There is a pretty wild rumour that Sony Computer Entertainment is looking into some kind of permanent exclusivity deal with ´Grand Theft Auto´ developer Rockstar Games, possibly even a takeover. Source of the rumour is UK gaming site PlayStation Universe (PSU) who overheard journalists and developers discussing the topic at a press dinner in Los Angeles.
The exact phrase cited is that Sony wants to "take Rockstar under its wing", which, other sources claim, originates from a Sony developer. Albeit an unlikely scenario for various reasons, this would give the rumour some credibility. The article has since been removed. Here is the relevant excerpt, courtesy of the Gamespot forums:
(...) We sat merrily eating dinner with developers and journalists from around the industry at the Tengu Restaurant in Hollywood, California. (...) The discussion at Tengu was fairly simple in its scope: various sources in the press and development team state that Sony is looking to take Rockstar "under their wings".
While we learned that any agreement Sony and Take Two entered into would not affect the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV, such an agreement would presumably affect any future releases from Rockstar, including the new franchise Sony has been discussing and L.A. Noire, which looks likely to be a PS3 exclusive at this point as well.
Since then, PSU member Justin Pinter, who was present at the event, has sought to clarify how the article came about and why it was removed, posting in the NeoGAF forums.
The article was posted on PSU Thursday morning by one of our new writers who took the liberty of posting the "rumor" as news without going by our editors first.
Not only was it incorrect to the actual rumor I heard at the Sony event, but PSU has no intention of posting rumors of that proportion without having good and reliable sources to back it up.
The real story. (...) The talk lead to someone stating that they knew that not only was the rumor correct but there was more to it. Basically from what I heard, Sony was taking Rockstar under its wing. Now I don't know if that means they are buying them or if they are supporting them as if they were someone like Naughty Dog or Insomniac.
Only recently, Sony announced that a new Rockstar IP was coming exclusively to PS3 (as well as ´L.A. Noire´). But with ´Table Tennis´, ´Bully´ and, eventually, ´Manhunt 2´ coming to Wii, the developer has also eyed up Nintendo platforms.
I just spoke to the website´s owner and he stated that the rumour probably had some merit to it, but they still decided to take the article down after a wave of criticism directed at PSU. The comments were made, it seems. It is simply left up to us to interpret just what Sony "taking Rockstar under its wing" would involve.
Like I said, it´s a matter of interpretation. If you understand the statement to involve Sony buying Rockstar, then there are plenty of reasons for rejecting this rumour as false. To me, the most convincing argument is that Sony simply does not have the financial muscle to make such a huge acquisition or, at the very least, to finance a permanent exclusivity deal with such a high-profile studio.
The intention on Sony´s part is undoubtedly there, I am sure. But the company is struggling to get out of the reds and, more importantly, Rockstar will not be keen to commit their multi-million dollar projects to the least successful console in this three-way race.
Source: PlayStation Universe
Thanks to: knicknut17 & RoganSarine, Keesie