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GameStop Kicks Off $10K GTA IV Promotion Sweepstakes

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352w ago - GameStop has kicked the Grand Theft Auto IV marketing machine into high gear with a promotion sweepstakes offering a chance to win up to $10,000 and a paid-for trip to New York City at the GTA IV launch event on April 28.

To enter, all you have to do is text a number to GSGTA4 that corresponds to where the game's lead character Niko Bellic hid his lock box. The choices can be viewed below.

Alternatively, if you do not have a text-capable phone, you can simply fill out the online entry form on GameStop's Web site.
 

Take-Two: BioShock 2 In 2009, Mafia Dev Acquired, Borderlands Delayed

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354w ago - Publisher Take-Two has announced the results of its first quarter, showing sales of $240.4 million and losses up to $38 million, as it announces that BioShock 2 will be released during fall of 2009, and that it has acquired Mafia developer Illusion Softworks.

Sales fell from $277.3 million the year prior, due to what Take-Two says was a lighter holiday release schedule. Sales were mainly driven by BioShock, Carnival Games, NBA 2K8, and continued sales of its Grand Theft Auto releases, including the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in Japan. Losses were up from $21.5 million the year prior.

Take-Two meanwhile announced that its recently opened 2K Marin studio was developing BioShock 2, currently planned for release at the end of 2009. The publisher says 2 million copies of the original BioShock have been sold worldwide to date.

The company also announced that it has acquired Mafia and Hidden & Dangerous developer Illusion Softworks, which will henceforth be renamed 2K Czech. The studio is said to be working on Mafia II for PC and next-gen consoles.

Looking forward, Take-Two says the release of Borderlands, the sci-fi shooter originally announced in August of 2007 has been moved into fiscal 2009 -- some time after October of this year -- "to allow additional development...
 

Sports games alone justify EA's Take-Two offer, says Pachter

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357w ago - Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pacther said that sports games, not Grand Theft Auto alone, provide the impetus for EA's offer to purchase Take-Two.

"EA is in a unique position to purchase Take-Two, but I didn't think they would," admitted Pachter.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, he said that he thought it would be cheaper for EA to compete with Take-Two and force them out of the sports business.

The media may think of Take-Two mainly in terms of GTA, but there is more to it than that.

"In fact, GTA is worth a ton, but probably less of a driver in this acquisition than everything else," he said.

For starters, there are no guarantees that EA will be able to keep the creative talent behind GTA in place. Pachter pointed to EA's experience with the Medal of Honor team that left the franchise and went on to create Call of Duty.

"I would really be surprised if the Rockstar North guys all go to work for EA," he said, suggesting that it may not be their style.

"The part of the acquisition that has really low risk is sports. You know for sure if EA buys Take-Two they will not have two separate teams making two NBA games...That will all get consolidated."

With competition from Take-Two, EA has had to cut the price of its...
 

Take-Two Acquires Illusion Softworks

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363w ago - Publishing label Take-Two Interactive today announced that it has acquired Czech-based game developer Illusion Softworks. With a workforce of roughly 200 employees, Illusion Softworks will join Take-Two's 2K Games publishing label under the name 2K Czech.

"Adding 2K Czech to our network of development studios demonstrates our strong commitment to creating great franchises and building world-class creative teams. The 2K Czech team is responsible for several very innovative and highly-regarded franchises and we look forward to continuing to develop new and existing IP together," said 2K President Christoph Hartmann.

Established in 1997, Illusion Softworks' past works include Mafia, Hidden & Dangerous and Vietcong. Currently the studio is working with 2K Games to develop Mafia II, the follow-up to the original Mafia.
 

ESRB's Vance: Take-Two Not Culpable For Manhunt 2 Hack

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373w ago - In an official statement and subsequent press call attended by Gamasutra, ESRB president Patricia Vance clarified her position on the recently-revealed Manhunt 2 'unblurring' hack, stating that while the content was "unintended and unauthorized," the publisher is not to blame, and the game won't be re-rated from its current M rating.

Take-Two recently confirmed that the content in question, which edits certain data from the game's code to 'unblur' and reveal some of the so-called "execution kills," does exist, and that the hack, which originally circulated via online message boards, is verifiable.

The ESRB issued a statement that said, in part: "We have investigated the matter and concluded that unauthorized versions of the game have been released on the Internet along with instructions on how to modify the code to remove the special effects.

Once numerous changes to the game's code have been made and other unauthorized software programs have been downloaded to the hardware device which circumvent security controls that prevent unauthorized games from being played on that hardware, a player can view unobscured versions of certain violent acts in the game.

Contrary to some reports, however, we do not believe these modifications fully restore the product to the version that...
 
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