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Darren Waters

EA says it's in the game

  • Darren Waters
  • 13 Mar 08, 16:37 GMT

I've just been talking to EA boss John Riccitello about all things Take Two. You can read the news story here.

Riccitello is quite a robust character and his line to Take Two shareholders on the purchase was quite clear:

John RiccitielloAccept our generous offer now, don't be blinded by the impending release of GTA IV, and just think what Take Two's share price will be if we walk away.

For shareholders there's a real dilemma - if they wait and see what happens post GTA IV, the shares might very well rise but there may never be a buyer quite like EA.

Riccitello was keen to portray EA as stable, in comparison to the rocky roads trodden by Take Two over the last few years.

"This is a company that had large number of travails over years – financing issues, regulatory issues, legal challenges. It’s been a tough slog.

"EA is a bastion of stability in comparison. We have a very strong global publishing organisation that we think can do a better job of selling the games of those great creators."

He laughed off suggestions that EA was the Microsoft of games.

"80% of what we sell is product we didn’t have a year before. We make product every year that has got to stand up to competition in the market place.

"The number one group in headcount in our industry is artists. There are parts of our organisation where if they wear a shirt and don’t have a tattoo they are unusual.

"At Microsoft I’ve yet to meet anyone without a shirt and with a tattoo."

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 05:43 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Paul McMahon wrote:

This cannot be allowed to happen. EA will ruin the GTA brand and destroy what one game in the industry that actually delivers on its promises and is not just another annual EA update with no soul or creativity.

They are the Microsoft of the gaming world and i hope this deal falls through. The thought of a GTA game with EA stickers all over it is not worth thinking about.

  • 2.
  • At 12:10 AM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • JDEdward wrote:

For each franchise that EA have consumed over the years that has done well, there is at least one that has not done so well. I'm sure John Riccitello would not be so candid about these. But I believe that this is a simple case of corporate greed.

I do not believe for a moment either that Take Two has anything to gain. On its own Take Two has done an outstanding job of producing games. It is like an Aston Martin of the games industry. EA on the other hand is like a large articulated car transporter. If the driver buys the Aston Martin and loads it on the back of the transporter you loose all the handling of the Aston and it can only go at the same speed as the transporter and all the other cars on it. The more cars, the slower the transporter moves.

I don't want to see that happen to Take Two. If there was any merit to this at all the Take Two board would have approved it. But I am not holding my breath - EA gets what EA wants if it is best for the customers or not. Lets face it this time, and on countless other times, its not.

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