EA sings Rockstar's praises

CEO John Riccitiello says that wanting to get its hands on the Grand Theft Auto maker is the main reason behind EA's proposed Take-Two takeover, not sports.

Yesterday, Electronic Arts' bid for Take-Two went hostile, as the company took its $2 billion offer directly to Take Two's shareholders. In February, EA had approached Take-Two execs with the deal, which they turned down, citing the primary reason as that they didn't believe the megapublisher was putting enough money on the table.

Now, EA chief executive officer John Riccitiello has confirmed exactly why it is so interested in acquiring Take-Two in the first place. Riccitiello has told the BBC in an interview that he believes that Take-Two has four of the best studios in the video games industry: Rockstar, Irrational, Firaxis, and Visual Concepts. The one which EA describes as its "primary interest" is Rockstar, which counts Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, Bully, and Midnight Club among its franchises.

Riccitiello praised Rockstar, saying, "I believe the company is fully justified in calling themselves Rockstar because that's what they are in the industry."

He also claimed that the bid wasn't, primarily at least, motivated by a desire to see a competitor in sports games removed from the field. "Sports games are secondary consideration here," he said.

The exec also warned that he believed share prices would plummet should the takeover bid not be successful. "If we don't conclude this transaction, if we walk because of whatever level of inability to get this done, the scary thing is what the stock trades at after we leave, not after April 29," he stated.

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Discussion

392 comments
tidyspidey
tidyspidey

I don't know why EA get so much stick? They, like all large corporations, have a dark-side. It's called business and responsibility to your shareholders. However, they are responsible for some great games too - not least the Burnout franchise which I absolutely adore. Think of how good GTA could be with unlimited resources to create it? Sure, it could get tainted with EA-ness if the ads get too crazy, but then Rockstar would have to stand firm if they do decide to go for EAs offer. Besides, I don't think a mix of real-world and fictional brands/ad logos would look too bad in a GTA game.

HalfBak3dM0nkey
HalfBak3dM0nkey

Everything good would be destroyed. *looks at westwood studios*.... Innovation and fake funny ads in the GTA games would turn into corporate greed. The GTA series would be completely distraught. Rockstar has always stood as a company that has fought "the norm" and anything boring. Rockstar has always released highly-successful innovative games that the GAMERS WANT!! We don't want horribly broken, bugged, and manipulated games anymore. Rockstar is the rising star because they have brought us innovation beyond the nonsense and bland games that EA has brought us. Try to think if any of your favorite games are developed or published by EA, then compare that to Rockstar.

dannyaq
dannyaq

If you are going to use average score of games from sites liek metacritic as an indicator of who messes up games or who makes worse games, then clearly take two is worse than EA. Look at this study compiling the average of all games for most major companies. the 3 years it looked at EA was ahead of take two, and EA was pretty high up in general. http://kotaku.com/363420/so-which-publishers-games-get-the-best-scores-part-ii

Huggy12345
Huggy12345

I think EA will put our love for video games to the grave. Nearly everygame they make SUCK, if this plan goes through we will lose some of the greatest games in the industry like GTA, Midnight Club, and ManHunt. I hope R* will leave Take2 before EA ruins GTA franchise.

zhuge_liang_
zhuge_liang_

EA, praising a sub company of Take Two will not help you. Unless the heads will agree at a certain price, it's still won't help you. Please Take Two, be determined to stand against this threat, like the rebels in Star Wars. Fight if you must, but not openly. Fight hard at the supreme court. Quarrel there.

jacobob
jacobob

Because of the nature of the games industry, bigger organizations have an advantage because they can even out their financial cycles using different releases. Small companies require a massive investment over a long period of time to reap a huge return in a very short time. That said, here's nothing to prevent people from opening new studios. The ones backed by venture capitalists tend to more "take over proof" in the short term. But in the end, the all mighty dollar prevails over ambition anyways.

trystkl1826
trystkl1826

It's smart business for EA to want to get rid of it's competition. EA reps have said so much.

Amir29
Amir29

It seems that attaining franchises and exclusivity contracts is a growing trend for third party publishers. EA destroyed the Madden series once it recieved it's exclusivity contract. Now they're looking to buy into profit by attaining the big names in games and development? Is there no commission in this industry that can regulate all of these take overs to ensure that the consumer gets a quality game and not just a name?

A2Kkilla
A2Kkilla

EA Games! Fu**s up Everything!

DaDude253
DaDude253

EA you finaly found one franchise you cant rewin :P

metalliod
metalliod

EA has nothin for everyone to give except sports,but by buyin ROCKSTAR clearly shows that they want to get higher on the platform just by looking on the upcoming GTA 4 series.They think that this will take them to the lead...is that what big companies will do on the market? How pathetic.

Valchieor
Valchieor

EA is really stooping quite low now. They were at quite the peak back then. Now they wish to seize Rockstar simply for the GTA4 sales and what Rockstar has to offer in future generations. Like past comments say, if the Rockstar branch does get bought over to EA, then they should work as an independent branch that won't be governed by EA's child-friendly affairs.

dead_god86
dead_god86

This is business, big companies wanting to make MORE money, if EA took over Take-Two, the gamining industry would be left with EA, and Activision Blizzard, pretty much. Frasierfreak666 - the EA logo already in on the cover of the greatest gaming franchise...CnC, as you stated. Pesonally i think EA can suck mah ballz, i'll have the E sucking one ball, and the A succking the other ball, and then, i'll have EA sucking mah balls

Cowman
Cowman

Well that's great... if Rockstar sells out, this is the last GTA game I'll invest in. I really hope they stay true and keep things on the edge. How are we going to have Hot Coffee mods with the likes of Mr. Riccitiello at the helm!

frasierfreak666
frasierfreak666

So basically, eventually the video gaming industry will comprise of EA...and maybe Ubisoft. TBH I just don't want EA's logo on the cover of the greatest gaming franchise ever created. Period. EA can't spawn their own top class gaming franchises, so they buy out the competition...look at Westwood for example, arguably the greatest RTS devs OF ALL TIME, but no more. I hope the Take-Two execs laugh in the face of EA and stand proud, because they damn well deserve to with all their excellent gaming series'.

fozzy309
fozzy309

E.A - Eat Ass! Lets face it they suck! gone really down hill over the years. DO NOT SELL!!!! Or GTA and other great games by take two will become another flop of EA !

Irve
Irve

I'm glad EA rates Visual Concepts ... seeing as it cost them $2 billion to stop them makeing better football games than EA

Silicon_Noob
Silicon_Noob

I'm getting to the point where I don't feel as though I can bring myself to purchase an EA game even if it's a game I really want to play.

Mojo2
Mojo2

lol got a reply from take2 :) Response (Michael Ayre) 17/03/2008 02.44 PM Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding Electronic Arts recent offer for Take 2 Interactive. You have however reached the technical support department and as such we are unable to comment on speculation regarding the offer. Any official information will be posted on www.take2games.com Thank you for your continued support of Take 2 Interactive Customer (. .) 14/03/2008 04.23 PM DO NOT SELL TO EA!!!! please.. dont

v8nnwilder
v8nnwilder

R* is R*!!!!! They should stay that way because the moment EA take over we can say goodbye to the R* quality we are all used to. Name one good thing that came out of an EA takeover before! If they do take over R* I hope R* makes a detailed contract that keeps EA out of their way of doing things. That's the only way things will work out. If not GTAIV will be the last good game to come out. And the last one I buy.

blueviper_lm
blueviper_lm

my favorite EA games are Madden, C&C3, and Road Rash II..I think that speaks for itself on the quality of EA titles..

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

this is all that ea can do. take over. ea wakes up every morning and thinks " umm lets c wat do i take over today and wat do i ruin" . wat is ur problem ea? try using that money to create something rather than take over. there was a time ea wasnt just a "i have money so i take over watever i run into" machine. they used to be a real publisher and now they r the shame of the industry.they think every think is on garage sale. im glad at take two's refusal.im just so worried about bioware.

DFalcon999
DFalcon999

Like we didn't know that. The removal/integration of 2k sports was just obvious frosting. EA is going to cause a Second Crash at this rate.

donsocko
donsocko

back off EA, you suck...you are like the king midas, but instead of gold, everything you touch becomes sh*t...you are supposed to be game developers, for gamers, people who pays for quality products...not lame productions with lots of ADs and bad gameplay...PLAESE EVERYONE, HELP ME STOP THIS NONSENSE...i love rockstar games, valve and ubisoft...real game developers...AGAIN, HELP ME STOP THEM, DON'T GIVE THEM ANY MORE MONEY, STOP BUYING EA GAMES...or this would be the beginning of the end for video game industry.

Impostorzim
Impostorzim

Okay so, you have to give EA credit for one thing. As a publisher, they are really good at getting your game out in the open. If you are a new developer with great innovative games at your disposal, EA will really help to make you shine. Only problem is when EA interferes with the development of a game by forcing release dates on games that could use a few more months of work... that's what I'm worried about. Rockstar Games is famous for their delays but when they finally get the game out, it's so worth it. In EA's hands, a game that would be delayed for the better would probably just be released despite the bugs and such...

Dream10459
Dream10459

Eckokid8301 wrote: "He's a liar...i'll say it, sue me...they want to kill 2K Sports completely. they pulled some backdoor BS and bought the rights to football, ending NFL 2K's reign, now they look to destroy my love of basketball games...if u can't beat them (and you're EA), buy them, right ? plain f***in' sick." I motherf***in' co-sign on this ^^

Supperdude9
Supperdude9

"If they do take over Take2 stay happy in the thought that Rockstar has an independent contract" Not for long though. EA wants R*. Sure, Sam Houser and the boys might be our gaming world champions, but they may want to live the high life too. It's like the corporate takeover, of again, a Rockstar. A big conglomorate heard their music, likes it, likes the following of said Rockstar, and wants to make money off of that star. Which may result in the Rockstars downfall, eventually.

Eckokid8301
Eckokid8301

He's a liar...i'll say it, sue me...they want to kill 2K Sports completely. they pulled some backdoor BS and bought the rights to football, ending NFL 2K's reign, now they look to destroy my love of basketball games...if u can't beat them (and you're EA), buy them, right ? plain f***in' sick.

mangepenge
mangepenge

Ea is like the plague of the middle ages you just can't get rid of it and it's everywhere. That's one of the downsides to corporate business taking over the gaming industry . If they do take over Take2 stay happy in the thought that Rockstar has an independent contract

Eckokid8301
Eckokid8301

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

LOGGER13
LOGGER13

"Four of the best studios in the video game industry" ... not for long after EA acquires them all.

phillyclause89
phillyclause89

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

grigjd3
grigjd3

I'm sure GTAIV is the number one reason for the buyout offer. Number two is killing the sports game competition. Number three is that EA kills creativity on it's own so it must always import new creativity. Those are all reasons. Sure GTAIV may be the first reason, but it's not the only reason.

Proman84
Proman84

I beleive that the fact that EA reall wants to reclaim the #1 publisher in the world spot, has something to do with it too.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

I knew if they wanted it they would take it.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

Take 2, fight the machine, keep T2 out of EA hands!

KittenToes
KittenToes

I really hope they dont ruin GTA if it does happen, that would be such a shame to one of the greatest game series!!

elreddiablo
elreddiablo

Westwood use to make great games that true :(

bi0hazard187949
bi0hazard187949

EA done the same thing with Westwood Studios, they bought them and destoried them. EA will do the same thing to Rockstar.

smbius
smbius

I buy alot of EAs games but I literally have to muddle through a majority of crap to find the good ones. As a CEO of ANY company, you NEVER want to talk about stock and just satisfying its shareholders. That is the most stupidest response you could ever give. It's not just stock you have to worry about, but nurturing the customers who've been always buying their games. Alot of talented development teams on EA but Ricitello is an idiot.

infiniteammo
infiniteammo

It's not like EA has ever bought a smaller game company (Oirigin) before, then ruined all of their titles (Wing Commander, Ultima) and made everyone in the company (Richard Garriot, Chris Roberts, every employee they "downsized") wish to god they'd never done business with EA.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Rockstar is the best. That's exactly why the gaming community does not want to see EA own them. Because EA will destroy everything that Rockstar has done (predictably). I hope (when this happens) that EA takes in the 2k code for their sports games and starts looking at it in detail to see what 2k sports does differently. EA could learn a lot from this. Really sucks that EA will truely have no competition in the sports market. I think it will be a long time before I'm ready to purchase another sports title.

mannijam
mannijam

Stop hating. EA is not going to spend 2 billion dollars to ruin great games. That makes no sense. Stop complaining.

Beesters
Beesters

thinking about investing in EA stock......

makemeweak
makemeweak

I'm all for the takeover. I just hope it isn't drawn out, and that it benefits current T2 employees.

Autolycus
Autolycus

and this quarter they will leave records on profit based soley on GTA. LIke it or not, they can lose money because GTA is such a huge title.

markharris31
markharris31

A quick heads up to those who think T2 is doing well on their own... they just posted ANOTHER loss this past quarter, even though they sold over 2 million copies of Bioshock. I've said this before and it still stands, T2 has some great developers, but they are managed by illiterate monkeys. If you've been keeping up with the situation you know that the only reason the T2 execs turned down the EA deal was so they could put in a bunch of provisions for themselves. They just set it up so they get 150% of their salary for 18 months if they are laid off after a buyout. The regular employees? They get regular salary for up to 6 months. THAT is the only reason they turned down the buyout deal, to line their own pockets for doing a terrible job running T2!

raedyn12
raedyn12

Even if EA buys Take Two, people will continue to buy the GTA games and life will go on. People need to get over it.