Take-Two Interactive is responsible for publishing major franchises like “Grand Theft Auto,” “Red Dead Redemption,” and “NBA 2K,” among many others.
Rockstar Games
  • Shares of video game publisher Take-Two Interactive
    spiked on Wednesday.
  • The stock price jumped because of a rumor that Sony is
    engaged in “advanced board level discussions to acquire
    Take-Two Interactive in a mostly cash deal.”
  • That rumor, however, is “purely unconfirmed market
    speculation that is making the rounds,” according to the
    analyst quoted in the report.
  • Additionally the rumor doesn’t make any sense.

Consider this theoretical scenario: The next “Grand Theft Auto”
game is exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation.

It would be a huge coup for Sony’s PlayStation, and a major loss
for Xbox and PC players. It’s also extremely unlikely,
just like the rumor that would facilitate such a scenario.

On Wednesday,
Marketwatch reported
that shares of “Grand Theft Auto”
publisher Take-Two Interactive leapt 4.7% due to rumors that Sony
was in “advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two
Interactive in a mostly cash deal.”

There’s one especially good reason this doesn’t make much sense,
and it’s the same reason that Sony’s unlikely to buy any of the
other major game publishers, like Ubisoft, Activision, EA, or
Bethesda Softworks.

Take-Two Interactive, like many other major game publishers, is a
business dependent on making games for every platform,
including Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s. If Sony were to buy
Take-Two Interactive, it would be to keep its games for the
PlayStation platform.

Thus: “Grand Theft Auto” would be a PlayStation exclusive.

Red Dead Redemption 2

An image from “Red Dead Redemption 2,” published by Take-Two Interactive.
Rockstar Games
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That makes any such acquisition a poor business choice.

Not only would the publisher cost Sony a ton of money up front to
buy, but it would be difficult to make money back on the
investment when it’s suddenly limited to developing for only
PlayStation consoles.

Moreover, the source of the rumor is “purely unconfirmed market
speculation that is making the rounds.” That’s according to Joel
Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush
Securities. Kulina is quoted in the Marketwatch report as the
source of the rumor.

When Business Insider reached Kulina for comment, he directly
refuted the rumor and denied attribution.

“I did not write anything. This is purely unconfirmed market
speculation that is making the rounds. I am not the source of
this story in any regard,” he said in an email.

According to Kulina, he sent out a trading note with the subject
line, “TTWO M&A CHATTER MAKING ROUNDS,” followed by, “NO

NBA 2K19 (Lebron James)

An image from “NBA 2K19,” published by Take-Two Interactive.
2K Games

Perhaps more importantly, the rumor in the note put Take-Two’s
sale price at $130 per share – a nearly $40 jump per share over
the current asking price.

Despite the rumor making no sense, and having “NO SOURCE,” the
mere possibility of a potentially massive jump from acquisition
was enough to send Take-Two’s stock price leaping – a
just-in-case move that could result in a massive payday for
anyone who got in while the price was low.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, what’s much more
likely to happen is Sony doesn’t buy Take-Two Interactive.

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A Sony representative didn’t respond to request for comment as of
publishing, and a Take-Two representative told Business Insider,
“We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”



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