Like a blind sunburned gunslinger crawling through the desert, Grand Theft Auto IV is either the oasis or the well ahead for Take Two. The question of which it is will likely determine Take Two’s survival. With a weak quarter and millions in the red, Take Two is fighting off Electronic Arts and its own shareholders. The already controversy plagued gaming company is facing a shareholder lawsuit over its poison pill tactics to resist the EA takeover, some of which could look rather shady especially when you consider some of the scandals, Take Two’s executives had been tangled in not so long ago.
With Ken Levine set for Bioshock 2, it’s notable that Take Two’s major planned release aside from GTA4 is itself a sequel to a game that annoyed and disappointed many players and was somewhat elitist to begin with. Aside from trying to turn Carnival Games into a Wii franchise, Take Two really does not have a lot going for it. Rockstar Games keeps looking more and more like a one trick pony but with one hell of a trick. The release of Bully Scholarship Edition and Manhunt 2’s disaster should be reminder enough of how useless Rockstar Games is outside its GTA purview.
With millions of dollars in losses for the last two quarters, Take Two executives have to convince shareholders that an Electronic Arts buyout somehow wouldn’t give them more value for their money than the current team can provide. It’s a hard argument to make and with Yahoo as an object lesson in how quickly a company can go from predator to prey when a big enough shark comes calling, Electronic Arts itself knows that it must expand by swallowing up the independents or die.