Grand Theft Auto creators play to stay solo

2 Oct 2008

After performing a strategic review, Take-Two Interactive – creator of the Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock franchises – has decided it will remain an independent company, despite approaches from Electronic Arts.

The company has decided it is financially strong enough to remain independent and deliver value for shareholders.

“Take-Two’s board of directors and management have a clear mandate from stockholders to maximise value,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman of the board of Take-Two.

“We are strongly positioned creatively, financially and competitively to benefit from the opportunities we see in the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment industry.

“Our management and outstanding and talented employees have maintained an unwavering focus on our products and our business through this lengthy strategic review process and we are confident in our prospects. We remain focused on maximising value for stockholders and are executing on our business strategies in a determined manner.”

Take-Two brings in revenues of close to US$600m annually, and with its subsidiary Rockstar Games, is behind such franchises as Sid Meier’s Civilisation, Midnight Club and Grand Theft Auto.

“Take-Two’s recent performance demonstrates our potential to create value for the long term,” said Ben Feder, chief executive officer.

“We have delivered solid financial results and expanded our portfolio of leading titles, which includes the powerful Grand Theft Auto franchise, as well as 15 other wholly owned brands with sales of more than one million units each.

“Our strong cash position – with no debt and an undrawn US$140m credit facility – gives us the financial flexibility to continue to do what we do best: innovate and create the great games that our customers have come to expect,” Feder explained.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: gaming action from Grand Theft Auto

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years