of our business.”

In April 2018, the Netherlands Gaming Authority and the Belgian Gaming Commission declared that certain types of loot boxes were in violation of gambling laws, leading to a crackdown on their inclusion in games.

Last month, Rocket League became the latest high-profile game to remove the ability for players in Belgium and the Netherlands to purchase loot boxes with real money.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission is due to hold a public workshop looking into consumer issues surrounding loot boxes on August 7.