Red Dead Redemption 2 Publisher CEO Says eSports Gambling Might Benefit Games Industry

Gambling has always been a controversial feature to include in video games. This is especially true considering what happened last year with all the backlash against loot boxes in games, which many constituted as a form of gambling. A recent Supreme Court ruling may have turned the tide in making eSports gambling legal again. Red Dead Redemption 2 publisher Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick recently gave his opinion on the matter.

Zelnick spoke with GamesIndustry.biz about how legalizing gambling in eSports could benefit other game publishers and the industry as a whole. Speaking of the Supreme Court ruling which now allows states to make their own laws regarding sports gambling, he said: “We certainly think it’s a good decision. We think there may indeed be a meaningfully positive influence on our business.”

However, it’s still too early for any concrete plans to be made regarding the future of eSports gambling. Zelnick explained: “We don’t have any expectations right now. We’re simply observing that there are potential opportunities in the future and I’d be very surprised if sports gambling didn’t intersect with the industry at some point in the relatively near future.”

With Take-Two gearing up for one of their most highly-anticipated games in a while, Zelnick also spoke about how innovation drives the games industry and why Fortnite became such a huge hit. He said: “Big hits, by their very nature, are unexpected and what drives a big hit is innovation and not derivation. That’s what we’re proud of around here. When we put out Red Dead Redemption, the conventional wisdom was that Western titles don’t work in the video game business. I think the fact that Fortnite surprised everyone is just a reflection of the fact that if you innovate and give consumers what they want, you can get an extraordinary result.”

In other related news, we reported on the exciting new gameplay features arriving in the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2, including participating in bank robberies and how the player’s horse factors into the gameplay. The game is set to be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on October 26th, 2018.