Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an American video game holding company based in New York City.
The company owns two major publishing labels, 2K Games, Rockstar Games. And later founded Private Division to acts as a publishing studios for indie developers. The company's combined portfolio includes franchises such as BioShock, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, and Red Dead.
Why They Suck
- Like Electronic Arts, their 2K sports games are rife with microtransaction abuse; they also approached many studios just to milk their franchises and shut them down later down the line.
- Even Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 couldn't escape from having pay-to-win online modes.
- To put it in perspective the forty hours for Darth Vader in Star Wars: Battlefront was enough for lawsuits. To be able to unlock Dikembe Mutombo in NBA 2K you would need to make the game a sixteen hour a day job up until they turn off the servers, with GTA Online and Red Dead Online having similarly long and frustrating grinds.
- Their microtransactions are nearly as bad as Gameloft’s games after Vivendi acquired the aforementioned company.
- They are firmly against modding in their games, as well as hating their fanbase.
- The most infamous example of this is when they killed the OpenIV modding tool used by Grand Theft Auto IV and V. Thankfully, Rockstar Games brought it back after widespread consumer backlash.
- They threatened legal action against a modder of Red Dead Redemption called "GamingDamned". They even went as far as to find private information about the modder to call not only him but also multiple members of his family. During these calls, they gave no reason as to why they want his mods taken down, and were also very rude towards them.
- Eventually, they filed a lawsuit against him for $500,000.
- They filed a DMCA takedown, raided the Discord servers and filed a lawsuit against GTA modders who reverse engineered the source code for Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City, known as re3 and reVC, after the games were unofficially ported to systems like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo Switch, despite the fact that the aforementioned games came out nearly 20 years ago at this point. That would be like if Bethesda took down source ports of DOOM or Quake and sued the makers of the fanmade source ports.
- As if that wasn't enough, on July 17th of 2021, they also sent mass takedowns for mods of older GTA games which use assets from other games in the series, including GTA: LC (which converts the map and missions from GTA III into Vice City, which has been in development for over 15 years), as well as GTA: Underground (a massive mod for GTA: San Andreas that ports the maps from GTA III, Vice City, and non-GTA games like Bully and Manhunt). They even took down original mods, such as Vice Cry, which was an HD texture mod, and GTA: Miami Vibe, which was a completely original mod made from scratch. This in particular caused longtime GTA modder Silent to lose interest in working on GTA mods and projects.
- The main reason why they are against modding is probably because they are unhappy that some of the modders added online-exclusive content into offline mode instead of buying them, thus causing them to lose profit. They even censor comments that contain the word "mods" posted on the official Rockstar Games YouTube account's videos.
- Another possible reason for taking down mods of old GTA games is so that they don't take the focus away from the remakes/remasters of older games currently in production, titled Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. Furthermore, they forced Rockstar to delist the original releases of the older games on digital storefronts starting October 13, possibly so that people can no longer mod them and don't take away any potential revenue from the remastered collection. Sound familiar?
- They nearly putted 3D Realms in an extremely rough spot, mainly due to their poor relationship with each other during the development of Duke Nukem Forever, as they forced strict deadlines for them to release the game, which was unlikely to happen due to the game's "at the time" already struggling development (mainly due to it's small and inexperienced team of 18 staff members and for trying to keep up with other games that were releasing before it), and not only that, but the founders of 3D Realms (Scott Miller & George Broussard) asked for £6 million dollars to complete the "at the time" upcoming installment of the Duke Nukem franchise (since the funding for the project was drying up), but Take-Two only offered the men 2.5 million dollars, which angered Broussard to the point where he rejected the offer, and forced the studio to lay off the staff that were working on the game. But the final nail in the coffin to this was the lawsuit they had with each other, as they blamed the studio for failing to complete the game, which not only caused 3D Realms to nearly go bankrupt, but also caused Duke Nukem Forever almost getting completely cancelled altogether, however, 3D Realms sold the Duke Nukem IP to Gearbox Software and the team behind the supposedly cancelled Forever later picked up the project, and had also founded a new game studio called Triptych Games, and gained help from Gearbox and Take-Two and had completed the game, unfortunately for the now completed game, it received mixed to negative reviews and was deemed a failure by many, and sold very poorly. As for 3D Realms, they continued to have financial problems until they were later brought out by SDN Invest in 2014, and since then, they've been releasing more classic styled First Person Shooter, in contrast to the majority of most Modern FPS' today, however, they have not seen the critical success and acclaim they once had back in the 1990s. As for the Duke Nukem IP, Gearbox still owns it after been given the rights back in 2010, however, they haven't done much with it aside from the 20th Year Anniversary edition of Duke Nukem 3D, and the DLC in the Bulletstorm remaster as a playable character.
- This showcases how poorly the company tends to treat much smaller studios by not giving them much time and force constant changes with the game that the developers are making, and even nearly cause the game to get flat out cancelled, and ever since the entire Duke Nukem Forever fiasco that happened in 1997 and continued until 2011, 3D Realms and Take-Two have never worked with each other ever again, and have putted a curse on the studio that completely haunted them to this day.
- They ruined the WWE series by making the games expensive and never dropping the prices for these games.
- They've now completely destroyed the series with their bugged, glitched, and technically issued to oblivion disaster that is WWE 2K20, by splitting with Yuke's and accusing them of not making more than enough money as they were.
- After reluctantly removing paid loot boxes from NBA 2K18, Take-Two tried to convince consumers (which included children) to contact their local government and beg them to allow loot boxes in efforts to exact revenge on Belgium for banning them!
- They were responsible for publishing the multiplayer shooter Evolve, which was infamous for its rampant DLC abuse, including (but not limited to) announcing pre-order bonus before any substantial gameplay was shown. Despite Turtle Rock's efforts to bring the game up to more acceptable standards by making it free-to-play, Take-Two pulled the plug on the game only a month after the fact.
- The company is highly capitalist, firmly believing that trying to obtain a game's rewards by pure gameplay is "under-monetizing" and "giving stuff away for free in perpetuity".
- Their method of abusing microtransactions is nauseating; they allow their games to have agonizingly slow progression systems to prey on players' impatience, all to encourage microtransactions purchases. Even worse is that the company's CEO now gets pay bonuses based on microtransactions targets. This gives T2 more excuse to pressurize players into spending money on these side payments and push even harder for them in future titles, which is a scary thought.
- Even worse than this, as pointed out by Jim Sterling, is their lust for child exploitation through the Microtransaction abuse and Gambling mechanics (Such as Loot Boxes), to the point they are attending seminars to learn on how to get kids addicted to Gambling, which is not just UNETHICAL, but straight up ILLEGAL. The worst part about this is that no one got arrested for this yet, which either means that they easily hide this from the public (in the least worst case scenario), or they bribe the authorities to turn a blind eye (in the worst case scenario). In other words, if the second case scenario comes to be true, that is essentially FOUL PLAY.
- They make all kinds of BS excuses for having such insidious monetization schemes by calling microtransactions "an unfortunate reality" and attempting to justify throttling progression as "giving players the choice to skip the grind".
- It is worth pointing out that "giving players the choice to skip the grind" doesn't really wash when you consider that they're the ones who create such a grind in the first place. For example, in Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode, everything costs ridiculous amounts of money or Gold Bars, and the actual multiplayer matches have such meagre payouts, often requiring 10's or even 100's of hours of continuous play to get anywhere unless the player pays real money to skip it.
- They even claimed that "all games have Virtual Currency of some kind", which is a big fat lie since a lot others don't. Marvel's Spider-Man being a perfect example of this by having a properly paced progression system in which skills are unlocked consistently, and the tokens needed to craft suits and gadget upgrades are easily obtained through gameplay, all without the option to pay real money to skip the process because the game doesn't need to do so.
- The company has also managed to show how they will even profit from dead people (even if it's downright unethical) by having the Deluxe Edition of NBA 2K21 (also known as the Mamba Forever Edition) include Kobe Bryant, the popular L.A Lakers player, that during the time, was recently deceased. So not only will they exploit children to their advantage like as if everyone working there is a pedophile, but also profit by dead people, which would mentally affect relatives of a deceased person (in this case, Kobe's family and friends).
- In a nutshell, Strauss Zelnick, an extremely greedy, disgusting, and downright evil Wall Street executive that became CEO of Take-Two following an investor takeover in 2007, and he is despised by a lot of gamers for his greed and terrible decisions, and can be considered by many as the worst person in the entire gaming industry, and even the equivalent of Satan (excluding on public media like TV, where he somehow has an absurd positive reputation). He has even used the First Amendment to justify their atrocious microtransactions and loot box practices. Yes. He believes that exploiting consumers for profit is freedom of speech, which doesn't make any sense at all!
- He also cannot take the slightest form of criticism. His attitude to criticism has apparently filtered through to being Take-Two and their subsidiaries as well, with 2K going to the extent of not just banning the accounts of anyone providing critiques of the game but hacking their systems to remove any evidence of said issues with the game. That's right, actual criminal hacking.
- He claims gamers are ready for games to be 70 dollars despite many games lacking in quality.
- According to some sources, Take-Two sent goons to intimidate the Borderlands YouTuber SubMatto (who has a tendency to spread rumours and make speculations on unreleased content) and filed more than 100 false DMCA takedowns on his channel in an attempt to silence him for good. This resulted in #BoycottBorderlands3 trending on Twitter.
- It's also likely that they have sent "private investigators" to try and intimidate the developers of FiveM (essentially an alternative to GTA Online which provides modded lobbies) to abandon their project.
- And speaking of #12, the voice actors of Borderlands 3 mocked fans who disagreed with Take-Two's decisions. They also mocked them for disagreeing with their views on what FL4K, one of the four playable characters, should be referred to as.
- They attempted a hostile takeover of Star Theory Games after Star Theory rejected a deal to move to a new studio called "Intercept Games". This caused Star Theory to shut down on March 4, 2020.
- They never give the companies they purchased any time to notify them of any delays/cancellations. Before making Star Theory shut down, they forcefully delayed Kerbel Space Program 2 to 2021 without their permission.
- Their E3 2021 panel was heavily panned by the gaming community, with many considering it not only the worst E3 of that year but one of the worst E3s of all time. The panel received backlash due to having an hour long video talking about diversity and inclusion (which generally speaking isn't necessarily bad to talk about such topics, but it was most likely an effort to pander towards SJWs) when the whole point of the gaming panel was to talk about... well, you know... games!
- Because of all of the above reasons, they have been declared by many gamers to be a literally evil criminal organization, as a result of their extremely awful business practices and their CEO, Strauss Zelnick.
- Despite T2's excessive executive meddling, their subsidiaries Rockstar and 2K created some very good and well-received games, like Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead series from Rockstar, BioShock and Borderlands series from 2K.
- Despite hypocrisy, they are at least honest about the microtransactions in GTA Online.