EA Offers $2billion for Take Two

25
Feb
2008
By Gerard | 25th Feb 2008 at 03:08 GMT in General | 27 Comments
[img]http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:e3Kbg0ibAMaprM:http://tech.blorge.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/img-6824-ea-logo-2.jpg[/img]After weeks of speculation, Electronic Arts have placed a formal unsolicited $2billion dollar bid for Take Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, publishers of the GTA series. The gaming giant seems to really be interested in merging the companies, offering $26 a share after several private offers were rejected by Take Two's board.

GTA IV is widely expected to be the top-selling game of 2008, and more than 60 million copies of GTA games so far have been sold. If GTA IV sold the expected 10 million copies before the end of the year, that would make Take Two more expensive, which explains why EA has placed an aggressive bid now - plus it allows them to reap the profits of Take Two's imminent success.

Take Two has a reputation of producing one-hit wonders and a massive winning streak with GTA, whereas the more steady EA is known more for its countless sequels than its innovation and creativity. EA's CEO John Riccitiello said they intend to merge Take Two with EA before Christmas, and that he was already had a relationship with Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser.

Take Two have previously stated that the company is not for sale, and have rejected a number of offers from Take Two. Chairman Strauss Zelnick said "EA's proposal provides insufficient value to our shareholders and comes at absolutely the wrong time given the crucial initiatives under way at the company.” This bluntly says that they are expecting massive success with GTA IV, and do not want EA to be piggybacking on its success.

However EA will not be as interested in buying Take Two after GTA IV has been released, as they won't see the direct profits from the game. Take Two offered to negotiate a deal beginning on the day after GTA IV's release, but EA have turned that down, suggesting EA wants a big pre-GTA discount.

EA has acquired many high-profile game studios, including Westwood (Command & Conquer), Bullfrog Productions (Populous) and Origin Systems (Ultima), which all disappeared into EA. Take Two takes the opposite approach by providing each studio their own identity and individuality, which shows in the games they product. Take Two will be keen to keep this in place after any merger, and EA has a long way to go to prove that.

However there is a possibility that individual studios, including Rockstar Games and 2K Boston (Bioshock) would separate from Take Two rather than be merged into EA.


Do you think EA would do good things with the GTA series, using their countless industry contacts and professionals to enhance the games? Or are they likely to ruin it with endless sub-par sequels and erase the passion that has built up over the GTA community? Discuss this in our forums.

Update: Take Two has officially rejected this offer from EA. Read IGN's article here.

Thanks Red Devil for the update.
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Kitsune Inferno's photo
Kitsune Inferno 25th February, 2008 @ 03:19 - Permalink
EA will mark the death of fun games from Take Two and Rockstar. If this deal goes through, we'll have to settle for half-assed sequels to some of our favorite franchises.
DemonDelight's photo
DemonDelight 25th February, 2008 @ 03:26 - Permalink
Indeed. it would just cause a downhill spiral for the good games out there, and after a while, there will be barely any fans because of the poor quality of the games.

Bad idea on Take two's behalf.
Jared's photo
Jared 25th February, 2008 @ 06:17 - Permalink
Forums link at the end of the article is dead, on the homepage it links to "http://www.thegtaplace.com/index.php?showtopic=15858" instead of "http://www.thegtaplace.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=15858".

The "topic" bbcode needs to be fixed to make it a full url like "http://www.thegtaplace.com/forums/index.php?showtopic={topicID}" rather then just "index.php?showtopic={topicID}"
Gerard's photo
Gerard 25th February, 2008 @ 07:16 - Permalink
Thanks, thought Chris had fixed all that by now.
carvalhosa's photo
carvalhosa 25th February, 2008 @ 12:26 - Permalink
I think that Take Two should not accept the pffer from EA, I have got nothing against ES, and I personally like EA´s games but I think EA is dreaming to high, and is trying to go to an area wich is not prepared for. If TK2 Accepts the offer(wich i think they won´t) Rockstar should leave TK2. As mentioned in other posts here in the Forum, EA would only mess up the GTA Franchise. That is my opinion hope they reject. :)
Mpilk901's photo
Mpilk901 25th February, 2008 @ 13:15 - Permalink
Why would they accept the offer anyway, didn't San Andreas have a secret license plate which said "EA SUCKS"? :D
Red_91's photo
Red_91 25th February, 2008 @ 14:18 - Permalink
I dont know if this is a bad idea or a good idea. EA has made some good games, but I dont know if they will be able to make GTA better. I doubt TT would sell before IV is released as they wouldn't get all the profits.
0mfg0rz's photo
0mfg0rz 25th February, 2008 @ 15:34 - Permalink
Definatly a no, EA made some kinda cool games like NFSU (I think, never really paid to much attention to the opening credits), However, I don't think they should be involved in the GTA series. EA's games are mostly non 18+ I think....
blindklb's photo
blindklb 25th February, 2008 @ 15:40 - Permalink
I like some EA games, im a madden fan myself and i think call of duty 4 was EA but I don't think that they will help the series at all. I agree with what everyone els was saying, the franchise would be destroyed.
GTA Don's photo
GTA Don 25th February, 2008 @ 15:44 - Permalink
I don't really think that Take Two should go through with this, EA has had some good games but it would just spoil the GTA franchise.
Alkali64's photo
Alkali64 25th February, 2008 @ 16:55 - Permalink
I actually don't mind EA, but if this deal goes ahead then "GTA V" and all the next installments for GTA may just go to waste...
CHEW-GUN's photo
CHEW-GUN 25th February, 2008 @ 16:56 - Permalink
I think that if EA does buy out Take-Two,than other than technology wise,EA should have little involvement in GTA.

I'm more than sure they would make (T-Rated) storylines.Think of it this way,no more stripclubs.

NOO! Take-Two shouldnt go accept the offer.

And besides.Two great gaming companies is better than one.
TheGunslinger's photo
TheGunslinger 25th February, 2008 @ 17:07 - Permalink
That would be a very bad move in my opinion, it seems to me that EA are only interested in making lots of money, and putting little effort into their games.
Urbanoutlaw's photo
Urbanoutlaw 25th February, 2008 @ 17:22 - Permalink

That would be a very bad move in my opinion, it seems to me that EA are only interested in making lots of money, and putting little effort into their games.


Pretty much sums it up. EA makes some decent games but EA GTA would far short of what we've come to expect from
GTA. The only real winners would be EA (financially, at least) & in a few years Take Two would become Take Who.
Gerard's photo
Gerard 25th February, 2008 @ 18:23 - Permalink
EA have a fair amount of multiplayer experience, so I'd expect them to introduce Deathmatch and all that kinda stuff. But then isn't GTA just like every other game? Just with a bigger map than most and less realistic models/textures.

You're right in saying they'll probably get rid of a lot of the crime and sleaze, make it more about 'life' in general. That would suck.
vicsrealms's photo
vicsrealms 25th February, 2008 @ 18:53 - Permalink
EA the company that ruined Madden trying to purchase Take Two? Oh, thats scary as all get out. Why are they buying and merging with all these companies? Aren't they losing money with all the horrible ruined games they make over and over again? Oh, Activison was involved in CoD4 which we can all be thankful for.
The Bossman's photo
The Bossman 25th February, 2008 @ 19:26 - Permalink
I'd be disappointed if they do purchase Take-Two. EA are a massive games company sure, but I think they'd change the series by adding unnecessary gimmicks, like they have with some of their other games like FIFA, which used to be good. When EA bought the Burnout series from Acclaim, they essentially ruined it. 2 of the games have been good, though, Takedown and Paradise are excellent, but the other 2 I've barely played since I bought them. I think Take Two should just disregard this offer as I don't see how it can help improve GTA.
Red_91's photo
Red_91 25th February, 2008 @ 21:16 - Permalink
No need to worry people TT has officially rejected the bid,

The link is here.
Mike356's photo
Mike356 25th February, 2008 @ 21:59 - Permalink
god for TT Since they aint letting ea buy em out right near gta IV release date just so they can have half the rewards
partylenin's photo
partylenin 26th February, 2008 @ 01:58 - Permalink
i dont trust ea

for example the madden franchise really only goes under cosmetic improvements but is coded pretty poorly like you can walk through walls and the stands and besides what looks good its essentilly unimproved and a little disapointing and another example is the battlefield games which just droped the ball for continuity and smooth play

take-two really wants to make the best games possible and ea wants to maqke the biggest profit possible
TheGunslinger's photo
TheGunslinger 26th February, 2008 @ 10:34 - Permalink

No need to worry people TT has officially rejected the bid,

The link is here.


Thank god for that. Can you imagine what GTA would be like with EA calling the shots? Everything would have to be done by the book (ie, no more humor about sex and the like) so that goodie two shoes EA wont get into trouble. All the billboards ingame would be advertising other EA games, or some mp3 player so EA can get more money from advertising. The games would have to be made to a deadline so EA can get loads of money as quickly as possible, so you end up with a half assed GTA (probably a shitty gangsta style one) without all the extra features. It would be terrible <_<

I have always felt that R* and TT dont care so much about the money, like partylenin said, they just want to make their games as good as they can possibly be. You can tell just by looking at the amount of effort they put into the GTAIV website that they have a passion for what they do, and thats why their games are so bloody good. You dont see EA with a whole website dedicated to one game (because that would waste valuable money making time).
Gerard's photo
Gerard 26th February, 2008 @ 16:08 - Permalink
Take Two did reject the bid, but that doesn't mean it's over. EA did offer several bids before the $26-per-share one mentioned in this topic, which were all rejected. This was the first one made in public.

EA could try to persuade Take Two shareholders to vote out the Board of Directors, to allow the EA merge to happen. That involves persuading the shareholders that (basically) they will make more money than Take Two can generate.
Whitey's photo
Whitey 26th February, 2008 @ 22:02 - Permalink

Take Two did reject the bid, but that doesn't mean it's over. EA did offer several bids before the $26-per-share one mentioned in this topic, which were all rejected. This was the first one made in public.


The $26 share will go up a good bit when GTA IV is released, so they'll have to fork out more in the future. I just found something even more disturbing.

http://www.gamesindu...e.php?aid=33521

Says that if EA acquires TT, then they can make the new GTA games without Rockstar.
Mendoza's photo
Mendoza 27th February, 2008 @ 01:15 - Permalink
so to sum it up it probably won't be the last offer,EAs stock dropped Dan houser might quit if it does happen
Phantom_Renegde's photo
Phantom_Renegde 27th February, 2008 @ 03:10 - Permalink
I agree with everyone that says EA is eater of good game companies and the pooer of half asses games, where if the have a sequel they feel the same as every other game in that genre.
Damjan's photo
Damjan 27th February, 2008 @ 11:07 - Permalink
Nah,they will mix some NFS and some GTA.hehe
}{oT~dEv1L 666's photo
}{oT~dEv1L 666 28th February, 2008 @ 14:47 - Permalink

Take Two did reject the bid, but that doesn't mean it's over. EA did offer several bids before the $26-per-share one mentioned in this topic, which were all rejected. This was the first one made in public.


The $26 share will go up a good bit when GTA IV is released, so they'll have to fork out more in the future. I just found something even more disturbing.

http://www.gamesindu...e.php?aid=33521

Says that if EA acquires TT, then they can make the new GTA games without Rockstar.


No, but the whole Rockstar Games + all its studios can break off from Take 2 if they really gets sold to EA. So by 2009, when R*'s contract with T2 ends, they can quit and create GTA V without stupid EA.

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