Weekend Reading: How Far Could Activision Go to Get GTA?

By Andrei Dumitrescu on February 26th, 2011 12:01 GMT

Early this week rumors popped up that Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest players in the video game publishing market, might be interested in launching a takeover of Take Two Interactive, another publisher that has a smaller footprint.

Since the rumors appeared, leaked by a source high up in the industry, some have speculated that Activision is not actually interested in the rather extensive catalog of Take Two but only in securing the services of the talented development team at Rockstar, the people that are handling GTA and have also created Red Dead Redemption.

Some have even speculated that the takeover talk is but a misdirection that will allow Activision to talk to Sam and Dan Houser and others, developers who have a contract with Take Two that ends in early 2012.

This comes after the very public scandal, which still has legal repercussions, between Electronic Arts and Activision about Vince Zampella and Jason West, the two people that created the Modern Warfare brand and have unceremoniously left Infinity Ward in order to create Respawn Entertainment.

And recently another well-known development team, that at Bungie, responsible for Halo and Master Chief, moved from Microsoft Game Studios to Activision in a deal which will develop for ten years and involves a new universe.

It seems that all big publishers are very much interested in securing the best-known talent in the video game industry, even as they are talking about more quality and less quantity for their releases, ready to do almost anything to secure the contracts of the Houser, Bungie or Infinity Ward teams.

It remains to be seen how far Activision would go in order to get their hands on the GTA team and the intellectual property and how Take Two will fight back.

This time next year, we might actually be talking about the big Activision versus Take Two lawsuits, with Infinity Ward and Modern Warfare all but forgotten.
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