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.

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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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