July 3, 2012 Update: X-Com: Enemy Unkown was a stand-out at E3 and Borderlands 2 and NBA 2K13 looked good, but, overall, not a brilliant E3 for Take Two. No reason to bump him up the way we did the bosses at Square-Enix and Ubisoft.
May 30, 2012 Update: Strauss moves down 3 positions, mainly because others have leapt over him.
Feb 20, 2012 Update: Max Payne 3's delay from March to May reduced the odds of the game's developers at Rockstar getting Grand Theft Auto V out for Take Two this year. Borderlands 2, however, is now targeted to September. Zelnick drops, partially to make room for Shigeru Miyamoto advancing above him.
Why He's Powerful
He'll never live down being the only gaming bigwig to show off his muscles on the cover of a men's fitness magazine (please don't take that as a challenge, rival execs), but what does he care?
While flashier third-party publishers EA and Activision battle for market share and headlines, the not-tiny Take Two Interactive takes its time preparing to launch potential games of the year, from BioShock: Infinite and the next NBA 2K game to, of course, anything Take-Two-owned Rockstar Games makes, like, you know, the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V. Take Two's deep bench of hit makers also includes Sid Meier's Civilization (and X-Com) crew at Firaxis.
Successful as some of its games are, the company doesn't have much to boast about in categories some of its rivals consider to be the most important markets: social gaming, mobile gaming or even, outside of the Borderlands series and Rockstar's almost-there efforts, a powerhouse online game.