UPDATE: Thursday morning, a Sony representative denied that any deals were on the radar with Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two’s stock has since dropped 3.75%. They still have yet to comment as they do not comment on rumors and speculation. The thought was interesting, but Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands, and many other franchises will remain available to gamers across platforms.
There is certainly no shortage of quality content over at Sony and PlayStation (case in point: God of War, Detroit: Become Human, Uncharted 4, and The Last of Us Part II), but rumors began circulating on Wednesday that Sony could be in “advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two Interactive.” Such a move would give Sony ownership of Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands, NBA 2K, Red Dead, and Civilization. While this is strictly speculation and there are no primary sources to cite, it’s a potential move that could shake up the gaming world as we know it.
Initial reports of the story were found hidden within an article posted by Sue Chang and Chris Matthews on MarketWatch.com. The mention of it was brief, but the story hit gaming media quicker than lightning. Take-Two Interactive’s stocks went up nearly 6.9% today, the biggest percent-increase since October 2018, and GamesIndustry.biz was anxious to find out why. With so many people suddenly buying the company’s stock, Matthews wanted to see if he could track down a lead for this unusual behavior. He found a trade note from Joel Kulina, Wedbush Securities’ head of technology and media trading. Kulina’s note stated that there was “CHATTER MAKING ROUNDS…” of this Sony deal and he made sure to include the lack of a source or any real confirmation of the rumors. As additional information, multiple sources quoted the original MarketWatch.com article as stating that Take-Two would presumably be bought at $130 per share, but the article makes no reference to such a number, so I’m assuming it has since been edited out for some reason.
So what does this mean? Well, first of all, Take-Two Interactive stockholders will likely be seeing some extra wealth if this speculation turns out to be more than just a campfire story, but more importantly, this could be the beginning of the end for Take-Two games on other platforms. There are some games we already know (or are fairly confident) are being worked on within the company’s subsidiaries: the next Borderlands game, Grand Theft Auto VI, and NBA2K20. Will all of these games become PlayStation exclusives? These are series that have embraced multi-platform releases for many years and it would be strange to see them only on PlayStation. I, for one, would hate to be forced to play future Borderlands games on anything other than a PC. In addition, Grand Theft Auto‘s PC fanbase is huge. Making its next installment a PlayStation exclusive would be a strange choice considering the number of players that would drop the franchise simply because they don’t have PlayStations.
To reiterate, this is all just speculative thinking, but something all too real is the odd behavior of Sony as 2019 persists. For the company to drop PSX in 2018, disconnect itself from E3 2019, and potentially take over several uncharacteristic game franchises that would all suffer from console exclusivity in a Take-Two deal is very suspicious. Sony’s been clutching a lot of its cards closely recently and I for one can’t wait to see all of it unfold. It all feels like there are some big things happening at Sony, and the clues are getting hard to ignore. However, as always, patience is going to have to be the virtue of gamers in this situation.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.