Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (stylized as Take2), also known as Take-Two, is an American publisher, developer, and distributor of video games and video game peripherals. Take-Two wholly owns Rockstar Games and 2K Games. The company's headquarters are in New York City, with international headquarters in Windsor, United Kingdom. Development studio locations include San Diego, Vancouver, Toronto and Novato, California. Take-Two has published many notable games, including its most famous series Grand Theft Auto, the Midnight Club racing series, the Manhunt series and more recently BioShock. As owner of 2K Games, Take-Two publishes its popular 2K Sports titles. It also acted as the publisher of Bethesda Softworks' 2006 game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Take-Two was founded in 1993 by Ryan Brant, the son of Peter Brant, newsprint heir and co-owner of Interview. In March 1998, Take-Two strengthened itself in a number of areas by acquiring the BMG Interactive unit from Bertelsmann AG for approximately $14.2 million. Take 2 published a game called "Rats!" in 1998, the game was developed by Tarantula Games. Later BMG Interactive was re-formed into Rockstar Games in late 1998.
In February 1999, Take-Two published the game Biosys through the company Jumpstart Interactive. The game is a point-and-click adventure which follows the protagonist Professor Alan Russell and is set inside the fictional ecological facility Biosphere Four. In July 1999, they published Hidden & Dangerous, one of the pioneering tactical first/third person shooters, and its follow-up Hidden & Dangerous 2 in 2003.
In 2005, Take-Two began a host of acquisitions, spending more than US$80 million buying game developers. 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. At the annual meeting on March 29, 2007, Take-Two investors ousted five of six board members.
In February 2007 Ryan 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. 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 Muller and James David Jr., inflated revenue in fiscal years 2000 and 2001. In March, 2007, ZelnickMedia staged a takeover of the company together with some of Take-Two Interactive's largest investors.
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 will be bringing these games to the mobile market some time in 2008. 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 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. In May 2007, the UFC filed a lawsuit against the company over the video game they created for the organization. In 2010, Ben Feder stepped down as CEO, and was replaced by executive chairman Strauss Zelnick.
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 Red Dead, Mafia, Borderlands, L.A. Noire and Max Payne franchises as being important to the company.
Attempted takeover by Electronic ArtsEdit
In mid-February 2008, rival game company Electronic Arts (EA) made a US$25 per share all cash transaction offer 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. Rumors of a buyout had been floating around the internet several weeks prior. 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.
According to Game Informer's April 2008 issue, 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. 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.
- 2K Games in Novato, California, founded in 2005
- 2K China in Shanghai, China, founded in 2006
- 2K Czech in Brno, Czech Republic, founded in 1997 as Illusion Softworks, acquired in 2007
- 2K Marin in Novato, California and Canberra, Australia, started in 2007
- Firaxis Games in Hunt Valley, Maryland, founded in 1996, acquired in 2005
- Irrational Games in Quincy, Massachusetts, acquired on January 9, 2006
- 2K Play in Ontario, Canada, founded as Global Star Software in 1992, acquired in 1999, name changed September 10, 2007
- Cat Daddy Games in Kirkland, Washington
- 2K Sports in Novato, California, founded in January 2005
- Rockstar Games, Ltd. in New York City, founded in 1998
- Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland, founded in 1988 as DMA Design, acquired from Infogrames in September 1999, world famous for the Grand Theft Auto series
- Rockstar Leeds in West Yorkshire, England, founded as Mobius Entertainment in 1997
- Rockstar Japan in Tokyo, Japan, started 2005
- Rockstar London, started in 2005
- Rockstar San Diego, founded in 1984 as Angel Studios, acquired November 2002
- Rockstar Toronto in Ontario, Canada, started as Rockstar Canada in 1999
- Rockstar Lincoln in Lincolnshire, England, founded in 1997 as Tarantula Studios
- Rockstar New England in Andover, Massachusetts, founded in 1999 as Mad Doc Software, Acquired in 2008
- Take-Two Licensing, founded on September 11, 2000 as TDK Mediactive, acquired in December 2003
- 2K Australia in Canberra, Australia, folded into 2K Marin
- Frog City Software in San Francisco, California, founded in 1995, acquired by Gathering of Developers in 2004, consolidated into Firaxis Games in 2006
- Gathering of Developers in Texas, founded January 1998, acquired May 2000, closed September 2004; brands merged into Rockstar and 2K
- Gotham Games, started in 2002, eventually closed
- Indie Built, Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah, founded as Access Software in 1983, acquired from Microsoft in 2004; closed April 28, 2006
- Kush Games in Camarillo, California closed in 2008
- Mission Studios in Schaumburg, Illinois, acquired in September 1996, closed in 2001
- PopTop Software in St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1993, merged into Firaxis Games in 2006
- TalonSoft in Baltimore, Maryland, founded in 1995, acquired in 2000, closed in 2005; most brands sold to Matrix Games
- Rockstar Vancouver, founded in May 1998 as Barking Dog Studios, acquired August 2002, merged with Rockstar Toronto in July 2012
- Rockstar Vienna, founded January 4, 1993, as neo Software, closed May 11, 2006
- Venom Games, Ltd. in Newcastle upon Tyne, founded in 2003, acquired in September 2004; closed in July 2008
- PAM Development in Paris, France, founded in 1997, acquired in 2006; closed in 2008
- Jack of All Games in West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio, founded in 1990 as Hyde Park Distributors, and acquired in 1998, sold December 21, 2009, to SYNNEX Corporation