EA Abandons Pursuit Of Take-Two
Analysts and video game journalists (including ourselves) have been proven wrong: EA and Take-Two will not be doing business together. After months of offers, extensions, refusals, and relatively polite talks, Gamers Daily News reports that the two sides have officially broken contact. It's over.
It seems EA is simply no longer in purchasing Take-Two, although we're not entirely sure why. EA has been the pursuers this entire time, while Take-Two has played the role of defender. All talks were taken behind closed doors last month after the media began publishing every tiny move either side made; apparently, something happened behind those doors that made EA reconsider their attempt. Here's what EA CEO John Riccitiello had to say, although it certainly sheds no light on the reason behind their abandonment of the pursuit:
"EA is tracking toward a record breaking year. We’re launching 15 new games including award-winners like SPORE, Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, great new titles from the Sims, new family titles with Hasbro, and the highest quality slate of EA SPORTS titles on this generation of consoles. We’re also expanding beyond our core business with a series of direct-to-consumer launches including Warhammer Online."
Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick was a little more direct, but he doesn't get into specifics, either.
"We remain focused on creating value for our stockholders and our consumers. This has been our goal since EA launched its conditional and unsolicited bid six months ago, a bid which was repeatedly rejected by our stockholders. As part of that commitment, we remain actively engaged in discussions with other parties in the context of our formal process to consider strategic alternatives. We’re especially proud of the success we’ve enjoyed over the past eighteen months and we remain confident in our ability to generate value for stockholders."
To drive the point home even further, Take-Two CEO Ben Feder reminded us that their business "has continued to strengthen since the time EA made its first offer." He's confident the publisher has "an exciting future" ahead of them, primarily driven by the "absence of debt and a terrific lineup of games." ...of course, we all know what Grand Theft Auto IV did for that company, and we're certainly happy to see it. Why EA decided to break things off; we don't know, but it could simply be due to the fact that both publishers are headed in the right direction. And if both sets of shareholders are happy, what's the problem? Just a theory, of course, but we doubt you'll ever hear the real answer.
ANYwho, the saga has finally come to a close. :)
9/14/2008 Ben Dutka