Activision to acquire Take-Two?

Rumors spreading that Call of Duty publisher wants to add company behind Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock to its stable.

by

Source: A report on UK gaming site MCV says rumors are circulating that Activision is looking to acquire Take-Two Interactive.

Activision may be taking aim at a Take-Two acquisition.

What we heard: The MCV article cites "a senior executive" as saying that rumors are floating around other bigwigs in the game industry that Activision is considering making a play for Take-Two. GameSpot's own sources added to that, saying there had been some talks between the companies.

An Activision-Take-Two union would indeed be industry-shaking, but not entirely unprecedented. After all, Activision in 2007 merged with Vivendi Games in an $18.9 billion deal, bringing genre-dominating franchises like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty under the same roof and relegating Electronic Arts to the position of the industry's second-biggest third-party publisher.

However, beyond Call of Duty and Blizzard's offerings, Activision's lineup has been shrinking of late. This week the publisher disbanded its Guitar Hero division, signaling an end to the mainstream phenomenon's six-year run. It also confirmed that the annualized Tony Hawk franchise would be taking 2011 off at least, and scrapped the open-world crime game True Crime: Hong Kong.

A Take-Two acquisition would help fill some of those holes in the lineup, most notably with Rockstar Games' own open-world crime series, Grand Theft Auto. Take-Two also boasts Rockstar's latest hit, Red Dead Redemption, as well as popular franchises like BioShock, Civilization, XCOM, Max Payne, and Borderlands. Another potentially attractive aspect of an acquisition would be 2K Sports, which recently scored a hit with the Michael Jordan-fronted NBA 2K11, and also includes the Top Spin, MLB 2K, and NHL 2K franchises.

If Activision were to purchase Take-Two, not only would it give the publisher a competitive foothold in the sports market against EA, but it would also one-up its largest rival at the same time. In February of 2008, EA attempted to purchase Take-Two for roughly $2 billion. When Take-Two executives declined the offer, EA made its intentions public and tried to buy the company directly from Take-Two shareholders. The companies jousted for months, with EA eventually withdrawing its offers and walking away in September of that year.

However, simply having talks is a long way from a done deal. After all, EA and Take-Two had talks that fell through, even though the Madden publisher's $2 billion offer included a steep premium above and beyond the Take-Two stock price. It's hard to see Take-Two saying yes to a lower offer now that Red Dead Redemption has panned out as a franchise-worthy blockbuster possibly along the lines of Grand Theft Auto. It's also hard to see the famously frugal Activision matching EA's previous number when the economic recovery is only now accelerating and Take-Two's stock is even lower now than it was before EA's initial advances. (Take-Two shares hit a low of $15.83 in February 2008, but haven't topped $15.51 this month.)

There's also the matter of corporate culture clash. When Activision brought Blizzard into the fold, it was willing to let the company operate almost autonomously because of its proven track record of smash hits. On the other hand, Take-Two habitually delays its high-profile games (Max Payne 3, L.A. Noire, Duke Nukem Forever, Mafia II, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock 2, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Borderlands, and Grand Theft Auto IV, to name a few), and the wait doesn't always pay off in a monster hit.

Activision's approach to publishing is based more on surefire blockbuster hits like the Call of Duty series and on licensed titles with reliable audiences that can turn at least a modest profit, like Spider-Man, James Bond, Bakugan, and the Cabela's hunting games. While Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption might buy Rockstar Games a measure of independence from Activision's standard operating procedure, it's not at all clear how the rest of the Take-Two operation would be folded into Activision, or what level of autonomy they would be granted.

The official story: "We don't comment on rumors and speculation."--A Take-Two representative. Activision representatives had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus: Not bogus that Activision and Take-Two are talking about an acquisition. But there are a lot of logistical issues that would need to be agreed upon before anything is finalized, not the least of which is a price.

Discussion

1423 comments
dreamforager
dreamforager

Take Two should remain independent. Activision may be on top of the world now but its only a matter of time until they exhaust the COD series like they already have with Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk. In the long run, Take Two will be able to buy Actision. I know Activision has money to burn, but their resources would be better spent on emulating Take Two's business model instead of aquiring them.

TreFacTor
TreFacTor

This could be ideal for Activision and Take Two. Activision could continue putting out annual cookie cutter games while allowing Take Two the leisure of time with their games. Activisions money could mean more staff for Take Two thus limiting delays. Take Two could benefit from maintaining their independence while gaining bank roll. They could then compete with EA in football with the NFL license to bolster their sports line genre. Of course that's just my wish. With stocks lower than when EA made their offer, if I were Take Two I'd accept any offer close to EA's as long as it was conducive to maintaining intellectual property and a certain amount of freedom.

whacka97
whacka97

Take-Two are awesome, they make some of the best games on the market and don't bust out yearly sequels, they don't need Activision

RockstarDude592
RockstarDude592

Take two would never do accept this deal. Why would they want to join the most ignorant video game company there is when Take Two already has a great reputation as the best video game company ever.

seankkkk
seankkkk

Someone needs to destroy the Activision headquarters and all their other buildings. Terrorist get to work I salute you! (not me, nsa dont track me)

Zevante101
Zevante101

Activision is launching a monopoly on gaming. Does anyone else see this? Once they own it they can do whatever they bloody please with the whole gaming industry.

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

I gotta say given the differences in company style and track records this would indeed become a bad match, they will either simply Absorb the company and dissolve it for it's IP's as well as the tech and Software used to create the games like Red Dead and GTA IV. But truth be told I don't really see that happening, the folks at Take-Two hopefully have something really amazing under their belt with Rockstar that's gonna keep them well out of range of these Sharks. We shall see.

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

DON'T SELL T2! Please, for all that is good in gaming, stay true to the art!!!

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

This is the very last thing we need. I don't want Kotick to have anything to do with any of those games. (Or games at all, really.)

Slyster1181
Slyster1181

This would be good for the 2K Sports more than anything. I think this is the reason why EA went out and quickly got a year extension just in case this deal went through.

AJMXYZ
AJMXYZ

Hey activision, STAY AWAY FROM MY GTA.

gamestop27
gamestop27

This very very VERY bad news. If Activision gets Take-Two we can all look forward to weekly releases of Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, and Red Dead Redemption sequels with half the game on disc containing 20 mintue single player campaigns and the other half avaiable on psn/xbl for download 3 months later with xbl getting it early like they do now along with overpriced map packs. Activision must die I don't want to skip out of Bioshock Infinite, but I also don't want any of my money going into Bobby Kotick's fat wallet.

dark_minun
dark_minun

Give them 2K sports and call off the rest of the deal . . . 2K sports could benefit from an increased budget (I'd love to see them make NHL games across all platforms again) and they release annually either way. I wouldn't want to see an Activision GTA, the thing that keeps GTA at the top of it's sub-genre is the consistently high quality and consistent huge amounts of content those games have. Rushing GTA would make it just another sandbox game.

XShortGuy007
XShortGuy007

In other news, Activision purchases Take-Two Interactive and puts the final two weeks of development of Duke Nukem Forever on hold indefinitely.

wedran123
wedran123

Oh great i bet they will cancel bioshock infinite to make call of duty 10 Retards on patrol......or they will cancel the bioshock movie to make a COD movie.......or better yet they will.... @minhas27 you Effing retard GTA5 will be on the pc....

JudgeRAW
JudgeRAW

Bioshock = dead. Borderlands = dead. Bleh, worst. news. ever.

minhas27
minhas27

Activision always care about pc gamer if they buy take two i think we will see gta5 on pc

Immortal7777777
Immortal7777777

I wonder how Bobby Kotick or Acticrap sleeps at night....

protius2214
protius2214

I wonder if developers can assign their IPs' licenses to their head designers rather than the company? It would certainly help prevent a lot of these largely unnecessary aquisitions and buyouts...

ssdd_again
ssdd_again

noooooooooooooooooo. . . . .leave Take-Two and Rockstar alone, they're the only ones left that care about the quality of their titles :(

smp13
smp13

Worst case scenario: -Quality will drop in aim to release more titles. Drop in quality results in selling fewer units. Activision then decides to close studio due to drop in sales and cost cutting. This would be bad. Best Case Scenario: -No noticable change in the quality or style of the games. (e.g. see Bioware under EA). This would not be bad. Time will tell how this will play out if the sale goes ahead, not very hopeful though.

Scarworf
Scarworf

120% agree with you there Bufta!!! This will be industry-shaking, breaking the hearts of many gamers. I simply am against this! Take-Two, don't do this!

Bufta
Bufta

If Activision and Kotick get their hands on Take Two then it truly will be a sad day for gamers everywhere. Quality will go out of the window in favour of yearly overpriced updates. I was so glad to see Activision having financial trouble atm because lets face it they deserve it, for dumbing down the industry and putting premium rip off prices on most things they sell. Please take two and all your shareholders remain strong and dont give in to Koticks evil machine.

lilboicookie
lilboicookie

poor Take 2 they have both of the evil gaming corp on there... behinds :).....EA with there football games -_-........and Craptivision buying them off

StormXLR
StormXLR

Ohh crap nvm i forgot its French company not U.S, okay how about Sony U.S and THQ both are really big publishers as well!

StormXLR
StormXLR

Wait why is everyone saying Ubisoft and Activision are only publishers?what about Ubisoft that company is big as well!

Elite39
Elite39

Activision use to be such a great company, now it's sad to see how bad it's gotten, their games are crap now. So will Take Two's if Activision does this.

Reilly86
Reilly86

If Activison get their grubby little hands on Take Two we will get half arsed games on yearly bases instead of a few years to create gold like GTA, Red Dead and Borderlands. This is the worst thing to happen to gaming since Sega said... Lets stop Shenmue at number 3 as nobody will care. And once Activison gets bored of these games like they have with Guitar Hero they will simply shut them down and put all its resources into making Call of Duty 39 The Revenge of the rise of Capt Price part 3

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

@_IronManDude_ lol. On that note, Activision would have better luck buying a Take5 instead of Take-Two. And now something else involving a movie quote (Transformers). Electronic Arts: You want a piece of me!? Activision: No, I want Take-Two!

driftster7788
driftster7788

aand it looks like hell is going to freeze over

e1shw
e1shw

@blakeney: The stuff happening with WoW could have been coincidence and bad timing, since then it has made many changes to the game. With it being the largest mmo in the world they are constantly changing things to suit the players. I don't play WoW at all, but one of my bro's does religiously, so I hear about all the changes with each expansion or major patch. Some have been good and some bad.... It's not impossible that Activision has something to do with the changes during Wrath, but we'll never really know..... they don't tell us those dirty corporate secrets. :lol: . "I dont think activision would "ruin" gta as such, or do the terrible and "dissolve" T2/R* but i know Take Two dont need this, Gta alone sells like cod, so why let someonelse in on the Gta glory? I have high hopes they will treat it the same as Ea's offer, they are clearly not silly, and neither are the shareholders." . I agree whole heartedly and hope that T2 stands firm so that we will rest assured that they will continue to make epic/ industry changing games in the future. Stuff that is hard to come by now-a-days in gaming... :)

SirMordredX
SirMordredX

Gods no; at this rate it'll just be EA vs Activision in the west. Before we know it EA will be trying to buy Activision and Activision, EA. It also just does not work; Activision are renowned to be quite harsh with their fans whereas Take-Two and the companies they hold such as Rockstar are quite the opposite...

StarKiller77000
StarKiller77000

Activision is EVIL!!!They need to be stoped be for they destroy the industry!

dre256x
dre256x

Talk about acquisitions.. Damn Activision if this is true... scratch that, I hope its not true...

wedran123
wedran123

@killeroo AND another dlc 200 dollars FOR 2 NEW MAPS AND A COW SUIT jesus.......or RED DEAD 8:JOHN MARSTON TO THE MEGAMAX EXTREME MOST IMPORTANT SHOOTER PERSON GUY SERGEANT MAN

killeroo
killeroo

Hope this doesn't happen others it will be . . . Red Dead 7: Mega Western 3 Vengeance Limited edition only $200 includes a code for an extra gun and a hip flask New DLC for $20 includes - 1 extra horse colour, and a new hat.

lolman360
lolman360

Dion't they have enough call of duty's why ruin one of the best gaming companies today rockstar games.

lolman360
lolman360

Hopefully this doesn't happen cause call of duty games have all being awful I don't want them ruining gta or rdr.

biagio55
biagio55

e1shw: i dont agree that cod had all cod games had a good story. the underlying theme ofr each one is exactly the same the end resultis the same the only thing they mix up is the setting. i also think its too cliched for my taste but thats just me. on an unrelated point ive got to agree with the masses here and say its a bad move. why would they do this unless they were really low on sales and bugets for games? they dont appear to be with many AAA title coming out or in development(bioshock infinate, LA noire for examples) and because their games are normally met with critical acclaim they shouldnt be low on sales. i dont understand this but then again it is just rumours