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Analyst says Take-Two is making a mistake by blocking out EA's takeover offer

Electronic Arts’ offer to shareholders of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) of buying up each share for $26 expires on April 11. With the deadline approaching, Take-Two management is stepping up its effort in urging its shareholders not to take EA’s offer.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive said that it thoroughly reviewed Electronic Arts’ unsolicited conditional tender offer and determined that the $26.00 per share cash offer is inadequate.

“Our Board, after careful review, has unanimously determined that Electronic Arts' offer continues to provide insufficient value and remains opportunistically timed to capture the value of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV launch at the expense of our stockholders,” Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of the Board of Take-Two, commented. “Our stockholders' interests would hardly be served by accepting an offer from EA at the wrong price and the wrong time. As a result, the Board recommends that stockholders not tender any of their shares to EA.”

Take-Two isn’t completely shutting out EA, however, as the company did specify that it will consider business combination with third parties, including Electronic Arts.

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts’ CFO Warren Jenson announced his resignation, saying only that it was time “to write the next chapter” in his career. Jenson’s resignation, which will leave him in EA until March 31, comes at a curious time during a Take-Two takeover effort.

“I can say very concretely that Warren is highly supportive of EA's efforts around Take-Two and is very much aligned with (Chief Executive) John Riccitiello,” said EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood in a Reuters story.

Regarding EA’s offer, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes that Take-Two is making a mistake by taking an adversarial stance against the courtship.

“We're frankly surprised by Take-Two's rejection of EA's offer,” Pachter wrote in his analysis, recorded by GameDaily. “Take-Two shares traded at $17 immediately before the offer, and the stock's 200 day moving average was under $17 at the time of the offer.”

“In our view, Take-Two's Board has made a mistake. We believe that the company was positioned to extract a higher offer from EA by offering a friendly transaction, and its Board chose to continue its adversarial posture,” continued Pachter. “Had they offered an olive branch, we think that EA may have increased its offer by $1 or more.”

EA’s offer of $26 per share to holders of TTWO stands until the end of April 11, 2007.

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I'm a gamer
By JonM on 3/27/2008 7:48:34 AM , Rating: 5
I am a gamer. As a gamer, I hate EA. As a gamer who hates EA, I am very glad take two is not giving in.

But seriously, take two publishes some of my favorite games. I couldn't stand to see them get gobbled up by EA. Personally, I have stopped supporting EA since they bought the exclusive license for the NFL. Call me what you will, but I am just not willing to feed into a company who does such things to shut out competition. Especially when it eradicates games I used to play religiously for entertainment.

Bravo Take-Two. Although ever since I heard this news it has felt inevitable that a takeover will happen. Money talks.

RE: I'm a gamer
By Sandok on 3/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm a gamer
By Monkmachine on 3/27/2008 8:12:30 AM , Rating: 5
Why do people hate EA? They don't ONLY make bad games you know...

Because EA rush out games for pure profit before they are finished then try a couple of patches to fix the main problems and still leave most of the smaller bugs forever.

Remember BF2? We waited 6months for a patch to stop the servers crashing every hour. EA are the scum of the Earth as far as gamers are concerned and they are in the same league as MS.

Good on Take two, we don't want the GTA series going the same way as C&C went after EA swallowed up Westwood.


RE: I'm a gamer
By bhieb on 3/27/2008 9:27:34 AM , Rating: 5
Hey at least you got to download the 300MB patch from some 3rd party file share at 20k a second (or pay to get proper speeds), because they were to cheap to even host it themselves.

RE: I'm a gamer
By Samus on 3/27/2008 11:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
haha, tru dat. EA has the worst customer service of any game company, ever. I'm sure everyone remembers Battlefield 1942 didn't even have functional network support out of the box. A patch, three months later, added horribly buggy network support, and extended through Battlefield 2. BF2142 has been pretty smooth sailing since its introduction, but charging $20 for Northern Strike, which added 2 maps and a few new accessories, was a complete kick in the nuts to us gamers. What a joke. Expansion pack? Right...

RE: I'm a gamer
By callmeroy on 3/27/2008 4:43:20 PM , Rating: 3
Any of you "older gamers" remember the actual "glory days" of EA? Remember back during the C64 reign -- everyone's opinion of EA back then (over 20 years ago) was pretty much the exact OPPOSITE of how it is now. Boy what can happen in 20 years huh? :>

Anyway I don't dislike EA because of their games, they turn out or at least publish some quality titles -- but its their customer service that really turns me against them. They by far have the worse customer service in the entire industry IMO.

And they are greedy bastards too, they will nickle and dime you for anything whenever they can.

But the two top things that make my blood boil with them is how long you want for any semblance of service (and then find out the service you waited for sucks)....and of course the notoriously bad record as of late with them releasing buggy product (not normal buggy mind you, but I mean substantially pre-mature product) and you have wait, wait and wait for them to actually fix the thing you paid for!

So yeah that's what so many hate them. ;)

RE: I'm a gamer
By Nik00117 on 3/27/2008 6:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%, now as one person pointed out to me once, the devs behind BF2 dice could also be blamed for those issues.

However fact of the matter is EA has serious respect issues among its gamers, I don't like EA taking over Take Two and I hope Take Two will keep it gamer pride and regradless of what EA offers they will refuse.

RE: I'm a gamer
By RaptorZA on 3/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm a gamer
By xsilver on 3/27/2008 8:14:05 AM , Rating: 5
people hate EA not because they are big but because they butcher games. If microsoft were to leave out some great features in the next windows, there will sure be some moaning but you will expect the feature to ship in the next version of windows.

EA however cuts corners to ship games out FAST and doesnt care for the creative content. Once a game is shipped they cut corners with support via patches (EA is notorious for buggy games) because this costs them money.
The other thing they do with the sports franchises is that it feels that they only plan for 1 new feature per year/game. It feels like if engineers had developed 2 new features the marketing team will just say, "no, one is enough thanks, save that one for next year - take a hike for 1 year - NO PAY!"
Lastly because EA is such a big company, they have realized that it costs too much to R&D new great content. What they do is let small houses do the hard creative work and then just come in at the last moment and go "sorry dudes, we own you now"

RE: I'm a gamer
By Tsuwamono on 3/27/2008 8:16:55 AM , Rating: 5
They dont hate EA because its number 1 they hate it because of what they do to studios.

Westwood: I used to play c&c tiberum sun all the time it had an amazing online feature with clans, chats, friends list, etc. It was really amazing and ahead of its time for what it was doing. EA bought Westwood and took down the online feature.. there was no more Westwood online(what they called it) and they left it down for a couple months then put up a new online system that was so half assed a child with 2 months programming experiance could do better.

Medal of Honor: I was hardcore into Allied Assault so when i heard about airborne i didnt even both looking at reviews or anything, i figured there is no way that AA could be so amazing and Airborne would disappoint. But it did.

BF2: Patch after huge ass patch this game still has the fundamental problems, poorly constructed models with an offset hit box, horribly uneven game play on some maps, and some serious construct issues.

BF2142: All the same as BF2 but now they added massive lag in titan mode.. I guess they like to build on failure.

Most of us dont hate EA for being number 1, we hate them because once they got number 1 they started to suck balls. Medal of Honor Allied Assault was the last of the good games.

RE: I'm a gamer
By BladeVenom on 3/27/2008 9:55:11 AM , Rating: 5
Westwood Studios R.I.P. killed by EA
Bullfrog Production R.I.P. killed by EA
Kesmai R.I.P. killed by EA
Origin Systems R.I.P. killed by EA

The studios they don't close, they move or merger. They then lose all their creativity and originality and churn out endlessly rushed sequels, or bad movie games.

RE: I'm a gamer
By TheSpaniard on 3/27/2008 10:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
god... Bullfrog.... remember high octane?

anyway I am also an EA hater. when it came down to choosing which guitar game for the PS3 I was going to get, I chose Rockband right up until I saw the EA logo on it and switched my mind. (Not that GH was better than RB but I don't trust EA that much)

RE: I'm a gamer
By Grast on 3/27/2008 12:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Gahhh, I remember the great games that came out of those development houses.

Have you read the article on Tom's Games site about how the writers had to dumb down the story to meet the expectations of producers for BioShock.


RE: I'm a gamer
By shaunbed on 3/27/2008 9:18:56 AM , Rating: 5
I personally dislike EA..

It all comes down to business practices.

EA has a history of buying very high talent companies (like Origin, Westwood, etc) for their intellectual property. Usually, they cut quality and innovation refocusing the studio so its primary revenue is derived from its prestigious ip(ie. Origin used to produce games other than Ultima Online) and kill off all of the games the die-hard fanatics really loved.

Most US software companies have been very creative with poor business practices. EA's actions typically supply decent but cut-throat business practices at the cost of a company's creativity. EA has some of the best business practices in the industry.

The purchased company starts making money for the cost of its soul.

It is easy to love EA as a business.
It is very hard to love EA as a company producing games I might want to buy.

If EA bought Square, Square would probably only produce Final Fantasy. The games would probably be templatized on the most successful releases and their budgets reduced where possible to maximize profit. The games would probably come out in a more reliable fashion. So if you want to see FF 7 Part 2-312, please support EA.

RE: I'm a gamer
By AnnihilatorX on 3/27/2008 9:19:53 AM , Rating: 5
Sigh they literally destroyed the Simcity franchise

RE: I'm a gamer
By AlphaVirus on 3/27/2008 11:56:26 AM , Rating: 4
That almost brings a tear to my eye, just thinking about memories of me playing those Sim Cities. Getting mad because I did not have enough money left to purchase another police station and riots would start. Or picking to live on the coast so you can have fresh water but then dealing with the troublesome hurricanes. But you can never forget the fun of having a huge city and laying peril to it with acts of godliness. Starting multiple tornados, brush fires in the woods, UFO attacks, etc, just to see how well built your city really was.

Sim City, Civilization, and Command & Conquer are the greatest series in my book.

RE: I'm a gamer
By HighWing on 3/27/2008 5:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sigh they literally destroyed the Simcity franchise

They didn't kill it they just chose to go with the more popular The SIMS line instead.

Thats at least what I bet an EA rep would tell you.

Reality it means The Sims brought in more money so lets continue this and cancel all the rest of Maxis's games.

Though I've still been playing SimCity 4 w/ Rush Hour. *laughs* I love building a big city with a rail network and then speeding the trains around town till it goes flying off the tracks.

RE: I'm a gamer
By behemothzero on 3/27/2008 9:24:27 AM , Rating: 5
I hate EA because of what it did to Need for Speed.

RE: I'm a gamer
By bighairycamel on 3/27/2008 11:39:04 AM , Rating: 5
Ugh, don't even remind me of NfS. That game was the ORIGINAL street racing game as far as I'm concerned. Then somewhere along the lines they decided to give it an urban hip-hop approach and it's been downhill ever since (complete with in-game advertising out the whazoo).

Interestingly, after Rockstar released Midnight Club, I noticed the change in NfS. Like it's been mentioned before, EA has no creativity; they just run with other companies' ideas.

RE: I'm a gamer
By robinthakur on 3/27/2008 1:41:28 PM , Rating: 4
Need for speed used to have class when it first came out, but in the last few (Underground, pro street etc.) they just seem like advertising cash cows which all have a trite humourless US "DJ" introducing you alongside lighweight american college rock music and a darker "more urban" setting. Newsflash: we don't all aspire to live in ghettos! As soon as I know that the game I'm playing is that sort of game (e.g. Burnout Paradise) I don't play it ever again. This is one reason why I prefer japanese games, because they concentrate on the gameplay. How appalled would you be if a pepsi logo flashed up during Shadow of the Colossus? :)

EA are very business minded, but for gamers this translates to games becoming almost identical to one another, being targetted squarely at the American market and generally feeling utterly soulless. Take Two have slightly more respectability than the Great Satan (lol) even though I only play their games in passing as they're too ganster/ghetto/adult/western targetted for me, but not by much...A take over is inevitabcle based on the prioce EA offered per share. If Take Two's management don't agree, you might well see a stock-holder uprising...

RE: I'm a gamer
By marsbound2024 on 3/27/2008 6:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Pro Street is some serious sh*t. One of the most boring games I have ever purchased.

RE: I'm a gamer
By MrBlastman on 3/27/2008 9:38:48 AM , Rating: 4
EA is like a bodysnatcher basically. They snatch a body, possess it, beat it to smithereens and then jump out of it and grab another body leaving a rotting corpse behind.

in other words, they buy a Company, drain the soul out of its IP and leave us with nothing but a brainless, soulless corpse of a product behind that has barely any semblance to what it originally had.

RE: I'm a gamer
By Hiawa23 on 3/27/2008 10:20:34 AM , Rating: 2
EA has alot of games I like some I don't, & this hatred I especially don't get. Hatred is ugly to begin with, & for the life of me with everything going in life that's important, why in G's name would some hate a videogame company? If you are going to hate something, hate the economy, hate gas prices, hate the War, hate the fact people somewhere are loosing homes, or whatever troubles you may have in your life but videogames aren't important to me in the grand scheme of things, & I am gamer too, & own damn near every console released since the Atari 2600. I really have no feeling about EA's take over bid. If they do, great, if they don't great, life will continue regardless of what happens, but if T2 would have been doing well, this wouldn't even be an option, & say what you want about EA, they are alot of what many companies strive to be, & I run a company myself, so as far as I am concerned, EA does alot of things right, some wrong, but what company doesn't?

RE: I'm a gamer
By TheSpaniard on 3/27/2008 10:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
this is mostly people bitter about EA buying a franchise and then saving money by bringing it together with other programs they already have under their belts.

heres an example:
If EA were to own both say... Warhawk and Lost Planet.

Both are 3rd person shooters. They would combine the control schemes so that while you feel like you are playing the same game in either franchise

RE: I'm a gamer
By Owls on 3/27/2008 10:30:41 AM , Rating: 4
My guess is that you've never played Strike Commander, Wing Commander, Privateer 1 (and 2, though it didn't suck that bad, Clive Owen was pretty good).

Those were some of the best quality games back in the day, EA bought Origin and completely ruined them. I remember playing all those games for hours during my childhood years (I'm in my late 20s) and the sad fact is that we'll never get to see updated or new releases of those franchises.

RE: I'm a gamer
By killerroach on 3/27/2008 8:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I see a flagging Take Two making some questionable moves, such as the effective swallowing and subjugation of Irrational (now 2K Boston) and Illusion (now 2K Czech), wanting them to basically franchise out their flagship titles (BioShock and Mafia respectively)... they're basically making the same mistake EA made years ago (and is somewhat backing off of) and Activision is currently making. In general, though, I don't hold any publisher in particularly high regard. To that end, I don't see really any downside to EA buying Take-Two, but not much upside, either.

The question for T2, however, is one of long-term financial stability... they currently don't have it, and all it would take would be one of their tentpole titles (like GTA4) to underperform for them to have their stock price effectively plummet, to say nothing about positioning them on the brink of insolvency.

Right now they're playing a very pricey game of chicken with EA, with the jobs of their developers at stake. As talented as some of 2K's studios are, I'm starting to wonder how much autonomy is really worth, and whether or not it is time for them to find a well-heeled protector and effective corporate manager, whether that be EA, Ubisoft, or Activision...

RE: I'm a gamer
By Tsuwamono on 3/27/2008 8:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
Its grand theft auto 4... do you REALLY think its going to Tank?

Thats about as likely as me hoping on a plane to Iraq and going sky diving over Baghdad.
(A: I'm afraid of flying B: Afraid of being in Iraq C: Afraid of heights D: No god damn way I'd be jumping out of a plane for "amusement")

RE: I'm a gamer
By FITCamaro on 3/28/2008 9:24:25 AM , Rating: 2
If EA had had a hand in developing it? Yes. They'd make you have to buy the cheats, buy the special cars, etc. Look at the new Battlefield game. They're making you buy weapons. I'm scared to death of what's going to happen with BioWare now that its under EA control.

EA does not care about making really good games. They care about making good enough games that will generate revenue. They care about milking an IP as long as possible regardless of how bad the sequels get.

EA would release an alpha title if people would buy it. The game's controls aren't completely refined? Ship it. People will deal. The network code is buggy? Ship it. We'll release a patch. The animations look like a person having a seizure is manipulating a puppet? Ship it. The graphics are what matter.

I hope Take Two refuses to sell. They have a strong portfolio of titles and great creativity. If they're bought by EA we'll get a new GTA every year thats poorly done and other piss poor versions of the rest of their IPs.

All this said, I will buy games from companies that EA has bought. Because luckily some are still able to get a quality title out the door. Hopefully BioWare signed a deal saying it still has main creative control of the titles it produces.

RE: I'm a gamer
By JonM on 3/27/2008 8:43:53 AM , Rating: 3
"with the jobs of their developers at stake."

I'm sure the devs under 2k sports don't feel that way. They are gone if/when EA takes over. If you think sports games are bad now, wait until EA has most of the market under control. I mean, besides EA Sports and 2k Sports, there are not many companies making a wide variety of sports titles anymore.

I do agree with alot of your points though, the company could benefit from a takeover, but for it to be EA? God help us.

RE: I'm a gamer
By theoflow on 3/27/2008 2:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
What I got out of this article is about how out of touch some analysts are.

As mentioned above, we all have our opinions about EA and Take-Two's Board has theirs. If they make one of the best selling titles in the industry, across multiple platforms what is the advantage of giving up your control of intellectual property to someone else? There is a higher chance of the people who pour their heart, souls, and creativity to make a game that is arguably one of the best series in gaming history.

I'm assuming Take-Two feels this way, and history states that many great games have eventually been watered down and eventually lost their glory because of being controlled by EA. With this in mind, and if GTA is their bread and butter, why would they want to jeopardize this with giving intellectual property over to EA. Also, because EA is such a huge company, the critics of GTA about social issues might actually penetrate the artistic freedom of developers and sterilizing the franchise.

With that all said, I come back to the analyst view of the possible takeover. Sometimes decisions are made, profit be damned. I could expect this analysis for a short term, but in the future, this could be better for Take-Two if they decide to expand.

All in all, I'll let Jeremy from "purepwnage" sum it up the best, "E is like my left ball, and A is my right. And they are like, both sucking on them." LoL...that was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

RE: I'm a gamer
By someguy123 on 3/27/2008 2:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
the analyst isn't out of touch. He's completely correct in terms of a business standpoint. According to the article at the time take two was trading at an average of 17$, which would mean the buyout would have been at over 50% over the current value. Also, EA has probably the best business practices of any software company right now.

EA might churn out some of the worst games in the world, but bad games doesn't necessarily mean bad sales.

who cares about analysts?
By nosfe on 3/27/2008 7:37:49 AM , Rating: 5
Analysts calls it a mistake but gamers call it a good move

RE: who cares about analysts?
By Canizorro on 3/27/2008 7:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I agree. Although financially this may be a bad move, I don't think this company is looking at it in a financial sense. They just don't want to become another gaming company absorbed by the giant and ruined by big company strategies that do not work for smaller studios.

I think they will keep refusing until they get to a point where the money increases from a good deal to a too good to pass up deal. Hopefully to a point where they can just take the money and start up another studio on there own and leave the name to EA.

RE: who cares about analysts?
By Canizorro on 3/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: who cares about analysts?
By tmouse on 3/27/2008 11:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree with you. I think the board (and this is what we are talking about not the company) could care less about EA's "strategies". I think they figure the release of their latest product will further increase the stock value and this makes EA's offer less desirable. Unfortunately the answer to "who cares about analysts" is the stockholders. The majority could care less what the company produces or what EA does or does not do to the properties it acquires. The bottom line is TTWO has under performed the market and its own sector in a market where a company had to try to not have its stock price increase (in the past), now its a different ballgame and most stocks are diving and will probably do so for a while. They are gambling on the new sales to result in a sizable stock increase but when EA's offer ends the stock will go down, how much depends on how well GTA4 sells and the resulting buzz it can generate. If the stock cannot remain above $17 from its current $25+ price then the board and the company will be in big crap because EA's next offer will not be as good (lets face it they were hoping to make some quick profit from GTA4's release) IF the sales really keep the price afloat then thats great for taketwo if not then after any buyout there will be bad consequences much sooner. The best thing a gamer could do is to buy stock in a publisher you like, that way the gamers could tolerate poor stock performance for better product, a retirement fund will not. Also if you did not like EA you could sell after the buyout and at least make some money off of them. ;)

RE: who cares about analysts?
By fic2 on 3/27/2008 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing analysts are good for is predicting what happened in the past. 90+% of them are worse than the weatherman. How many times have you seen downgrades of a stock right after a company reports disappointing earnings or other bad news? Personally I can figure that out for myself.

RE: who cares about analysts?
By theoflow on 3/27/2008 3:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is going off tangent, but we should care about analysts not seeing the entire future, because they indirectly set pricing for stocks.

I'm really trying to avoid a debate about financial issues, but analysts are basically guessing (ok, speculating is a more mature term) what the future holds for a given company. Like someone else said, if a company doesn't turn a profit, I can figure it out myself.

And let us not forget the nice mess we find ourselves in when analysts figured that sub-prime mortgages were a really good investment. Returns looked great, until they figured out that those returns could never be paid for in full.

Also, analysts figured real estate developments were a great investment, which it is. Only problem is when analysts overvalue property, we have people all over the world with mortgages valued at more than the house itself.

Oh yeah, I specifically mean financial analysts. I'm an analyst, but not in that sector. So if I offended certain people I apologize.

April 11th, 2007
By kenji4life on 3/27/2008 8:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Was nearly a year ago.

RE: April 11th, 2007
By eye smite on 3/27/2008 8:52:48 AM , Rating: 3
Hehe, yeah I was going to post, look it already expired.

By PlasmaBomb on 3/27/2008 11:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
Take-Two Says No Again to EA; Analysts proves he is an idiot.

Fixed it for you.

RE: Analyst
By PlasmaBomb on 3/27/2008 12:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
DOH! That should be analyst, or analysts prove they are idiots.

PB hangs head in shame...

Talk to the hand
By Bioniccrackmonk on 3/27/2008 9:41:37 AM , Rating: 3
Such an awesome picture for this article, red card and all. You all do an excellent job at finding hilarious pictures to go with some of these articles, keep up the good work.

As a die hard gamer for life
By Chosonman on 3/27/2008 9:43:28 AM , Rating: 3
I hate EA because they make crappy games and for all the reasons stated above. Battle Field 2 was a waste of money.

They ruined the Madden franchise by their exclusivity deal with the NFL. Now they have no incentive to produce anything innovative because their is no one else to steal/borrow ideas from. They come out with the same game every year. They even withheld features from the PS3 release that was available in the PS2 so it will look like they they did something new.

EA is a fat lazy pig right now. They have done nothing but ruin gaming for those of us who loved those great games.

A good game is like a work of art
By Chosonman on 3/27/2008 9:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
A true gamer can see the nuances between one maker and another. We appreciate the innovation and attention to detail of a well made game. The game flows evenly and the gamer is immersed in the story. Good games make the player feel like they are part of the game they are playing.

EA games feel stale. Played out and like they were made by a rubber stamp. bleh...

it didn't used to be like this
By ObiDon on 3/27/2008 10:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
i remember the days when they were just a publisher. back then, we got cool stuff like M.U.L.E., racing destruction set, and seven cities of gold.

now all we get out of most companies (at least for PC games) are a bunch of military-style FPS games. whooptie doo :(

Good for them!
By nismotigerwvu on 3/27/2008 12:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Dan Stephens and Peter O'Keefe support this decision.

EA Killed Motor City Online
By Villains on 3/27/2008 2:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
They killed Motor City Online way back when in favor of moving The Sims to fulltime. That started my hate for EA. Then every year they give me a little more to hate them for.

Money isn't everything
By rupaniii on 3/27/2008 3:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
So, if EA wants to buy Hudsonsoft, you think they should?
How about EA buying Enix instead of Square merging with them?
Who do you want EA to buy next?

EA is Microsoft, so much so they now have 7 former microsoft executives onboard. If they buy 2k they get all of the exclusive sports contracts that are willing to go exclusive, and then will leverage that to get the NBA and NHL to give them exclusive as well. "You might as well, we bought the only other company who made anything good anyway".
This is an Anti Competitive and Predatory practice which benefits not a single consumer. EA has released games which compete with their games and some win and some lose. By definition, they are not seeking to expand their market and will cause serious lack of choice in the gaming market which has historically not had and still resists 'exclusive official licensing' in general. EA's aquisition will add great leverage to sign such deals, leading to further lack of competition and promise of innovation. The gaming industry lives for Innovation in the face of it's normal sequelitis and clones.
Don't be suprised if they kill off The Manhunt just to rid 'themselves' of it's bad reputation and win over parents and tone down GTA should they get their hands on it.
EA doesn't know what to do with IP. When is the last time you had a conversation with a new Ultima Online player.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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