Is single-player dead? Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick 'doesn't buy it'

"There are people [today] saying that a game won't work if it's not a free-to-play battle royale. People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don't buy that."

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has scoffed at the notion that single-player titles are dead in the water. 

In a recent interview with VentureBeat, the chief exec was quizzed about the state of Red Dead Redemption 2 (Take-Two being the publisher behind Rockstar's open-world western), and was asked what he makes of the perceived shift away from story-driven, single-player efforts. 

His response was decidedly candid, and while Zelnick admitted there are some who believe multiplayer, free-to-play titles are the only sensible way forward, he claims they are very, very wrong. 

"There are people [today] saying that a game won't work if it's not a free-to-play battle royale. People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don't buy that," explained Zelnick. 

"Single-player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close. Companies that feel like they'll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that's going to work. I'd be surprised."

Although Take-Two and Rockstar have experienced long-term success with Grant Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer portion of Grand Theft Auto V, Zelnick says there's "no evidence" to suggest people don't want a single-player experience. 

In fact, he agrees with the assertion that players only became so invested in GTA Online after buying into the single-player offering, and believes those narrative-driven, lone wolf experiences aren't going anywhere.

You can hear more from the Take-Two boss by checking out the full interview over on VentureBeat.

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