Ready for some industry BS? Because this article is going to be dripping with it.
First, the facts: a report from Market Watch suggests that a recent bump in Take-Two’s stock prices – of about 4.7 percent – is because Sony is currently in high-level talks with the higher-ups of Take-Two to actually acquire them.
Needless to say, this would be an enormous deal. Take-Two was, at one point, the biggest publisher in the world (thanks largely to their ownership of Rockstar) and to be purchased by Sony would mean that one of the most extensive and popular IP’s and game libraries would be at their sole disposal. It would also have to be tremendously expensive: Grand Theft Auto 5 alone is worth something like a billion dollars, and if you throw Red Dead Redemption 2 on top of that, it would likely be the largest, most expensive acquisition deal in the history of video games.
That said, is it likely?
Well, the report by Market Watch is completely devoid of details, only mentioning that the rumor stems from Joel Kulina, the head of technology and media training at Wedbush Securities, a privately held investment firm. So it doesn’t come from anyone inside either mentioned companies. On top of that, just from an outsiders view, this deal seems unlikely: Take-Two resisted mergers in the past with EA, and to partner up with Sony would mean cutting potential revenue streams by 2/3rds, something the famously greedy CEO would likely balk at. Not to mention, this has not been a terribly strong year for Sony, and being able to offer the kind of cash they’d need to buy the company outright seems incredibly unlikely.
I don’t think this rumor holds any water, personally. But if it is true, it would be a bad sign: between Sony and Microsoft, it would mean triple-A developers would be drawing lines in the sand, and we’d get less and less true multi-platform games.
But then again, if consoles are going to survive, that just might be the only way to do it.