In too-crazy-to-be-true news, Sony is reportedly in talks to acquire Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two is the parent company of both 2K Games and Rockstar Games, meaning it’s the company behind franchises including Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, NBA 2K, and more. According to the report, Sony and Take-Two have already reached “advanced board level discussions” regarding the potential acquisition.
The report comes from Market Watch, citing a quote from Joel Kulina of industry analyst Wedbush Securities. According to Kulina, the Sony and Take-Two acquisition discussions are leading to a dramatic rise in Take-Two’s stock prices. The company’s stock has risen 5% amid an ongoing climb across the US stock market. The rumor is added almost as a side note, despite such an acquisition likely have a staggering effect on the gaming industry.
To put the rumor into perspective, if Sony acquired Take-Two it would become the publisher of upcoming releases including Obisidan Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds, Gearbox’s rumored Borderlands 3 game, and future NBA and WWE 2K titles. It would have sole rights over Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, it would own all of Firaxis Games including both the mostly PC-exclusive Civilization and XCOM franchises. Take-Two includes 18 different development studios.
Take-Two, while not as large as Ubisoft or Electronic Arts, is one of the largest multiplatform companies in the industry. Sony, which focuses entirely on PlayStation platforms, taking ownership would mean a huge shift in properties towards the PlayStation. And away from PC and Xbox.
For the time being, the claim that Sony and Take-Two are working towards an acquisition deal must remain considered a rumor. To have such a major deal in the works only be revealed in a side note, referenced by a Wedbush analyst, does not give it credence. Wedbush also employs the ever-quotable Michael Pachter, well known for any number of industry rumors that never proved to be accurate. Without further evidence, Sony’s acquisition of Take-Two may best be considered as serious as the rumors about Microsoft acquiring EA.
Even Joel Kulina, the source of the original quote, is now saying that it’s just market speculation. They even claim that they were incorrectly quoted in the article. Nevertheless, for him to say it in the first place makes it worth acknowledging. But this is still probably as far as the rumor will go.