There's a rumor going around that Activision could purchase GTA 5 publisher Take-Two Interactive. An analyst in favor of the move explained why it's a good deal for Activision.
Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey describes the acquisition as a "no-brainer." The main reason is Take-Two's software portfolio. The company owns Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games along with several other promising franchises and developers.
"Activision would have arguably the 3 strongest development studios in the world with Rockstar Games, Bungie and Blizzard," Hickey said (via Street Insider).
Activision could stagger the releases of these studios' games to ensure more consistent income from year to year. They could release Destiny this fall, a new game from Blizzard the next year, Rockstar's next game the year after that, and so on. This would ensure that each year has a blockbuster.
The company already has multiple billion-dollar franchises. They release a new Call Of Duty every fall thanks to the efforts of multiple developers. Toy/game cross-over series Skylanders is an annual cash-cow as well. Blizzard's World of Warcraft collects subscription fees from millions of gamers each month. However, Hickey believes that these franchises won't be enough moving forward.
"We would also note that Activision’s mega performance foundation with World of Warcraft is trapped within a life cycle decline, their Skylanders franchise will face considerable pressure from Disney [Infinity] and Call of Duty is vulnerable to franchise fatigue from consistent annual iterations."
Hickey says that acquiring properties like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, Borderlands, NBA 2K, and BioShock would make up for the decline in their other franchises. The list doesn't even stop there. He could've also mentioned Civilization, WWE 2K and XCOM. He made his point, though: Take-Two has talented developers and franchises worth spending money for.
EA attempted to buy Take-Two back in 2008. Part of the reason that they weren't successful, Hickey says, was that Rockstar Games didn't support the move. One reason that Rockstar might be more open to an Activision purchase is that they share a common goal: film development. Activision is reportedly planning to create a film studio, while Take-Two/Rockstar are mulling a Grand Theft Auto film.
"We suspect that Activision’s strategic alignment into the movie business, could in-part be related to an emerging romance wrinkle between the two companies."
Right now this is all just speculation, though. Activision and Take-Two haven't made any public announcements about an acquisition. However, it's an interesting hypothetical that would potentially affect millions of gamers. How would Rockstar and the other studios' work be affected by Activision. Would we see GTA games more frequently? Would Call of Duty be pushed into the background in favor of that series?