Sony buys Take Two: a possible marriage?

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At the end of yesterday's day, among the obscure meanders of the network, a teeming chatter suddenly awoke, crept stealthily from one corner of the web to the other, and finally found the right sounding board for be disruptive " bomb-news ". The rumor, originally released by MarketWatch, speculated on a possible acquisition of Take Two Interactive by Sony. A prospect that has obviously awakened the fantasies of any player, if only for the literally disruptive reach that such an operation would have on the market. If the PlayStation house were to buy the American publisher it would be a substantially unprecedented operation far more destabilizing than a merger, the acquisition of a brand or the absorption of a development team. In practice it would be a hardware manufacturer that "takes over" a major, forever changing the face of the industry …

Sony and Take-Two: love (im) possible?

The extent of operation whispered by MarketWatch would be colossal also and above all for the intellectual properties on which Take Two holds the rights. The company owns Rockstar Games and all its IPs, including the inexhaustible gold mine that meets the name of Grand Theft Auto.

Here: imagine an exclusive GTA for the next Sony console is something that goes far beyond the concept of Killer Application. Given the cultural and economic significance of the Rockstar brand, having it available only for its own platform would mean winning the next-gen game at the start, and perhaps even beyond.

Faced with such a perspective, however, it would be good to stop for a moment to weigh up the concreteness of the voices in the corridor, instead of jumping to attention and imagining a complete reorganization of the industry. If among the tasks of the press there is also that of reporting certain indiscretions (in the case in which, as this time, they arrive from accredited sources), among the duties of the good reader is that of taking them " cum grano salis ", or with a pinch of common sense. In short, we should try to assess whether such an operation is economically feasible and, above all, who it suits. But instead it happens that sometimes you let yourself be carried away by the imagination or by your own "videoludic faith". It can be pleasant to imagine the great achievements of the company that is closest to our way of playing, or fantasize about which great exclusives can reach the console on which we have decided to invest, but this should not lead us astray.

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In the case of the whispered acquisition yesterday, for example, there are many problems. As BusinessInsider rightly points out, Take Two is a publisher that supports itself thanks to cross-platform product sales . All of its most famous brands, from Grand Theft Auto to Red Dead Redemption, passing through NBA 2K and Borderlands (in the hope that the third chapter will be announced soon), are compatible with different hardware, and for this reason they have an excellent penetration rate on the market.

Unless Sony wants to start publishing video games on other hardware (like Microsoft is doing with Minecraft, and how it will do with some IPs from Obsidian and inXile), acquiring Take Two would mean having to give up a substantial chunk of the receipts that keep it up to date. The cost of the operation would therefore not only be linked to the acquisition, but also to the " lost profit " of all PC and Xbox copies of future titles, which would no longer be produced.

A sustainable investment for Sony? It is enough to look around to understand that, beyond the results of the gaming division, not all the " ribs " of the Japanese giant are sailing in safe waters. The results of certain divisions are fluctuating, and the growth recorded in recent times cannot yet be said to be constant and established. In short, the risk factors are many, and it is really unlikely that Sony will proceed with this acquisition: also because the whispered price for Take Two shares is one third higher than the current value.

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Without going too far into detail of the economic maneuvers, the suggestion that we give to all the users is this: in front of a rumor we should give space first to the questions (" how much is plausible? ") that to the secret hopes (" how much would be nice! ").

To be fair, it must be admitted that the source of the indiscretion seemed well founded, and the surge in Take Two's actions could be interpreted as a confirmation signal. But these days it is good to be careful: the person concerned, Joel Kulina (supervisor in force at Wedbush Securities) promptly denied having spread the news defining it as an " overexposed chatter ] ". This whole story, after all, is another example of how the speed of the network can be a double-edged sword . The urgency to react to a piece of news, to share it, to say our own, is understandable in a very fast and constantly moving environment. And yet, from time to time, it is good to tune thoughts and hopes at a slower pace.