It Would Be a "No Brainer" for Activision to Buy GTA and 2K Parent Company Take-Two, Analyst Says

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By now you might have seen reports on the possibility that Activision is interested in buying Take-Two Interactive, which owns Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar, and 2K Games, which publishes Bioshock, Borderlands, and other big game series. There's little evidence that it will happen, but according to Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey, the deal would make a lot of sense.

"For Activision, acquiring Take-Two Interactive would be a no-brainer, in our view, circling some of the strongest development talent and owned IP in the world, within a company that has nearly $1 billion in cash and trades at a comparably lower multiple," Hickey said in a report published Friday.

According to Hickey, Activision's and Take-Two's interests align at least in part because of a shared interest in the movie business. In December, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff stated interest in movie adaptations of the company's games, and Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has previously mentioned they've explored Grand Theft Auto movie deals in the past. Hickey adds that Activision may be in the process of forming an internal movie studio to adapt its games, and that this could in part be related to an "emerging romance" between Activision and Take-Two that could lead to an eventual acquisition.

Hickey also cites the decline of World of Warcraft subscribers, increasing competition against Activision's Skylanders franchise from Disney Infinity, and possible Call of Duty fatigue as reasons for Activision to acquire Take-Two. Owning Red Dead, Borderlands, and other games along with a potential movie adaptation of Grand Theft Auto "would seem like a very smart move for Activision," he said.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

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