Activision/Take-Two Merger: Good Idea?

Activision/Take-Two Merger: Good Idea?

In a move that might be looked upon as a kind of rebound date after its break-up with the Guitar Hero franchise, Activision is considering the absorption of Take-Two. Well, that’s the rumor: There’s no word from Activision or Take-Two on what’s going to happen, or when. But if Activision did buy out Take-Two, it would also adopt some very lucrative game franchises, including Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, and Red Dead Redemption. If the takeover did become reality, how would Activision and Take-Two benefit? More importantly, how would we benefit as fans of these beloved IPs?

Few people are jumping for joy at the prospect of a merger. Many dread seeing wonderful franchises like BioShock potentially turned into cold, mechanical games that are sold on name alone. Has Activision learned its lesson based on past failures? We can’t say, but nobody is eager to give up Grand Theft Auto as an example for the company to prove itself again. So news on the potential merger has been a little quiet–maybe we’re all hoping it works a bit like summoning a demon, wherein the process doesn’t work if you don’t say the right words–with one notable exception. Fans of video game sports franchises are buzzing about what a merger would mean for sports games. Would the team-up grant Activision the muscle it needs to pry the NFL license out of EA’s fingers? And would that mean the joyful return of Take-Two’s once-popular ESPN NFL 2K football series?

Despite sports fans’ over-optimism towards chronically losing teams, they’re a grounded and realistic bunch as far as video games are concerned. There doesn’t seem to be much hope that the NFL 2K games will be back, merger or no. The NFL has reason to be happy with its EA exclusivity arrangement.

“Why on Earth would the NFL want to possibly sell the exclusive rights to its football game to a company that hasn’t made an NFL game for going on seven years now?” asked Matthew Torino of pnosker.com. “They’re are obviously in bed with EA at this point, helping stage the Madden Bowl during Super Bowl week (even if it was an unmitigated disaster) and also having a Madden exhibit at the Hall of Fame. The NFL has absolutely no reason to change its direction in regards to video games.”

Torino’s sentiment was echoed by OperationSports.com, which held a roundtable with its writers.

“My honest answer is that if Activision purchases Take-Two the final result is going nowhere of any relevance for sports gamers,” wrote Christian McLeod. “The potential acquisition of Take-Two by Activision is about Grand Theft Auto (and other Rockstar franchises) and BioShock, period.”

It’s a good thing that the merger between Activision and Take-Two is hearsay, because at this point, it doesn’t look like a union would bear flavorful fruit for anyone. Maybe time will improve the prospect.

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About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

6 Comments

  1. Unless Activision can clean up it’s act or fire Kotick, developers should stay away from Activision.

  2. 100% of mergers and acquisitions are bad for the consumers — the game players.

  3. Considering I don’t buy Activision games, this would surely give me a sad face. =(

  4. I’m not big into much from either company– Transformers from Activision (by virtue of it being Transformers), and maybe Red Dead Redemption from Take-Two. So, for the most part, I remain indifferent.

    However, maybe if Activision let Take-Two’s developers make some sort of open-world Pitfall game…

  5. I would prefer Activision and Take two not merge or else we would most likely see Take two game’s franchise being milked than it has. Take two is just doing fine on its own.

  6. who says they have to make a NFL football game… i say make the professional football league….use all the teams from all pro football….but instead of nfl players and such….make up your own players… i play madden all the time and i would love something different to play….backbreaker stinks…. black college footbal was a good idea , cause i love playing with small colleges….but the game developers did a poor job…anyways…in closing someone take a chance and give madden some comp.

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