Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter uses an odd forum to float an odd theory: On the Bonus Round, a video game chat show on Gametrailers.com, Michael suggests that Take-Two’s long-anticipated, much-delayed Grand Theft Auto IV may be delayed yet again.
How’s that? Michael says that if Electronic Arts (ERTS) manages to buy Take-Two, it might want to hold the game for next fall, and pump up its Q4.
“I think if EA takes over Take-Two, they have an economic incentive to delay [Grand Theft Auto IV].”
We’re not sure when this show was taped: The segment with this quote seems to have been posted this weekend, and the first segment looks like it’s from two weeks ago. But even if Michael had made his comments two months ago, they wouldn’t have made any sense.
To sum up: After a major delay last fall, TTWO announced in January that it would GTA IV would go on sale April 29. A launch this size — its the biggest video game of the year — involves a dizzying, interlocking series of marketing and logistical plans: Assembling media hits, buying airtime, working with retailers to secure floorspace and promotional deals, getting the actual games out of the warehouse and into stores, etc. Busting that up within a few weeks of launch date for any reason would be a catastrophe, and if EA was doing it purely for financial engineering reasons, it’d be worse.
This also assumes that EA and TTWO could consumate a deal within weeks, which wouldn’t happen even the two companies stopped fighting tooth-and-nail. If TTWO accepted the EA deal today, the two companies would need weeks just to get the deal ok’d by shareholders. We don’t expect Michael’s fellow guests on the “Bonus Round” to know any better. But he ought to.
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