Activision May Acquire Take-Two
According to UK gaming site MCV, Activision, the publisher behind Call of Duty, may acquire Take-Two. In case you don't know, Take-Two has published hits like Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead Redemption. This would definitely change the playing field for the gaming industry, but it's not entirely unexpected. Activision merged with Vivendi games back in 2007 in an $18.9 billion deal. This brought both Call of Duty and World of Warcraft under the same publishing house, a powerful combination to be sure.
Even so, Activision's lineup has been shrinking as of late. In fact, Activision recently disbanded it's Guitar Hero division, ending a six-year music gaming icon. Tony Hawk's also going to be taking a year off at least, and True Crime: Hong Kong, an open world crime game, has been cancelled as well. A Take-Two acquisition would help fill out the game catalogue for Activision, as well as giving Activision a lineup to rival Electronic Arts. Take-Two has some powerful franchises, not the least of which being Red Dead, Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, Borderlands, and some sports games, allowing Activision to challenge EA on it's home turf of the sports genre.
There is a big difference between having talks of an acquisition and actually acquiring a company, as EA will tell you. They tried to acquire Take-Two back in 2008 for $2 billion, and were rejected. EA attempted to buy Take-Two straight from the shareholders, but after months of jousting, walked away from the deal. That was back when Take-Two's stock was higher, and when they didn't have such a successful and franchise-worthy game such as Red Dead Redemption. Also, Activision is famously frugal, so they wouldn't offer such a high price as $2 billion.
There's also the problem that these two companies have very different cultures. Take-Two delays games several times, spends a lot on them, and doesn't always make a major hit. Activision likes major hits that can be released on a reliable schedule, like Call of Duty and licensed games. Take-Two is also known to enjoy a certain level of independence, which Activision was only willing to give Vivendi since they already produced big games at a steady rate. This means that if Activision and Take-Two were to join forces, it would be totally unclear as to how several of Take-Two's franchises would operate from that point on. Take-Two has said they don't comment on rumors, and Activision has not commented on the report at all.