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Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Public
Traded as
Industry Video game industry
Founded September 30, 1993; 24 years ago (1993-09-30)
Founder Ryan Brant
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Key people
Products
Revenue Increase US$1,779.748 million[1] (2017)
Increase US$67.303 million[1] (2017)
Increase US$67.303 million[1] (2017)
Total assets Increase US$3,149.154 million[1] (2017)
Total equity Increase US$1,003.728 million[1] (2017)
Number of employees
Increase 3,707[1] (2017)
Subsidiaries
Website take2games.com

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an American video game distributor and former publisher based in New York City. Founded in Septemver 1993 by Ryant Brant, the company presently wholly owns publishers Rockstar Games, 2K Games and Private Division, and developer Social Point, as well as a 50% stake in the esports-centric joint venture NBA 2K League. Notable franchises owned by Take-Two Interactive include Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, NBA 2K, BioShock and Borderlands. As of September 2017, it is the third largest publicly traded game company in the Americas and Europe, after Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts.[2]

History

1993–2004

Take-Two Interactive was founded on September 30, 1993, by Ryan Brant, the son of Interview co-owner Peter Brant. The company completed its initial public offering on April 25, 1997, being listed as TTWO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.[3] In March 1998, Take-Two acquired BMG Interactive, the video game publishing division of BMG Entertainment, for 1.85 million shares, about 16% of Take-Two's common stock.[4][5]

In 2004, Take-Two paid US$22.3 million to Infogrames for the rights to the Civilization series.[6][7]

2005–2017

In 2005, Take-Two began a host of acquisitions, spending more than US$80 million buying game developers.[8] It bought for US$32 million the development studios Visual Concepts and Kush Games, for US$11.4 million Gaia Capital Group and for around US$11.8 million the studio Irrational Games, which developed Freedom Force vs the 3rd Reich. Take-Two formed the publishing companies 2K Games and 2K Sports to manage a group of newly acquired development studios, and publishing deals with a variety of other well known studios. As part of the creation of 2K Sports, Take-Two acquired from Sega the rights to the ESPN 2K sports games created by Visual Concepts (football and basketball) and Kush Games (baseball and hockey); when announced, Take-Two renamed the franchise to omit "ESPN" from the titles. Then in November, Take-Two acquired Firaxis for US$27 million including possible performance bonuses.[9] Founder Brant resigned from the company in October 2006, following a four-month disability leave due to a bad back.[10]

In February 2007, Brant pleaded guilty to falsifying business records. He faced up to four years in prison and received a lighter sentence by agreeing to cooperate in a plea agreement to cooperate with prosecutors.[11] The charges stemmed from 2005 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a lawsuit that Brant, the company's head of sales Robert Blau, and its former chief financial officers Larry Mueller and James David Jr., inflated revenue in fiscal years 2000 and 2001.

At the annual meeting in March 29, 2007, ZelnickMedia staged a takeover of the company together with some of Take-Two Interactive's largest investors.[12] That is, Take-Two investors ousted five of six board members.[13] The investors (three hedge funds and one mutual fund, including Oppenheimer Funds and DE Shaw Valence Portfolios) controlled 46% of the stock.[14][15] As of July 2015, Strauss Zelnick is the single largest shareholder by voting power.[16]

In March 2007, Take-Two filed a lawsuit against Jack Thompson, to prevent him from filing a public nuisance complaint in Florida court as he did with Bully.

On May 22, 2007, Oasys Mobile signed a deal to bring several of the Sid Meier licenses to the mobile market. The original Sid Meier games are developed by Take-Two's company Firaxis Games. Oasys was to bring these games to the mobile market some time in 2008.[17]

In mid-February 2008, rival game company Electronic Arts (EA) made a US$25-per-share all-cash transaction offer worth around US$2 billion[18] to the board of Take-Two, subsequently revising it to US$26 per share after being rejected and making the offer known to the public.[19] Rumors of a buyout had been floating around the internet several weeks prior.[20] Stocks went up by 54% on Monday, following the Sunday announcement, closing over the US$26 offer price, whilst EA's own stock prices went down by 5%, the largest loss in over a year.[21]

According to the April 2008 issue of Game Informer, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that EA considered a deal for Take-Two in the previous spring but axed it at the last minute. Take-Two's board of directors declined the cash deal. However, EA was still pursuing the acquisition of Take-Two, stating in a letter, "If you are unwilling to proceed on that basis, however, we may pursue other means, including the public disclosure of this letter, to bring our offer and the compelling value it represents to the attentions of Take-Two's shareholders." Later, Take-Two released a statement explaining why the company has rejected the offer, "In addition to undervaluing key elements of our business, EA's proposal fails to recognize the value we are building through our ongoing turnaround efforts, which will further revitalize Take-Two."

Take-Two offered to discuss the offer after Grand Theft Auto IV’s release on April 29, 2008. An acquisition would have ended EA's main competition in sports video games.[22] The bid expired May 15, 2008, however EA extended the offer until June 16, 2008, at the same price of US$25.74 per share. Take-Two's position did not change and on September 14, 2008, EA announced that they decided to let the US$2 billion offer to buy Take-Two expire.

On September 8, 2008, they entered into an outsourcing agreement with Ditan Distribution LLC. Ditan assumes the responsibility for the pick, pack, ship and warehousing functions for Take-Two's publishing and distribution businesses previously handled by Take-Two's Jack of All Games subsidiary. The agreement allows Jack of All Games to primarily sell third-party products, to focus on purchasing, sales and service for their customers. In September 2009, following a lawsuit, Take-Two Interactive were forced to pay a US$20 million settlement for an inclusion of a sex mini-game that was included in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. On December 21, 2009, they sold Jack of All Games to SYNNEX Corporation.[23] In May 2007, the UFC filed a lawsuit against the company over the video game they created for the organization.[24] In 2010, Ben Feder stepped down as CEO, and was replaced by executive chairman Strauss Zelnick.[25]

In January 2013, while being dissolved, THQ sold the rights of the WWE wrestling games series to Take-Two.[26]

In March 2013, Karl Slatoff, chief operating officer of Take-Two Interactive, revealed that the company has an "extensive pipeline of unannounced titles in development," along with the announced Grand Theft Auto V and Agent games in development. While he did not share any further information regarding the game, he did mention that the Bully, Red Dead, Bioshock, Mafia, Borderlands, L.A. Noire and Max Payne franchises as being important to the company.[27]

In November 2013, the company buys back activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn's 11% stake at a value worth $203.5 million[28][29]

On December 2013, former Marvel editor-in-chief Bill Jemas announced that he had joined Take-Two to start a "graphic fiction imprint".[30]

On February 1, 2017, the company acquired social and mobile game developer Social Point to enter into the mobile gaming industry.[31][32]

In that same month, Take-Two and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a partnership to create the NBA 2K League, a profession eSports league based on the NBA 2K games, and the first eSports league to be managed by a professional sports league. Teams for the League are to be partially sponsored by existing NBA teams, so that there would be eSports equivalent teams for each of the thirty professional NBA teams. The inaugal season is planned to launch in May 2018.[33]

On May 31, 2017, Take-Two Interactive acquired Kerbal Space Program.[34]

On June 14, 2017, Take-Two Interactive sent a cease and desist letter to .black, the developers of OpenIV, a program which assists user in installing modifications for various Rockstar Games titles, such as Grand Theft Auto V, Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV, that has been in development since 2008. The notice ultimately forced them to discontinue their program or await further action, with Take-Two Interactive reasoning that OpenIV allowed "third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights".[35] Shortly afterwards, though, Take-Two received a lot of negative backlash due to the cease and desist, causing them to retract the letter, and allow OpenIV's developers to continue.

Take-Two announced the formation of its Private Division publishing label on December 14, 2017. Private Division is aimed to fund and publish games by mid-size independent development studios. Take-Two plans to publish Kerbal Space Program under Private Division, as well as currently support four planned games from separate studios at its launch.[36][37]

The company currently have a minority investment in mobile-game developer Scopely[38]

2018

By January 2018, the company plans on fully moving into its brand new HQ based in Bryant Park, leaving SoHo after 25 years. That same month, Strauss Zelnick will begin his second decade with the company, he will also remain Chairman and CEO of the company until 2024.

Games

Take-Two has a large portfolio of games that it publishes through its own labels and studios, and acting as a third-party publisher for other developers. Its most recognized properties include the Grand Theft Auto series from Rockstar Games, its lineup of 2K Sports games from 2K Games, and the Civilization, XCOM, Borderlands and BioShock series from 2K Games' affiliated studios.

Publishers

Current

Name Location Founded or acquired Ref.
2K Play Novato, California September 2007 [39]
2K Games January 2005 [40]
2K Sports January 2005 [40]
Private Division New York City, New York December 2017 [36]
Rockstar Games December 1998 [41]
Social Point Barcelona, Spain January 2017 [42]

Former

Name Location Founded or acquired Closed or sold Ref.
Double Take Comics New York City, New York October 2014 November 2016 [43][44]
DVDWave.com March 1999 December 1999 [45][46]
Gathering of Developers May 2000 December 2004 [47][48]
Global Star Software August 1999 September 2007
Gotham Games July 2002 December 2003 [49][50]
Jack of All Games West Chester, Ohio January 1998 December 2009 [51][52]
Joytech London, England February 1999 September 2007 [53][54]
On Deck Interactive Dallas, Texas May 2000 March 2001 [55][56]
Pixel Broadband Studios Tel Aviv, Israel March 2000 October 2000 [57][58]
Take-Two Licensing Westlake Village, California December 2003 January 2005 [59]
TalonSoft Baltimore, Maryland December 1998 2002 [60][61]
Techcorp Hong Kong, China July 2001 September 2007 [62][63]
Telstar Electronic Studios Walton-on-Thames, England May 1999 May 1999 [64]

Developers

Current

Parent Name Location Founded or acquired Ref.
2K Games 2K Chengdu Chengdu, China June 2011 [65]
2K Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada 2006 [66]
Firaxis Games Sparks, Maryland November 2005 [67]
Ghost Story Games Westwood, Massachusetts February 2017 [68]
Hangar 13 Novato, California December 2014 [69][70]
2K Play Cat Daddy Games Kirkland, Washington 2003 [71]
2K Sports Visual Concepts Novato, California January 2005 [72]
Rockstar Games Rockstar India Bangalore, India March 2016 [73]
Rockstar Leeds Leeds, England March 2004 [74]
Rockstar Lincoln Lincoln, England June 1998 [75]
Rockstar London London, England November 2005 [76]
Rockstar New England Ballardvale, Massachusetts April 2008 [77]
Rockstar North Edinburgh, Scotland September 1999 [78]
Rockstar San Diego Carlsbad, California November 2002 [79]
Rockstar Toronto Oakville, Ontario July 1997 [80]

Former

Parent Name Location Founded or acquired Closed or sold Ref.
2K Games 2K Australia Canberra, Australia August 2005 April 2015 [81][82][83][84][85]
2K China Shanghai, China May 2006 November 2015 [65]
2K Czech Brno, Czech Republic 2008 2017
2K Hangzhou Hangzhou, China 2007 November 2015 [65]
2K Marin Novato, California December 2007 October 2013 [86][83][84]
Frog City Software San Francsico, California May 2003 2006
Irrational Games Quincy, Massachusetts August 2005 February 2014 [81][82][87][88]
Magic Pockets Paris, France June 2005 January 2007
PopTop Software St. Louis, Missouri July 2000 March 2006 [89][90]
2K Sports 2K Los Angeles Camarillo, California January 2005 2008 [72]
Indie Built Salt Lake City, Utah October 2004 April 2006 [91]
PAM Development Paris, France June 2005 June 2007 [92]
Venom Games Newcastle upon Tyne, England September 2004 July 2008 [92]
Rockstar Games Rockstar Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia August 2002 July 2012 [80][93]
Rockstar Vienna Vienna, Austria February 2001 May 2006 [94]
Take-Two Interactive GearHead Entertainment Vancouver, British Columbia 1997 1999
Mission Studios Schaumburg, Illinois September 1996 2001

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External links