A rumour was posted over at WorthPlaying that, if true, would turn out to be the industry coup of the year.
Word has reached us through the grapevine by means of an inside source at Rockstar Vancouver, that "the buzz" in the hallways is that Microsoft might have put in a bid or expressed interest in purchasing the ailing publisher/developer. While this is a mere rumor, albeit from a reliable source, it is to be taken with a grain of salt. Just imagine the ramifications....
This comes in the wake of concrete evidence that the company´s Board of Directors is considering a sale. A press release, explaining why the company´s annual meeting had been pushed back six days had noted that the Board wanted to "evaluate alternative courses of actions that could potentially be presented to the shareholders, including a possible sale of the Company."
Allow me to spell the ramifications out for you. Such a buyout would lead to Microsoft adding Rockstar to their First Party list and the ´Grand Theft Auto´ series becoming Xbox360 exclusive... forever.
Undoubtedly, Microsoft would want to buy them. But can they afford to? The entire Xbox venture has cost them billions with little in return. And the last studio acquisitions were not exactly good investments for the company, I should add.
Buying Rare was, in hindsight, a mistake. The studio cost Microsoft almost half a billion US dollars, graced the console with a number of overhyped titles (two of which had been ported twice in their development cycle, to be fair to Rare) and the buyout started a huge exodus of employees which recently culminated in the company´s founders leaving.
I would have thought that Microsoft had learned that throwing money around is not everything in this industry. But I could be wrong.
Sources: WorthPlaying, Games Industry
Thanks to: Karma Kramer