Why GTA 6 is unlikely to be a day-one release on Xbox Game Pass or PS Plus

GTA 6 is unlikely to be added to Xbox Game Pass or PS Plus (Image via Teahub)
GTA 6 is unlikely to be added to Xbox Game Pass or PS Plus (Image via Teahub)

The release of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 6 is still a long way off, with Rockstar Games yet to provide official details, trailers, or release dates for the upcoming title. However, the company's shareholders recently revealed some intriguing details about the game's availability after its release.

In the most recent earnings call, Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, disclosed that the upcoming GTA title is unlikely to be available on PlayStation and Xbox console subscription plans and will most certainly not be a day-one release on the two platforms.


GTA 6 will not be added to Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus on the first day

Speaking at the Earnings Call with Investors event, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick stated that the company would not add its upcoming games to the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus subscription plans. Although he did not mention GTA 6 or any other game titles, his words imply that GTA 6 will be a standalone product when released.

According to Zelnick, while Microsoft is known for adding its original games, such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, to the Xbox Game Pass on the first day of their release, Sony takes a different approach for PlayStation consoles and never makes its exclusive titles free on the release day.

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The Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus subscription plans on both platforms offer a bundle of free gaming titles for a monthly payment. The subscription fee is typically much lower than the game's actual price. Both companies attempt to entice players onto their platforms by including on-demand games and exclusive titles in their catalogs.

However, from the game publishers' perspective, the Take-Two Interactive CEO said that selling their games, especially the GTA series, at a lower price would be less profitable for the company. Zelnick said:

“I still don't think it makes sense. And I believe that it's now becoming obvious that it doesn't make sense. It's just a lost opportunity for the publisher.”

The gaming company is only interested in subscription models when it "makes sense" for them. Zelnick stated:

“And on the subscription side, look, we've been very cooperative with both Sony and Microsoft on their subscription offerings when it makes sense for us. And my own views have not changed at all since I first started talking about subscription…”

He also claims that subscription-based models are ineffective for both Sony and Microsoft. Although Xbox Game Pass generates revenue, it is not growing at the rate Microsoft anticipated. Its sales have been relatively low, with the company failing to meet its growth target for the second year in a row.

The PlayStation Plus subscription is also on the decline, having lost nearly 2 million subscribers in recent months.

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Although paid gaming catalogs appear appealing, most players do not take advantage of their full potential. Gamers frequently stick to their favorite titles while ignoring other options. The consumer base is extremely niche, which is a loss for both parties.

GTA 5 and its multiplayer version were released nine years ago, and the company is still profiting from them. With a potentially lucrative game such as GTA 6 on the horizon, Take-Two Interactive wants to avoid taking any financial risks by including it in any subscription plans.

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Edited by R. Elahi
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