March 23rd could see more action in the games industry than the European launch of the PlayStation 3: the board of controversial Manhunt
publisher Take Two Interactive could be replaced by a powerful union of American investment organisations and its own investors.
As ever in the heady world of corporate violence, this news saw Take Two’s shares rise by 12%.
Reuters reports that, “Several Take-Two Interactive Software Inc investors have pooled their stakes in the video game company to vote for a slate of director candidates at its upcoming annual meeting, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
“The group also said it would ask for the power to replace the current chief executive and to review the chief financial officer.
“Among the nominees are former BMG Entertainment CEO Strauss Zelnick and former (Rupert Murdoch-owned) News Corp executive Benjamin Feder.
“The group also plans to vote that Take-Two approve a management agreement with ZelnickMedia, which includes Zelnick, and Feder.
“Zelnick also plans to ask the board to give him the power to replace Take-Two CEO Paul Eibeler and review the employment status of CFO Karl Winters, the filing said.”
This comes during a tumultuous period for the company, which has seen its former CEO, Ryan A. Brant, pleading guilty to criminal charges regarding the backdating of stock options; plus five independent directors were said to have got improperly dated stock options.
If that wasn’t enough, Take Two’s recent earnings forecasts have been lower than expected, the reason, according to the company is that gamers have switched to 'next-gen' machines such as PlayStation3 and Nintendo’s Wii, for which it is yet to release a title - although, of course, Manhunt 2
is pencilled in for Wii release this year via Rockstar.
A representative for Take Two in the United Kingdom was unable to comment on what these high-powered corporate shenanigans might mean for future developments when SPOnG the company this afternoon.