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Electronic Arts Craves For Take-Two PDF Print E-mail
Written by Starfox   
Monday, 25 February 2008 15:47

It seems definitely a good day for acquisition topics. The CEO of Electronic Arts John Riccitiello wants to acquire Take-Two (publisher of the Grand Theft Auto series, Bioshock, Jade Empire and even The Elders Scroll IV: Oblivion and its expansions among other things like Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth) and he wants the world to know about that. Hell, he even put online an entire website dedicated to this sole purpose that one can find there. Roughly the whole site can be summed up with one sentence "OK, here's our final offer and you'd better take it."

Aren't this kind of thing supposed to go smoothly behind the scene before a final statement is issued? So why all the fuss? Well that would be because the initial reaction of Take-Two Executive chairman Strauss Zelnick was to refuse EA proposal. Since the usual "behind the scene" business way didn't work, EA just turns now to Take-Two shareholders to make sure they know what opportunity they could miss so eventually they put the pressure on the company to accept the offer. And EA sure made the thing attractive. Their last acquisition proposal is of $26 per share which represents about 63% more than the highest recent closing price for a Take-Two share. We're talking about big bucks here for a final total of about $2 billions.

But well, that's a business matter, not a gamers one. And since I'm a gamer first, am I really the only one to be worried about EA or Vivendi (both companies that obviously have more love for money than for gaming) amazing acquiring rate of smaller publishers? What will remain for us in the future? Just thousand of the same old repackaged crappy games in slightly different flavors with the same gameplay tricks and similar storyline over and over and little actual novelties (well expect for shiny graphics)?

The number of publishers that really want to make new stuff, to listen to gamers and to come with solid products is shrinking fast and most of them are already in the iron sight of either EA or Vivendi (EA already detains more than 25% of Ubisoft shares for example and they acquire new ones constantly so at one point Ubisoft will have to make a choice, or maybe they won't even have the choice...).

But obviously, shareholders are not gamers... So it is to be expected that Take-Two will soon become the property of Electronic Arts, do you like it or not.


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