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Analyst: Why Rockstar Should Stay With Electronic Arts

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331w ago - In his latest note to investors, Doug Creutz of analyst group Cowan has said that while he believes few other companies can make as synergistic a bid as Electronic Arts for Take-Two, in the end EA will likely bump its original $26/share bid to $30-32.

"Several key shareholders control a significant portion of Take-Two's float," notes Creutz, "including Oppenheimer Funds, who was the major player in Take-Two's board coup last March. We believe that one of EA's goals in making its bid public was to sound out these shareholders on what price they are willing to sell to EA."

"We think that these shareholders are likely to view an offer above $30 as too compelling to leave on the table, given the time value of money and the ability to lock in a significant gain on a company that has had historically volatile stock and financial performance," he adds.

Creutz goes on to say that while Activision could financially offer a competitive bid, it's currently bogged down with the completion of the Vivendi merger, and while Ubisoft would make strategic sense, Cowan believes "Ubisoft's management is focused in other directions."

That leaves EA alone, and Creutz says "we think EA can justify a bid of up to $32 even assuming that the top talent at Take-Two's Rockstar Games leaves the company," but...
 

Manhunt 2 release saga continues

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337w ago - The developer of controversial video game Manhunt 2 has failed in its latest attempt to release the game in the UK.

A high court judge ruled that the Rockstar Games' title must be re-evaluated by an appeals committee.

The violent game was first banned in June 2007 and has since been subject to numerous reviews and court cases.

Developer Rockstar Games said it did not understand the decision to spend public money repeating a certification process it had already passed.

The latest court case is the result of a ruling in December 2007 that allowed British censors to fight a decision by the Video Appeals Committee (VAC), which said the game could be classified and released.

The British Board of Film Classification's successfully argued that the game had been approved for release on a misinterpretation of the law.

The latest ruling means that the VAC must now re-evaluate the game under new guidelines.

But the game's developers believe the move is expensive and unnecessary.

"We believe the Video Appeals Committee decision was correct and do not understand the court's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the British Board of Film Classification's 18-plus...
 

Manhunt 2 title wins ban appeal

50°
343w ago - The developer of Manhunt 2 has won its appeal to force the British Board of Film Classification to look again at its ban on the game's release.

The game has twice been rejected by the BBFC for certification, effectively banning the game for sale in the UK.

Developers Rockstar contested the ban at the Video Appeals Committee, which ruled in the firm's favour.

The game could now go on sale, if the BBFC, which is "considering the judgement", takes no further action.

In a statement, Rockstar said: "We are committed to making great interactive entertainment, while also marketing our products responsibly and supporting an effective rating system.

"We are pleased that the decision of the VAC has recognised that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment."

David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said the body "exercised great vigilance and care in ensuring that all violent games which are submitted to us are correctly classified".

He said the body had twice rejected the game "for its focus on varied and cumulative killings".

'Serious step'

He added: "We recognse that rejection is a very serious step, in which the desire of publishers to market their games, and that of gamers to buy them, must...
 

Rockstar: Manhunt 2 beta leaker has been sacked

50°
351w ago - Back in September, an uncut pre-release version of Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 for the PlayStation 2 found its way onto the Internet.



As part of a Sky News report which looked at how 'easy' children could download Manhunt 2, they seeked comment from Rockstar on the matter of the leaked code- who stated that the person who leaked the code has been sacked and proceedings are taking place. The leaker, who was not directly involved with Rockstar, had been caught and fired.



It accepts the game was leaked onto the Web by an employee of a different company who had access to the preview copy.
 

A Sad Passing at Rockstar

50°
354w ago - We note that a Rockstar developer, Joseph Howell, 35, has died. According to his Moby Games bio, Howell was credited on a number of high-profile Rockstar titles, including Grand Theft Auto San Andreas as well as GTA III, GTA Vice City, and Manhunt. Howell's obituary describes him as:

...a staunch defender of Civil Rights and Liberties especially for the underprivileged...

Howell leaves behind a wife and two children. Here are some of the games credited for:

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Special Edition) (2005), Rockstar Games, Inc.
The Warriors (2005), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Manhunt (2004), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Midnight Club II (2003), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Mafia (2002), Gathering
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 (2002), Electronic Arts, Inc.
Grand Theft Auto III (2001), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Max Payne (2001), Gathering
Motocross Mania (2001), Take 2 Interactive
Myth III: The Wolf Age (2001), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
All-Star Baseball '99 (1998), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
Batman & Robin (1998), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
Extreme...
 
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