"Consolidation" has been mentioned time and time over in the last few years, and it's taken an interesting turn. Electronic Arts have made an offer of $26 per share to gain control of Take 2 Interactive - two billion GB Pounds, over sixty percent more than their worth when the offer was made. The offer was made to the Take 2 board of directors - who rejected it. EA have now made it publicly known to Take 2's shareholders. The take-over would give EA ownership of all of Take 2's brands and studios, which includes everyone from Rockstar North to Irrational (aka, hnnnggghhh, 2K Boston). Lots more over at Yahoo.
Initial thoughts: This has be taken as a vote of confidence in the forthcoming GTA4's quality, yeah? [Answer: yes - read on]
EDIT by Mr Walker: It seems so. EA aren't being so subtle about this. In fact, they've set up a site called www.eatake2.com. On the site is an FAQ answering a lot of the questions currently appearing in your head, apart from the one that goes, "Isn't it incredibly weird that EA are making a website for their £2bn proposed take-over of a company?"
So are they going to stand behind R* the way Take Two have? It seems, yes.
Do you intend to kill or restrict any of the R* franchises?
We strongly believe that behind all the controversy is a core of great intellectual property and development talent. These titles don’t sell millions because they’re controversial; they sell because they’re great games. We have no plans to change that.
Terrified Take Two management have no such reassurance, however.
Where would Take-Two roll up within EA’s new label structure?
It’s too early to discuss plans for managing and integrating the Take-Two team. What we can say is that EA’s new decentralized structure and Label-based model can give these teams the freedom and responsibility they need to continue making great games.
When asked, "Will you be buying the Earth's soil and 90% of the sea, EA did not reply,
PPS: Take Two have posted their reasons for rejecting the initial offer.