Take-Two Interactive revealed in a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had entered into a three year $25 million employment agreement with "key Rockstar personnel" responsible for the future of the company’s key GTA franchise.
It’s clearly good news for gamers and fans of the GTA series, as this can only mean an extra boost for the talented Rockstar development team currently beavering away on – and now set to seriously cash in with - the next-gen versions of GTA.
The filing states that Take 2 is "...highly dependent on the expertise, skills and knowledge of certain of our Rockstar employees responsible for content creation and development of Grand Theft Auto and other titles." The $25m will be develivered over time through shares in Take 2 itself and “unspecified” internal royalties.
In other Rockstar news, today’s Miami Herald reports that the Miami-Dade school district in Florida is attempting to become the first major school district to fight against the release of Rockstar's upcoming game, Bully.
The Miami-Dade School Board voted to write to Rockstar, the maker of Grand Theft Auto, expressing its fears that the game might encourage bullying at the district’s schools.
''This game is built entirely around bullies and is staged in a school - it's the antithesis of everything we're trying to promote,'' said school board member Frank Bolaños, who is also asking local merchants not to sell the soon-to-be-released game and plans to ask local parents not to buy it.
SPOnG could not really think of a reason why this minor videogame controversy would raise its head again today of all days. Had Rockstar released some new information or screens on the game we’d missed out on?
Oh no, it’s our old friend Jack Thompson up to his shit-stirring, media-whoring tricks yet again. Thompson has in the past referred to Bully as a ''Columbine simulator'' – how does he know this? Has he perhaps been granted the privilege of behind-closed-doors access which SPOnG were so sharply denied at last year's E3? How does he seem to have this detailed insider knowledge on a game that few others know anything much about?
Surely he hasn't just made up this tabloid-baiting phrase in his own brain in order to further his own career as an anti-video games campaigner fighting the good fight, protecting the unsuspecting public's morals against the evil that is Take 2? Surely not?
The Herald quotes Thompson, who implies that he had something to do with telling the above-mentioned Frank Bolaños about the game. He also told hacks on the Herald that the problem had to reach a PR critical mass yet, which was what he was trying to do.
Rockstar issued a written statement to the Herald, stating clearly: ''We all have different opinions about art and entertainment, but everyone agrees that real-life school violence is a serious issue which lacks easy answers."
''Once the game is released, it's too late,'' Thompson said. Is this man secretly employed by Rockstar to generate them high-value press coverage in any random slow news week or what?