Archive for the 'analysis' Category

25
Feb
08

EA Plans Ahead on Take Two bid

EA already setup a nice little spot on the internet in lieu of their recent Take Two bid. Guess they have to beat the cyber squatters.  EA’s John Riccitello (EA Head Cheese) even has a nice “Prepare to be assimilated”-esque open letter.

http://www.eatake2.com/

Less interesting is according to DNS Stuff, the name had been registered two days before the bid. I wonder how many other mergers could be figured out before they’re made public. Guess I’ll look starting with blizztivisiontronicarts.com

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24
Feb
08

EA Bids for Take 2

Reported from Kotaku

Electronic Arts just called me to let me know that they are making a bid to aquire Take-Two Inteactive in an all-cash merger of about $2 billion.

The offer set Take-Two’s stock at $26 per a share, about 64 percent over the company’s closing stock price prior to the company’s Feb. 15 offer.

More details to come.

I’ve speculated that Take Two would be sought after in the past.  When the Activision/Blizzard merger happened, I had expected them to be the be the biggest potential buyer of Take Two. Although most would point to Take Two’s hold on Grand Theft Auto 4 as the primary driver of a buyout, I believe (and still believe) Take Two’s most appealing asset is Take Two Sports division.

Sports games are a very lucrative sector of the gaming industry. They have mass market appeal and attract a market outside the regular “Gamer” demographic. They’re also easy to annualize – add a few gameplay tweaks and a roster update and you have a brand new game.

In recent years, the Sports genre in games has been dominated by EA and their EA Sports brand – specifically, Madden. Madden has had a stranglehold on America’s favorite sports primarily because of their exclusive license with the NFL.

On other sports games, EA has had to fight the competition for dominance, mainly Take Two.  For example, T2 Sports and EA year after year fight each other over being the better NHL game. Looking at some of the big review sites through Gamerankings , both of their NHL franchises have been alternating for being the better NHL game in the last few years – a sign of good competition. Take 2 even has their own exclusive franchise through baseball and the MLB. Although not as popular as football, it’s still popular and nothing to sneeze at.

A buy in Take Two would be a buy into the Sports genre.  So, with EA bidding on Take Two, EA is keen on locking down Sports as their genre. Great for them, but not necessarily for the rest of us. Today, if one was to pick up a copy of Madden 08 and play Madden 05, the not a lot of difference – infact, there’s less in ’08 than ’05 in terms of straight up content. Without competition to force developers to make games more fun, how long will it take before players realizing they’re buying the same game year over year?

I’d like Take Two to refuse the bid but I doubt they will. It’s been well known that they’ve been grooming themselves for a buyout for a while. Also, EA is the biggest third party developer out there. They have the most money and can afford a bigger bid than, perhaps, Blizzard Activision.

I don’t like the bid but I don’t blame EA. After making so much money off of Madden, locking down the Sports genre just makes too much sense. And I guess Grand Theft Auto 4 and Ken Levine is kinda nice too.




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Hi, I'm a nobody. But I want to be Somebody - specifically when it comes to games. I've always thought I'd grow out of them, but ever since I was a little kid, I've been playing them. On my quest of becomming Somebody, I've been looking at The Biz and had some crazy ideas of my own. Instead of abandoning them to memory, I've decided to keep a log of them here. It just might come in handy some day.
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