Electronic Arts (EA) announced that it has terminated acquisition discussions with Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind Rockstar Games’ hugely successful Grand Theft Auto franchise and the recent hit sci-fi shooter Bioshock. In February, Take-Two rejected EA’s $2 billion buy out offer, claiming that EA undervalued its assets.
Strauss Zelnick, chairman of the board of Take-Two, had this to say in response to the EA announcement: ‘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.’
EA CEO John Riccitiello says the company has enough going for itself without Take-Two’s properties under its umbrella. ‘EA is tracking toward a record-breaking year,’ he comments. ‘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’s Grand Theft Auto IV hit stores in May and smashed the record for day-one grosses generated by a video game, or any entertainment product for that matter. The game sold approximately 3.6 million units on its first day at retail to earn $310 million in one day. The title is featured in The Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008, the first Guinness world records book devoted solely to the world of gaming.