"There are very strong rumours amongst people at a very senior level within the global business," a senior executive told MCV this week. (...) It could be that the killing off of True Crime: Hong Kong, a title that was believed to be almost entirely complete prior to cancellation, is being seen as a possible sacrificial lamb to benefit the fortunes of Grand Theft Auto and is simply fuelling the rumour. (...)
Earlier this week Take-Two reported a seven per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to $40.8m for the quarter ending December 31st 2010. Since Friday February 4th shares in the company have risen 11.6 per cent. Activision has a proven track record of big-money moves, with its 2008 merger with Blizzard proving a resolute success. It's also not afraid to shut under performing developers and, conversely, plough seemingly endless resources into projects in which it has confidence.
In 2008, Electronic Arts attempted such a buy-out which Take-Two successfully fended off. But new stakeholders are thought to be more open to the idea of selling the publisher. MCV points out, though, that the contracts for the key developers within the Rockstar studios will expire in 2012, unless they are renewed. This includes the Houser brothers, creators of the GTA franchise.