Analyst: GTA creators could spark bidding war

Michael Pachter believes the contracts of Sam and Dan Houser are up in February, and the Rockstar duo will have a number of interested potential employers.

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The biggest news to hit the gaming industry this week is that Electronic Arts has given up on its bid to acquire Take-Two Interactive. The publisher did not explain why it left the negotiating table, saying only that it did so after careful consideration, and that it would not be making another offer.

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter speculated that part of the reason for the deal's collapse was concern over Grand Theft Auto creators Sam and Dan Houser. Pachter said that the pair signed a three-year contract in February 2006, which would be in keeping with Take-Two's announcement the following month of a three-year incentive agreement with key Rockstar Games creative talent.

"The brothers are the driving force behind the Grand Theft Auto series, and are intimately involved in game decisions," Pachter told investors in a note this morning. "While neither writes game code, we believe that they are analogous to the director of a Hollywood film, instrumental in determining the final shape of the ultimate games released. We expect a bidding war for the Housers' services in February 2009, and remain convinced that Take-Two faces two equally unpalatable options: either lose the Housers to another bidder, or pay more to retain them."

Pachter compared the effect of the Housers' potential departure to the Medal of Honor series losing key creative staff in 2002. More than 20 developers from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault formed Infinity Ward and went on to create the Call of Duty series for Activision. Since then, the Call of Duty series has surpassed the Medal of Honor franchise in both critical acclaim and commercial success.

The uncertainty surrounding the Housers' employment status is so great that Pachter believes it will actually keep other publishers from making offers to acquire Take-Two until after February, when their status with the company is more solidified.

Discussion

80 comments
Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Dexs31
Dexs31

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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dg3215
dg3215

I personaly thought GTA 4 was over hyped and over rated so I hope whatever happens that they can come up with a better product for gta 5 or just end the series at 4. But I am sure they will beat this franchise to death..

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

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xyboink
xyboink

i hope that GTA IV is better on PC than the previous version. I hope also that the creators stay at Rockstar and that they don't go to another employers. If they do, i think that the soul of GTA will dissappeared...

donsaurabh
donsaurabh

GTA IV is a great game.i hope rockstar will add new features in the pc version.

SNAKE_2008
SNAKE_2008

i hope thet the IV is better tahn others.i enjoy may time at playing GTA IV . in this game you can play in differen ways.do you know that?

winstonp1977
winstonp1977

I hope it better than San Andreas, and it was great. One thing I would like to see is a language filter. little ears hear everything, and then tell mom.

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

Get_Shorty to be a game director you still have to have a good vision of what you want to do. Its a lot like being a movie director, you need to know how you want cut scenes to be seen in the game, then you need to make sure the visuals are up to standards, characters look appropriate to your in game story. You also need to deal with the pressure of keeping your team moving forward. Your directing a team to achieve there goals that can be just as stressful as any other job in the game industry.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I could see this happing

vguitarman
vguitarman

i don't know if i could choose which one was better. i think its a little too hard to drive in liberty city but they are getting better at the cinematic feel. vice city was great for all the reasons already mentioned, san andreas was huge, maybe too huge, but gta III was the one that made the most impact one me. i remember just being in total awe that something like that even existed. at the time it was such a huge leap forward, like doom or something.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Geez I want that job. To be a "director" of a game and not have the nightmare of writing code for the game.

Stryker521
Stryker521

Big +1 on GTA:VC being the most memorable + fun. World was negotiable, streets were nostalgic, vehicles, police stations, properties, clubs etc. a plenty and great great characters driving the story + great missions! The latest ones just seem to be rather over the top and has fallen victim to its own hype, constantly trying to outdo itself with each title lol

bennae66
bennae66

vice city was the most memorable indeed puppiemaster. tho number 4 was good. san andreas was the first gta game i never bothered to finish since old school 2d auto. if gta5 comes out, let it be in the 80's again. i hate the music but the flavour of the gameworld was just so fantastic.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

I think the GTA series has got worse since VC, GTA is more than just gameplay, its also about the Music and back story, VC is the best of the series by far. If I was Sony or M$ I'd try to buy rockstar or at least the Housers.

raverrozza
raverrozza

while I think rockstar is far more than just the houser brothers talents they would certainly miss them.

diangelogrey
diangelogrey

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diangelogrey
diangelogrey

I think GTA4 is a lot like GTA3 was in the sense that they got the platform right, and then started adding all the other things to it that they added in VC and SA, which combined made it so great. The next GTA to come I think will add more content and the other cool stuff we got spoilt with in San Andreas. I for one hope Take 2 is able to hang on to the brothers services as I don't think Rockstar would be the same without them at the helm.

adamh1981
adamh1981

Well.....given the huge anti-climx that GTA4 turned out to be (despite it getting very undeserved perfect scores from certain reviewers) maybe some companies have lost interest in GTA and predict that future GTA sales may show a decline. The Houser brothers need to buck up and start making the GTA that we all know and love as opposed to a stripped down and less fun inferior incarntaion of it's former self (apart from an improved game engine).

skull_blader
skull_blader

dont wanna sound dumb (probaly cant be avoided though) but what exactly did take2 do for gta? i thought rockstar did everything for gta? and what other games are they associatied with?

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Hopefully Take2 is already in talk with both Housers so they can seal a deal, avoid this when their contracts are up.

endocrine
endocrine

The whole point of creating a corporation is to make money. Shareholders do not care if your company makes people happy or sad as long as there is money in it for them. Since T2 is a corporation, their whole goal in life is more money. People that believe otherwise are naive.

kenkashijd
kenkashijd

they should just team up with ubisoft and be happy their cause everyone else is just in for the money.

caketoo
caketoo

Take2 scoffed at the deal cause they said it was to low,not because they were making some righteous stand aginst ea and fighting for disgruntled gamers. If the housers leave so what they dont have the brand anymore so we'll get another overhyped gta clone in 5 years,better syncronize watches........now!

ragincoley86
ragincoley86

@ RoboWizard No they were right for not taking the deal. It seems to me that the bothers wanted more job security before that made a big business decision like that. So around Feb. 2009 we might see some changes.You also contradicted yourself but it's ok. You say Take Two is stupid because "their shares will never go up back to what they were offered,they could have even negotiated a bit higher," but then you go onto say that "ALL COMPANIES HAVE THE SAME INITIATIVEALL COMPANIES HAVE THE SAME INITIATIVE". Which is it? Well it seems to me that Take Two isn't one of those companies or they would've taken the deal. I guess it's not all about the money with these people and that the way it should be.

TheCrapp
TheCrapp

Now, there are left Ubisoft, THQ, SEGA, Atari, Capcom and Microsoft Games to make a publishing deal with Rockstar, which shall win? we are about to see...but what the hel, i think Rockstar have enough millions to keep the Housers working for Rockstar without financial problems for more time, maybe for the next GTA?, word up...

aygol
aygol

They need to keep them!

TheCrapp
TheCrapp

Now, there are left Ubisoft, Atari, THQ, Capcom, SEGA, and Microsoft Games to make a publishing deal with Rockstar, which shall win? we are about to see..

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

They should play it safe and just give themselves to Ubisoft for free.

dt2003
dt2003

LOL @ LindBergh2007 predictions, thats the stupidest thing i have ever heard. anyway, if the Houser brothers sell out and give in to EA or any other big companies that is only interested in making money, than i'll be still playing GTA4 when GTA15 comes out in 2012

Proman84
Proman84

Hope they stay at Rockstar. It's been a good home.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

SEGA is the most likely next company that will be intrested in buying Take 2. I can feel in my bones. T2 will be the first of many U.S. publishers brought out and moved overseas to Japan. I suspect Sega to be possibly more the interested because of three things: One Sega lost it's most beloved western developer "Visual consepts" four years ago when EA brought the exclusive NFL license. SEGA had founded VC back in 1998 and was crushed to lose them, now it's likely they will get the "Sega Sports" franchise back. Two: SegaSammy's stock would skyrocket if they brought T2 and opened several oversea development teams formally inhoused in the U.S. to market the GTA franchise in Japan and perhas plan a few arcade ports of the GTA games in Japan. Three: when Sega launches another console, this would assure them that they would have the rights to port it to thier console. But T2 isn't the only software publishers that may be bought out by a Japanese publisher here are several possiblities: Capcom buying Ubisoft or Inforgrames/Atari. Konami buying Eidos or THQ. Namco/Bandai buying Midway. I also suspect that the T2 bid will come back and mortally wound EA. They are in serious trouble, and are more then likely to be filing for bankrupcy by 2009. The video game industry is going to collapse and crash with this failing ecomony. It's reality everyone, look into it. 1984 is getting ready to repeat itself.

agni_1
agni_1

They dont even have to write code....man must be the best job ever...

freshgman
freshgman

if they go to ea that would be funny man

franwex
franwex

They will probably start their own studio.

RoboWizard
RoboWizard

"Take Two was stupid in not accepting the deal with EA,their shares will never go up back to what they were offered,they could have even negotiated a bit higher,but they simply said no.Look where they are now."AAAAWWW MY GAWD EA will ruinz tee gameeng inuztree" -.- get out of here.And a word of advice to you guys saying "EA leave the gaming industry alone",the last time I checked,companies do whatever it takes to make maximum profit,THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU...they just want your money.Don't criticize EA for that because ALL COMPANIES HAVE THE SAME INITIATIVE.I wonder if you would "leave the gaming industry alone" if you were the CEO of EA..." Finally someone who sees what's actually going on around here.

STRIFE9288
STRIFE9288

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