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Take-Two's CEO is more upbeat about AR than VR

Take-Two's CEO is more upbeat about AR than VR

August 2, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

"I have no skepticism about the possibilities of AR. It’s in the hands of the developers."

- Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, responding to an investor's question about whether he's as skeptical of AR as he is of VR.

Take-Two Interactive chief Strauss Zelnick has been openly skeptical of virtual reality's prospects. But in a call with investors today, the CEO said he harbored no such concerns about the future of augmented-reality games and tech.

Zelnick's comments are interesting because they may shed light on where Take-Two is at in terms of VR/AR investment, and where it may be headed in the years to come. Recent surveys suggest the majority of devs are confident AR will prove more popular than VR, long-term, and Zelnick seems to agree, based on his belief that AR tech is more approachable.

"The concerns I raised regarding VR are not applicable to AR," Zelnick said. "In order to have an AR experience, you don’t necessarily have to wearing glasses or a headset. You’re not burdened by being a in particular location, and the discomfort factor doesn’t exist, necessarily."

And of course, he trotted out the big example of a standout AR game success: Niantic and The Pokemon Company's ongoing sensation Pokemon Go. With that on the table, Zelnick said that AR is poised to be successful (if enough developers get onboard) but demurred when it came time to actually make predictions.

"It's pretty hard to predict what will excite consumers. We sitting here today, from a corporate point of view, don’t presume to predict that. But that’s what our 2,200 creative folks are in the business of doing," he said. "We’re proud of the innovations that our creative teams are focused on every day. So, more to come, but I don’t have any skepticism particularly, about AR technology.”

This lines up with recent comments from Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson, who told investors last month that while EA (and its Frostbite engine) are engaged in making VR experiences, "AR is more interesting."

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