Electronic Arts' CEO, John Riccitiello, has told the BBC that it wouldn't matter to EA if Rockstar decided not to make any more Grand Theft Auto titles after GTA IV
He implies that in the event of a successful merger-cum-take-over, if members of the Rockstar team decided not to join EA, Riccitiello's company would continue to make the games.
According to the Beeb, Riccitiello would have "no fear that the value EA placed on Take Two could be damaged if the trio of Rockstar creators decided not to pursue further Grand Theft Auto titles after the latest release".
He is quoted as saying, "There is no doubt that EA is several times larger than Take Two - everyday somebody walks in and somebody walks out.
"If the wrong guy walks out, we have an issue to deal with. But we don't stop making games."
That said, the man at the top of the world's biggest games publisher (at least until the Activision/Vivendi/Blizzard deal is ratified) also pointed out that the proposed deal wasn't looking to exclude Rockstar's "young, vibrant... talented and committed" leadership.
"...what we have got right now is a corporate issue that has nothing to do with the people who build these games", said Riccitiello. Exactly how anyone can exclude the people who work for a corporation from a corporate issue is a feat of compartmentalisation that SPOnG can only look admiringly at.
The EA bossman was also helpful enough to tell the BBC's Darren Waters how to write his story, "The big headline here is that our primary interest is in Rockstar and the intellectual properties around Rockstar", said Riccitiello.
Now, what doesn't appear to have been noticed in all of this is sound of Activision Blizzard
heading towards a final ratification of its merger. This would create a company with as much, if not more, weight to throw around as Electronic Arts. The merger is due to be "completed in the first half of calendar year 2008
" - adding just one more piece of stimuli to EA's desire to snap up Rockstar as well as BioShock
You can read the full interview on the BBC's website
Before doing so, however, the following event-line might come in useful.
1) Take-Two's date for a response to EA's bid = March 27th.
2) EA's date for final agreement on its tender
for Take-Two = April 11th (unless extended)
3) Launch date of GTA IV
= April 29th.
4) Original date in which Take-Two said it would initialise talks with EA
= April 30th.
5) Activision and Vivendi Games to merge into Activision Blizzard
- first half of 2008.