Earlier this week, speculation arose that Sony is gearing up to buy Take-Two Interactive, but the truth is, a bit of speculation started up a firestorm that is merely what it sounds like – pure speculation.
Update: A Sony spokesperson has responded to VentureBeat and confirmed our earlier suspicions that Sony has no intention of purchasing Take-Two Interactive.
Original Story: In what seemed like a surprising take on today’s news, there’d been a bit of misinformation circulating the internet: Sony is looking to buy Take-Two Interactive for $137 USD a share. This would put franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, Borderlands, among others right in the hands of Sony; making them first-party exclusives going into the next generation, which is rumored to only be a few years out.
But why is the MarketWatch report pure speculation and nothing more than that? One, there’s little evidence to support such a fact. If there had been proof, there’d been no doubt that talks and negotiations would have been mentioned outside of a memo that had been linked with, again, no promising evidence such happenings have occurred.
In a piece covering the same event, GamesIndustry.biz confirmed with the outlet, stating that “Take-Two Interactive Software stock climbed 4.7% on rumors that Sony Corp. ‘is in advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two Interactive in a mostly cash deal,’ that would value the company at $130 share, according to Joel Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities.”
That’s all the two had heard of such an event. Nothing major, nothing that could be classified as “breaking news”. After their response from the writers of the original MarketWatch piece, both Sue Chang and Chris Matthews, Joel Kolina, head of technology and media training at Wedbush Securities, also responded to GamesIndustry.biz, confirming that the current move “is purely unconfirmed market speculation that is making the rounds,” he said. “I am not the source of this story in any regard. And not sure who quoted me as I didn’t speak with anyone over the phone (unless someone saw a trading note that I wrote).”
The note, however, didn’t even state that a buyout was even happening, “TTWO M&A CHATTER MAKING ROUNDS…+2.5% – NO SOURCE **UNCONFIRMED**”
But if it’s only speculation, why is it being gobbled up like it is happening?
Well. There are two reasons behind this. The easiest explanation is sensationalism. Companies buying up companies, more specifically Microsoft and Sony, is major news as we quickly approach the possible launch of their next-gen consoles within the next 2-5 years with announcements expected to be made as early as E3 this year or PlayStation Experience (in Sony’s case) this December.
Microsoft has already made some major moves, buying up multiple studios including Turn 10, The Coalition, and even Ninja Theory over the course of the past year. Meanwhile, Sony has remained silent on that front, making no apparent major moves unlike the aggressiveness Microsoft and the Xbox team have shown under the supervision of Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer.
News like this would surely be big had it actually happened. However, there’s been no proof, no consistent proof or any form of evidence that could even solidify the speculation surrounding such daring moves by Sony or Sony Entertainment at this time. In fact, it would be quite the opposite of what Shawn Layden, Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, where they want to make less, but better games moving forward.
Acquiring Take-Two would go against everything Shawn Layden has discussed in recent times
There’s no doubt that Sony is preparing to make massive moves going into the next generation. With games like Death Stranding and Ghost of Tsushima already in development, there’s no telling if Sony is gearing up for a multi-generational release of their games at this time.
But with an acquisition of a publishing brand such as Take-Two, that would make things a bit busier than Layden has expressed interest in as of recent. With his wish to make bigger games, but at a slower pace, Sony is already gearing up for games that could be even bigger hits than God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Detroit: Become Human and Bloodborne.
That aside, there seems to be a lot of focus on bigger and more innovative titles moving into the next generation. Shawn Layden has seemed pretty clear on this message, but we can only wait and see what SIE has planned going forward and what games and or titles they announce at PlayStation Experience in the upcoming months.
One of the biggest things, the second hand of this entire topic, is that Take-Two Interactive had seen a rise in their stock after the rumor had broken. Since the buyout is just pure speculation with little-to-no evidence, it’s best to just dismiss the false narrative that’s been sensationalized at this time and wait for some confirmation down the road.
Stay tuned as we will keep you updated if one such thing does happen, but at this time, we are taking this rumor as a grain of salt versus one with concrete evidence that supports it.
Please note that this is an opinion article and does not reflect Blast Away the Game Review as a whole. Any and all thoughts presented are that of the writers and the writers alone.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.