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EA Launches 'Hostile' Bid for GTA Publisher

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the here-we-go dept.

Businesses 171

Games news sites are reporting that EA has issued a new offering to Take-Two's shareholders in an attempt to purchase the company outright. Last month EA offered some $2 billion to Take-Two in an effort to accomplish the same goal. Take-Two declined, and EA took their offer public. Now, Electronic Arts is offering the price of some $26 per share to Take-Two's holders, a generous valuation. "Within ten business days Take-Two is required by law to publish, send or give to shareholders (and file with the Securities and Exchange Commission), a statement as to whether it recommends acceptance or rejection of the latest offer ... Since EA launched its February bid Take-Two said that other parties had approached it regarding a merger, but that it hadn't entered into negotiations with other companies about a deal."

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GTAAAAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738624)

f1rst p0st

If this goes through.. (5, Funny)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738646)

Cue GTA 2009. .. and GTA 2010, GTA 2011, GTA 2012, GTA 2013...

Re:If this goes through.. (2, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738694)

Due to the fact that those games are already hot sellers, I'd say they were already pretty much guaranteed up through GTA 2013.

Re:If this goes through.. (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738698)

and games will be buggy as the coders will be working 80+ weeks.

Re:If this goes through.. (2, Insightful)

fatgraham (307614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740924)

You don't think the coders who currently write the GTA games work 80+ hours a week??

Re:If this goes through.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738914)

Cue GTA 2009. .. and GTA 2010, GTA 2011, GTA 2012, GTA 2013...

Yeah, except with EA in control, don't expect the same GTA edginess. More accurately - queue the nerfing of Rockstar Games. :(

Re:If this goes through.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738940)

Each with identical gameplay, but updated stats on all your favorite drug dealers and prostitutes.

Re:If this goes through.. (0, Offtopic)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739600)

Hope my dealer makes it in , he has some of the best smoke on the east coast !

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740966)

There's no such thing as good smoke on the east coast

Re:If this goes through.. (4, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739036)

The next title of the game has already been developed, and it is about to be released, with guaranteed profits. It is no surprise that EA sees a quick way to boost their quarterly earnings reports.

Re:If this goes through.. (1, Flamebait)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739498)

Exactly. If I were an EA shareholder, I'd be pissed. As another poster pointed out, the amount EA is offering is really over stating what GTA specifically is worth. Don't piss away a crap ton for a short term boost. Although I guess that is the American way.

Remember when it use to be about family, apple pie, and fireworks and shit? Now it's all about the Benjamins.

Re:If this goes through.. (1, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739948)

If EA was really generous they would not be doing this when the stockmarket is in the hell hole. They are obviously taking advantage of the economic situations. Here's a new EA slogan.

EA ---- play the market, not video games.

This is bad for consumers. They should be shutdown. I piss on anyone who spent any money buying their monopolistic football games.

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

Samuel_Gompers (1071856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740406)

Anyone who held onto their shares after the creator of "Majestic" was rewarded with the #1 spot at EALA only has themselves to blame. The same goes for the chance to sell at 60 last autumn - if the self-dealing at that point wasn't obvious to Joe Investor in those acquisitions, they should really stick to indices.

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740670)

Remember when it use to be about family, apple pie, and fireworks and shit? Now it's all about the Benjamins.
My rose tinted spectacles must be broken - I can't quite see this time when humanity wasn't all about the money..?

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

everynerd (1252610) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739082)

And more to this, each successive year will in fact be a new "episode" to the last with no improvements to the game, nor any bug fixes. Also, EA will not fucking fix the [problem] you have reported to [support].

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739748)

But no GTA 2014, since the world ends in 2012.

Re:If this goes through.. (1)

Deadfyre_Deadsoul (1193759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740440)

I shalt giggle one day when EA gets shutdown.

Bastards buy out everyone who has an idea since they cant make something new up any more.

No better, and possibly worse then Microsuck.
Rennovate, dont innovate. Errr....reverse that...?

FRIST POEM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738714)

FRIST POEM

A rainbow comes pouring into my window, I am electrified.
Songs burst from my breast, all my crying stops, mistory fills
        the air.
I look for my shues under my bed.
A fat colored woman becomes my mother.
I have no false teeth yet. Suddenly ten children sit on my lap.
I grow a beard in one day.
I drink a hole bottle of wine with my eyes shut.
I draw on paper and I feel I am two again. I want everybody to
        talk to me.
I empty the garbage on the tabol.
I invite thousands of bottles into my room, June bugs I call them.
I use the typewritter as my pillow.
A spoon becomes a fork before my eyes.
Bums give all their money to me.
All I need is a mirror for the rest of my life.
My frist five years I lived in chicken coups with not enough
        bacon.
My mother showed her witch face in the night and told stories of
        blue beards.
My dreams lifted me right out of my bed.
I dreamt I jumped into the nozzle of a gun to fight it out with a
        bullet.
I met Kafka and he jumped over a building to get away from me.
My body turned into sugar, poured into tea I found the meaning
        of life
All I needed was ink to be a black boy.
I walk on the street looking for eyes that will caress my face.
I sang in the elevators believing I was going to heaven.
I got off at the 86th floor, walked down the corridor looking for
        fresh butts.
My comes turns into a silver dollar on the bed.
I look out the window and see nobody, I go down to the street,
        look up at my window and see nobody.
So I talk to the fire hydrant, asking "Do you have bigger tears
        then I do?"
Nobody around, I piss anywhere.
My Gabriel horns, my Gabriel horns: unfold the cheerfulies,
        my gay jubilation.

Nov. 24th, 1957, Paris
Peter Orlovsky

I'm no big fan of Take-Two (4, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738718)

But still, I hope that EA doesn't take hold of them. EA's gaining way too much influence on gaming, and considering how they run things into the ground and churn out mediocre games on the backs of good games makes me worried that they'll grab as many companies as they can, and run them and their brands right into the ground.

Obligatory Penny Arcade. Different company, but I still feel it applies here.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/12/05 [penny-arcade.com]

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738838)

But still, I hope that EA doesn't take hold of them. EA's gaining way too much influence on gaming, and considering how they run things into the ground and churn out mediocre games on the backs of good games makes me worried that they'll grab as many companies as they can, and run them and their brands right into the ground.

I watch them to do this to Maxis [wikipedia.org] after they bought them out. We went from an absolutely great concept (Sim City) that was implemented nearly perfectly in Sim City 2000 (given the technological limitations of the time) to unstable bloated garbage that cared more about pretty graphics (Sim City 3000) then gameplay and required Google's server farm to run at a decent speed....

And don't even get started on 'The Sims'. Even if I thought it was a good concept (which it might be -- but it's no Sim City, IMHO) WTF is up with twenty thousand different "expansion" packs? They neglected a great franchise (Sim City) in favor of using the brand name to push a crappy product that they sold in 30 different parts.

Why'd ya have to sell out Will?

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739244)

"And don't even get started on 'The Sims'. Even if I thought it was a good concept (which it might be -- but it's no Sim City, IMHO) WTF is up with twenty thousand different "expansion" packs?" Money? I totally agree with you, and it's easy to take the high moral ground, but remember your* mutual funds are invested in companies like these. * the average middle class citizens

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (5, Informative)

Gman14msu (993012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739290)

Well actually Sim City 4 was, and still is, a solid effort from them. They expanded the ability to users to modify aspects of the game and there is still an active community creating user content 5 years after it came out. Many people complained that the game was becoming too complicated and thus didn't garner widespread success. But seriously to summarize the Sim City franchise and not include Sim City 4 does not do the game justice.



Now don't get me wrong, I think EA has done a lot of bad to the gaming industry. Their exclusive contracts with the NFL and NCAA for football (which forced 2k Sports to go exclusive with the MLB), have in my eyes, ruined the sports game industry. Not to mention the worthless Sim City societies that EA recently put out, that wasn't even developed by Maxis.




Seriously though, if you want to> see a great game in development, one that will become the new Sim City, check out Cities Unlimited, http://cuplanet.com/ [cuplanet.com] . Monte Cristo is taking in a lot of public input on their forums for the new game and by all accounts it looks like the new Sim City that people have been waiting for.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739540)

thanks for the link to cuplanet.com - that looks like it could turn out to be pretty outstanding.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739690)

Well actually Sim City 4 was, and still is, a solid effort from them. They expanded the ability to users to modify aspects of the game and there is still an active community creating user content 5 years after it came out. Many people complained that the game was becoming too complicated and thus didn't garner widespread success. But seriously to summarize the Sim City franchise and not include Sim City 4 does not do the game justice.

To be honest, I've never played Sim City 4. I found it pretty hard to justify giving EA any of my money after the disaster that was Sim City 3000 (combined with their questionable business/employment practices). I have heard some good things about Sim City 4 but I still think the franchise was largely ruined with all the focus on 'The Sims' and the bloatware/disaster that was Sim City 3000.

Perhaps part of that is nostalgia -- I grew up playing the original Sim City on SNES and Sim City 2000 was my first introduction to computers as a kid -- used to spend hours upon hours playing it at the local library before we got a computer. Nothing that has come since has seemed anywhere near as good. FWIW I feel the same way about Civilization -- I still think the best one was Civ2, though at least with that franchise they never sold out to the likes of EA and the new titles are actually playable and well made.

Seriously though, if you want to> see a great game in development, one that will become the new Sim City, check out Cities Unlimited, http://cuplanet.com/ [cuplanet.com] . Monte Cristo is taking in a lot of public input on their forums for the new game and by all accounts it looks like the new Sim City that people have been waiting for.

I'll have to give that a look. I've been somewhat bored lately and haven't really found any decent (modern) game titles that remotely interest me. The last game title that interested me enough to actually pay for and play was an independent homage to Wargames called DEFCON [everybody-dies.com] .

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (1)

ASimPerson (138798) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739998)

Like you I loved 2000 and didn't really like 3000. 4 is pretty much the definitive Sim City game now and will be until Spore comes out.

Speaking of Spore, I like to think that's why there hasn't been a new Sim City lately... why stop work on a new (real) Sim City when you're working on the end-all-be-all of the simulation genre?

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739460)

Why'd ya have to sell out Will?

I believe the technical answer is "truck loads of cash."

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (5, Informative)

Lemming42 (931274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739642)

And don't even get started on 'The Sims'. Even if I thought it was a good concept (which it might be -- but it's no Sim City, IMHO) WTF is up with twenty thousand different "expansion" packs? They neglected a great franchise (Sim City) in favor of using the brand name to push a crappy product that they sold in 30 different parts.
The Sims is the far and away the best-selling PC game franchise in history. Every year since "The Sims" was released in 2000, a Sims product (sometimes more than one!) has held a top 5 spot in PC sales, and according to Wikipedia it's sold more than 70 million units as of January 2007.

Now I'm not saying it's the best game in world, but it's certainly a success.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740196)

I'm not sure that's all that good of a metric. A 'Sims' product may have been on the shelves, and if you aggregate them it's the best selling, but a starcraft product has been on the shelves since 1998. And it's the same product. In glorious 800x600 sprite graphics!

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (2, Insightful)

Durzel (137902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740214)

"The Sims" is a licence to print money as far as EA is concerned, it really is as simple as that.

You can't exactly blame them for milking the cash cow when it has such a huge following.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (1)

Morkano (786068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740550)

Exactly. What, should they NOT make a game that people obviously want to buy?

I disagree with a lot of the stuff EA has done, but The Sims is fine.

Women and Sims (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740868)

Oddly enough, I've noticed that while my female friends couldn't care less about most games, they go absolutely crazy over The Sims. Perhaps this effect has something to do with that game's popularity.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (1)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740904)

Why'd ya have to sell out Will?
Sold out? Yeah, Will sold out. He sold out Best Buy, he sold out Gamestop, he sold out WalMart, he sold out Circuit City... The reason EA focuses more on The Sims than SimCity is that IT MAKES THEM MORE MONEY. Convince ten to twenty million people to buy Sim City 5 when it comes out and maybe they'll start paying it more attention.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738856)

Oh, there's plenty of EA related penny arcade material:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/11/15 [penny-arcade.com]

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (2, Funny)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739006)

My favorite:

Cut Yourself [penny-arcade.com]

EA Crap coding (3, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739370)

Indeed. Every time I think of EA's acquisitions, I think about my more recent experience with C&C 3. I actually bought about 3-6 months after the release, so there were already patches, but still tons of bugs. Netplay was particularly horrible.

Forward to today, EA is touting the release of the addon to C&C3, but many bugs still exist in the game. I think the worst part is their online service, which seem to tie in all users regardless of location, which in many case pretty much guarantees a game with lag and dropouts. They've certainly got little on competitors like Blizzard, which - despite various other complaints about battle.net - generally has a reliable online experience, and has separate servers for the various world-regions.

EA is a bubblegum gaming company, and they turn all the companies they buy into such with little regard to quality or customer satisfaction.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22740140)

But still, I hope that EA doesn't take hold of them. EA's gaining way too much influence on gaming, and considering how they run things into the ground and churn out mediocre games on the backs of good games makes me worried that they'll grab as many companies as they can, and run them and their brands right into the ground.

I agree that this will almost certainly happen, but at the same time, perversely, I think it might be a good idea. For one thing, I doubt GTA 4+ or whatever they call it will be as successful or groundbreaking. Better that the Take Two crowd take their money and run. If EA gets it before it's released, they'll put their "stamp" on it and the franchise will effectively end. Even if they don't, sales will drop and the blame will be on them anyway. They'll still sell but they'll miss projections, and perhaps (hopefully) miss the purchase amount of Take Two.

Why is this good? Because it will finally be obvious to everyone, including EA and their stockholders, that they are not a game developer. They are shit pumpers and they kill sure things. It will either cause a corporate change (like Eidos), and/or hopefully end their vacuuming up of better studios.

Re:I'm no big fan of Take-Two (1)

kyofunikushimi (769712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741224)

(FTA) There is also a severance plan for other employees that has been put in place; they stand to get up to 1.5 times their salary for up to 18 months if Take Two is purchased by another company.

On the other hand, is Take Two hiring?

Very Generous (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738734)

At first I though, hey, their stock is at $25.54, $26 a share is not so generous. Then I went on to see that before the $2 billion bid it was bouncing between $16 & $18 [google.com] for months. In fact, it hadn't seen $26/share since 1999. I can only assume the $2 billion bid was what caused it to spike, nothing else indicates that.

So the reason it's so generous is because EA is paying their own price that was the result of them inflating Take Two's stock prices. They want this company. Badly. Desperation or good business move? I'm not sure. Maybe it's just the big dog gobbling up the competition or EA expanding to other types of games and gamers? In my eyes, it's a shame for the sake of diversity though. EA would never take the risks Take Two has.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738820)

Isn't that a regular maneuver when buying a company ? Anticipating a rise due to the huge ask volume of a buyout is common I think.

Re:Very Generous (4, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738900)

EA offered to buy them a couple weeks ago. Take Two refused. So now EA is pissed and wants in before the next release of GTA. IMO, this is a bad move for EA. GTA has been a good franchise, but it is all TT has. Plus, how many times can you rehash the same thing (whoops that's what EA is famous for lol). I'm not so sure I would value GTA in it's current state at 2B. The GTA franchise has sold 66M game to date. At $50/each that's 3.3B over the life of the franchise. You have to assume the franchise will continue to grow for a 2B price tag. Speaking of growth, will Nintendo even let a game like GTA on the wii?

Re:Very Generous (3, Informative)

forsey (1136633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738986)

Manhunt 2 is a far more violent game than GTA and it's on the Wii. Nintendo, like Sony and MS, only refuse games rated AO.

Re:Very Generous (5, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739044)

IMO, this is a bad move for EA. GTA has been a good franchise, but it is all TT has.
It's the biggest franchise they have but it's not even close to "all they have". Just to name a few they have Bioshock, Civilization, and all of the 2K Sports franchises.

Re:Very Generous (4, Interesting)

shlepp (796599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739622)

I have a feeling this whole buying thing has to do with 2k sports, EA's only rival in the sports games.

Re:Very Generous (5, Informative)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739078)

While GTA is certainly Take Two's biggest franchise, its far from their only valuable property. Rockstar has also developed both Manhunt games, Midnight Club and Bully, all of which were quite successful. Take Two also owns 2K, which includes 2K sports, EA's only real remaining competitor in the sports gaming market. Gathering, TalonSoft and Jack of All Games are also under the Take Two umbrella and all have had their successes. Not to say GTA isn't EA's primary interest in the takeover, but obviously the single franchise isn't worth $2B.

Re:Very Generous (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739666)

Personally, I think EA has two reasons to acquire Take Two: Remove 2k Sports as competitor, and get GTA in the process. 2K Sports was a major thorn in EA's side, as it forced EA to reduce the price of its sports game to 19.99 for a little while. That's $40 per game in lost revenue. Not all games would have sold, but I can guarantee you that this was a serious hit to EA's bottom line. I'd even argue that this deal, contrary to the one that paid nearly $1B for Bioware and Pandemic, will have a positive ROI within a few years, based on nothing but GTA profits and lack of competition from 2K Sports.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739120)

EA has stated that they want Take Two for the sports games. GTA is a bonus - like the toy in a box of cracker jacks.

Re:Very Generous (4, Informative)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739128)

GTA has been a good franchise, but it is all TT has.
Hardly. You may or may not be aware that Take Two owns 2k Games and 2k Sports. Thus, all of the following have been published by Take Two. Any of it familiar?
  • Bioshock
  • Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
  • Civilization IV
In fact, not only were Civ IV and Bioshock published by Take Two, they were developed by studios that are currently owned by Take Two (Firaxis and the creatively-named 2K Boston/2K Australia, formerly Irrational Games).

Re:Very Generous (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739356)

You're right about EA wanting a piece of the next release but I don't think it has to do with GTA, it has to do with the upcoming BioShock 2 [portalit.net] .

Re:Very Generous (2, Insightful)

Tritoch (989763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739390)

Don't forget about Globalstar/2K Play. Carnival Games was a huge success on Wii (now coming to DS), and they have a number of properties like Dora the Explorer that are cheap to develop and sell well to the casual crowd. Games like that don't give TT any cred with hardcore gamers, but they're cheap and easy ways to make a lot of money. They should also integrate well with EA's own casual initiatives, which have only gained steam recently with EA's rebranding efforts and focus on the Wii and DS.

Re:Very Generous (1)

uep (1253998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739678)

That isn't "all TT has." EA also gets a bonus from this by eliminating the competition. 2k sports happens to be another big sports franchise. Not to mention 2k games that released a relatively unknown game named Bioshock last year...

Re:Very Generous (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740120)

Okay, I think we've covered extensively that take two has other games. About 10 times in fact. The original point was that GTA is probably why EA is making this move right now. At the very least, Take two's stock will be much higher AFTER the release than before, possibly even more than this hostile takeover bid. They aren't making this move entirely to get GTA, but it's probably the reason the blob is moving now.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740602)

"The original point was that GTA is probably why EA is making this move right now."
The original point was that Take Two only has GTA and since GTA is coming out shortly, EA wants to get in on it. That argument comes from an incorrect premise. The original poster hasn't apologized and admitted his error. This discussion cannot continue until that apology is received.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Rhone (220519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739930)

Speaking of growth, will Nintendo even let a game like GTA on the wii?

I'd say the existence Scarface, The Godfather (GTA-like games, one of which goes overboard with verbal profanity), and Manhunt 2 (also by Rockstar--and far more disturbingly violent than any GTA) on the Wii make the answer to your question obvious.

The question, then, is simply whether Rockstar wants to make a GTA game for the Wii, and the answer is apparently "no".

Re:Very Generous (1)

killbill! (154539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740200)

will Nintendo even let a game like GTA on the wii?


The Godfather: Blackhand Edition? Made by EA by the way... and arguably one of the most fun games on the Wii.

Re:Very Generous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22740394)

TT also produced Bioshock, and evolved from the team that produced System Shock 2, both easily far surpassing any GTA games in quality, and Bioshock even sold well.

Re:Very Generous (3, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738964)

I'm wondering what chart you're looking at. The Chart you lined peaks at $10.87 in 1999. It was over $28 in 2005.

Take Two was really undervalued because on one round of poor selling titles, and various lawsuits. EA realized this. It would be irresponsible for them to bid more than they thought the company was worth. This offer is the same as the previous one. $26/share == $2billion.

The analysts (who may be full of crap, of course) all seem to be saying that they expect it to take $29 - $31/share to get a deal done. Will EA pony up another $500mil? If you ask me, people who like video games should hope not.

Re:Very Generous (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739000)

I'm wondering what chart you're looking at. The Chart you lined peaks at $10.87 in 1999. It was over $28 in 2005.
You're completely correct, I mistakenly looked at the dates as the bar slid over and misread them to be labeling the graph above instead of the graph below. Please replace 1999 with 2005 in my original post.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740842)

I'm not sure about that. Creative people don't need EA to make great games, they just need money...wherever it comes from. Once you've brought your creation as far as it can go, and it becomes a "release a new version every year before christmas"...it's really time to move on anyway. It's just hard to walk away from a paycheck. EA buying out TT, and then the inevitable fallout of people smart enough to know they can do better, might actually improve things for gamers.

Re:Very Generous (1)

Marcosll (1158487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739112)

Yeah, if EA buys out Take Two it will really be the beginning of the end for that franchise. Although, to be quite honest, them removing planes already was a huge step back. I don't think the game will be delayed because it's pretty much ready though. Estepona Apartments [palmestates.net]

Jacked (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738736)

Sounds like take 2 is gonna get JACKED.

doesn't ea have enough publishers? (3, Insightful)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738812)

they own bioware and pandemic. now they want take-two? this is becoming a monopoly on game publishing. the only real competitor is activision, and they are flailing right now.

Re:doesn't ea have enough publishers? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739926)

Activision was recently purchased by Vivendi Universal and is being rolled up with Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard's properties are a license to print money so Activision should be able to get their bearings again.

Re:doesn't ea have enough publishers? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741098)

They are no EA, but Stardock makes/publishes great games too. And they are very profitable & not going anywhere for a while.

That's gotta hurt! (5, Funny)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738814)

I'd love to hear John Madden do color commentary over GTA.

Re:That's gotta hurt! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739046)

I'h-I'h-If he steals that car.... it's a felony.

Oh boy! (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738850)

I just can't wait for GTA: Livin' Large, GTA: Hot Date, GTA: Makin Magic and GTA: Vacation.

Re:Oh boy! (4, Funny)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739430)

What about GTA: Hot Coffee?

Oh wait.....

Re:Oh boy! (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740152)

What about games for girls?

Grand Theft Pony & Grand Theft Barbie.

Got to mix and match those licenses and franchise.

cue the jokes (3, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738888)

I'm expecting plenty of jokes about EA paying the fee, taking Take Two for a "ride," robbing Take Two of all its money and professional services, then firing a cap into the business before driving off.

Re:cue the jokes (2, Funny)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738976)

I think they would be more along the lines of:
  1. EA picking up TT, pulling into a secluded area (cue squeaking suspension).
  2. Run them over for all the money they just paid TT.
  3. Profit!!

Re:cue the jokes (1)

seer (21011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740460)

I was thinking more along the lines of EA saying, "I NEED this!" as it rips open T2 and burns out with only a one star rating.

Take Two Responds (3, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738904)

R1, R2, L1, R2, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up, GTFO.

Surrender. (3, Funny)

SpaceDreamer (1255760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738922)

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

An oldie but goodie (2)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738968)

I loved this comment from a while back when they were trying to by Ubisoft:

What's going on indeed... [slashdot.org]

EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739098)

One of my old college buddies recently got a job for EA Mythic, and he was impressed that everyone there simply thought of the place as "Mythic," not EA. EA wanted a piece of the MMO pie, but has had a relatively hands-off approach.

Considering that Take Two's franchises are the same Genres as what EA has been churning out, it probably won't be exactly the same approach. In years past, I would have accused EA of being a bunch of Suits who care about nothing more than Quarterly reports and annual Madden installments. While a large part of that is still true, the industry has realized that gamers don't like to buy crap. Bad press and bad reviews can make or break a game's financial success.

This is still a calculated move by EA to increase their market share and boost their quarterly reports. But the end consumers certainly aren't going to lose out because of it.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739298)

EA has already been acting like a bitch by buying out exclusive licensing deals with the NFL. They seem to be attempting to get their only remaining competition in the sports market out of the way by simply buying them.

I understand that the video game industry is like any other industry in that most companies exist solely for earning as much money as possible...but you know what? There are still some people that take pride in their work, and many of the folks that work under Take Two fall into that category. If they wanted to be owned by a big publisher like EA, they would have accepted the offer. They obviously don't want it, and EA is an even bigger asshole for trying to muscle their way in after they had the door slammed in their face.

As a person with high respect for those that create not just for profit but to make their creative vision a reality, I find EA's deal to be a slap in the face to gamers all over the world. EA has pissed off a LOT of people, and they seem to be content with adding to that number. Fuck EA, fuck their underhanded business practices, and lastly fuck you for supporting and defending them.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739364)

Also doesn't EA own the rights to System Shock?

So, Bioshock exists because the studio that created System Shock left EA but couldn't take their IP with them. So what happens when EA buys Take2?

Will there be a need for a "spiritual successor" to Bioshock?

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739414)

Will there be a need for a "spiritual successor" to Bioshock?


Doubtful, at least not for the next game in the series. It's already been confirmed [wikipedia.org] that an official sequel is in the works.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739918)

EA has already been acting like a bitch by buying out exclusive licensing deals with the NFL

Blame the NFL for that, they are the ones that wanted the exclusive deal. EA had no recourse but to get it. (Madden is a cash cow for them, they wouldn't give the up willingly)

I can almost guarantee that if EA buys TT, most of the development staff is going to quit, and reform elsewhere. That's how it done in the gaming industry.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (2, Informative)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739334)

You realize of course that EA has owned Origin Systems since 1992, and has been running Ultima Online since 1997, right? ...right?

EA is the grandfather of the MMO.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1)

Tritoch (989763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739452)

Yeah, and EA also killed one of the greatest RPG franchises in history at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I played UO for 4.5 years after launch, but the mess that was Ultima IX undid a lot of goodwill generated by UO... Of course, I'm sure someone will point out that Meridian 59 was out well before UO and therefore should be the "grandfather of the MMO", but UO really popularized the genre and paved the way for titles like EverQuest and WoW to follow.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740654)

Wikipedia agrees with you(albiet with no source) but I really dont remember it that way. I remember distinctly, when the bitching about UO turned from fuck OSI to fuck ea. Maybe they just gained more control over the games structural decisions, but there was definitely a point where EA took over UO and ruined the shit out of it, (around year 2000?).
I was there, I remeber.

Re:EA Takeovers aren't as bad as you'd think. (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740828)

OSI was formally dissolved soon after Richard Garriott left EA/OSI, which is when it was a sudden revelation to some that EA had been in charge the whole time.

NO! (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739266)

This can't happen. EA has fucked over too many franchises already.

Monopoly (2, Interesting)

gpalyu (995482) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739456)

If this was to go through, it would pretty much mean the end of major sports games competition, eh?

Buy them with their own money (1)

Aggrav8d (683620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739468)

Just like AOL did with Time Warner. Seriously, if EA is willing to pay 2B then they're willing to go for more, so get concessions in that put TT management at the top of EA and voila!

How big does EA have to get before a government forces them to split up, like the phone companies? Ok, sure, it's not an essential service. (What is that howling sound?) It is, however, so large that ownership of TT would mean nobody could seriously compete with them. That's an effective monopoly. Ms. Indie gamer isn't going to influence shelf space at Best Buy or tell MS what the XBox Live price point will be.

Fuck EA (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739510)

There are two games I want to see: a new Wing Commander and a modern update of Syndicate. Neither will get made.

As far as Wing Commander goes, to hell with the FMV. Sure, if you want to do video scenes, animate the 3D models but no more live action! The gameplay went to crap with live action. I want quality along the lines of Wing Commander 1 and 2. The flight models in those games were based more on WWI than the way Star Wars did it, cribbing from WWII. I don't care, it looked gorgeous and was a frickin' blast to play. Neat-looking ships, big explosions, plenty of eye-candy. Bring back the Kilrathi, give them proper symmetrical ship designs, make the Dralthi look like a deadly flying pancake again. Give me a proper joystick and this would be a hell of a game. There just hasn't been any decent space combat stuff out there. Yes, there have been a few attempts, mainly from indie publishers, but the games just haven't been good, the controls feel all crummy and the dogfights just aren't fun.

As for Syndicate, we have the technology to simulate those full city-scapes in 3D. When agents walk behind buildings, we could have little "transparency bubbles" pop up so we can see what's going on on the other side. With modern particle effects, these firefights could be epic. With deformable terrain, we could see whole city blocks destroyed. Ladies and gentlemen, that would be some quality entertainment.

And while I'm pining away for the wonderful games of yore, I'm seeing a banner ad for a nintendo DS game of insect bukkake. This must be the latest EA abortion.

Re:Fuck EA (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739826)

you, my friend, need to play syndicate wars, the sequel to syndicate, released by bullfrog many years ago, city is all 3d, only agents and people are sprites, completely destructible terrain, etc, walk behind buildings they do become transparent, basicly every feature you wish for is in it, but it's not that pretty as it's designed to run on a pentium 133 smoothly, but still a great gfame.

Re:Fuck EA (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740834)

Hmm, I'd skipped it because 1) my computer couldn't run it and 2) I heard it was a disappointment, much in the same way X-Com 2 was a disappointment compared to the original.

The Syndicate expansion, American Revolt, that was just evil. It's the video game equivalent of End of Evangelion. I have no idea what the fans did to piss those devs off!

Re:Fuck EA (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741024)

I remember not loving Syndicate Wars nearly as much as I did Syndicate. I don't quite remember why though. I'd buy another Syndicate game almost instantly.

I remember American Revolt. I remember lots and lots of rocket launchers, but that's about it...

Ah, syndicate. Populous too.

Re:Fuck EA (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741168)

If you want a new X-Com, give this [gogamer.com] a try.

EA's motivation (4, Insightful)

iamghetto (450099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739586)

EA's main motivation for this acquisition is to regain the old price point for their flag ship sports titles. Take-Two publishes basketball, basebeall & hockey games (and to a lesser degree football) games that are direct competitors to EA's flagship sport titles. However, Take-Two at times has priced these titles as low as $29.99 which causes EA to drive it's own prices down.

Therefore, buying Take-Two would rid EA of there sports-related competition and all them to price their games at whatever they want. EA is one record saying that this is their intention, and that GTA is just icing on the cake.

After GTAIV is released Take Two will be worthless (1)

jrhawk42 (1028964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739636)

Well worthless for a couple more years until GTAV is released, or Bioshock 2. If you look at the company's history their projects have a tendency to run fairly long which give the company financial droughts from year to year. Right now take-two's profits are looking pretty good with bioshock, manhunt, and GTA, but they really don't have any money makers on the horizon until 2009 (if bioshock 2 releases in 09). It's tough to see what EA wants from Take-Two since GTA, and Bioshock are hardly worth 2 billion it doesn't seem likely they plan on stripping these franchises and closing down everything else, and there's not too much else profitable at 2k.

Re:After GTAIV is released Take Two will be worthl (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740254)

I think you answered your own question. Take Two has several extremely profitable properties, they just take too long between releases to provide consistent profitability. That's exactly the sort of situation that an EA executive can look at and say "Hmmm... if we marry those properties to our slave ship mentality, we can make huge bucks!"

Instead of GTA IV, it'll be GTA 2008, 2009, 2010...

Kids (2, Insightful)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22739764)


Don't hate on EA for making decisions that increase the total value of its own company. Instead, pity the poor game programmers. Kids, I have friends who work for that disaster of a company, and I had my own chance at it. The office in Vancouver is decked out to the 9's, but you'd better be ready to sacrifice your soul to the devil. Don't even bother applying if you have a family.

Seriously, think of the programmers.

..and the AI guys, although, they don't really do any work :)

Waiting on 2k20 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22739980)

After NFL 2K4, that was my favorite football game. The presentation was great, and I was looking forward to improvements on the next installments... until EA ruined it all. Now I have to wait until their exclusive license is over (not even sure if 2020 is long enough). I'm sure they'll ruin this company. It may do them some good to take a look at the 2KX codebase just to learn how to code some better football games. This is the best case scenario if EA takes over. Wishful thinking on my part? Probably.

How long until... (1)

Powercube (1179611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740056)

The EA's new GTA project manager demands his team of programmers to put in a psychotic turtle named Dwight to win back his estranged son?

10 days! (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740390)

That's insane. How are you supposed to value a growing software company in 10 days. WoW! The people who write these laws have no business sense.

Electronic Arts (2, Interesting)

Schmapdi (840038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740750)

EA - Actively trying to ruin your favorite hobby for a good 20 years now. I mean really - are they not going to be happy until they own every game developer in existence and can charge 60 bucks a year for an incremental update to every franchise and brand under the sun?

Nice timing (4, Insightful)

ecavalli (1216014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741296)

The offer is a clever move by EA, and if this particular offer isn't accepted, another one like it will be very soon.

As a company, Take Two is simply falling apart. They're being sued by shareholders [next-gen.biz] for not accepting EA's original $2 billion buy out offer, the company is constantly under attack by politicans, parent's groups and religious leaders and aside from the temporary stock price hike attributed to EA's lust for the firm, the company's shareholders are jumping ship and dumping stock [next-gen.biz] faster than you can say "GTA made me do it."

EA has foreseen the collapse of the Take Two and has decided it wants to salvage Grand Theft Auto -- not for any altruistic reason, but for the hundreds of millions of dollars each new game automatically earns. They may not be able to create an original football game, but EA certainly has the cash and the legal know-how to absorb Take Two.

Prediction: EA will own the firm by the release of GTA4.
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