Electronic Arts to Takeover Take-Two, Or Not

By August 21, 2008

The saga between Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Take-Two (TTWO) continues as takeover bids are proposed and rejected. The transactioninfo.com coverage only goes back to February, but late last August EA had already made an offer to the New York-based creators of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Repeated offers to Take-Two have all been rejected, for various reasons enumerated by Strauss Zelnick, Executive Chairman of the Board of Take2. Among these reasons is that the unsolicited proposal from EA, made back in February, is simply inadequate. The tender offer of $25.74 per share was "inadequate, and undervalued" the franchises and business performances of Take-Two. Interestingly enough, the market saw TTWO at $23.07 August 19, the day after the conditional offer


EA's success has various contributors including Pogo.com, a casual game site, Steven Spielberg's Boom Blox for the Nintendo Wii, and the much anticipated Spore , a single-player biological-simulation PC game that shares itself online with other players to create a universe as it evolves. With such heavy-hitting titles ahead and behind, various gaming blogs were placing bets about the deal's turnout.

Despite the market reaction, Motley Fool says there is no way that Take-Two would take a lower bid, especially with Grand Theft Auto IV sales reaching record-breaking levels.

At the time of the earlier offer in February, the latest installment of GTA was much-hyped, but had yet to deliver the success that it would months later. This success was despite/because of the scandalized media portrayal of realistic crime and violence portrayals, in addition to possible side-missions involving other themes.

The talk of the day was centered upon Bioshock , released last year for Microsoft's XBox 360. This first-person-shooter sparked much ethical debate, as  violent action games do, but propelled it into a more philosophical arena with its theme of objectivism and dual-possibility gameplay narrative.

If the rebellious nature of both of these games has anything to say about its company's business ethic, and the fact that they are both such huge successes, it comes as no surprise that Take-Two can feel comfortable facing a video game juggernaut like Electronic Arts.

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