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This is fucking gay.

LOS ANGELES - Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. has signed an exclusive seven-year licensing deal with the union representing Major League Baseball players, the union said Monday

The Major League Baseball Players Association said the deal makes Take-Two the only independent publisher authorized by the union to produce baseball video games for current- and next-generation console and handheld platforms.

But game console manufacturers would still have the right to produce their own baseball titles, the union said, and Take-Two rival Electronic Arts Inc. said it was looking into the possibility of a publisher tying up with a hardware maker on a baseball game.

The Take-Two deal with the players union starts with the 2006 season, although it was not clear whether the game developer had a licensing relationship with Major League Baseball itself for that season and beyond. A spokesman for the league was not immediately available to comment.

Analysts, anticipating the deal in notes Monday morning, said the deal would be "mildly positive" for Take-Two.

"Take-Two appears to us to be confident in its ability to compete in the sports video game arena, and appears intent upon challenging Electronic Arts' leadership in the category," Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said in a note.

"On balance, we view this news as mildly positive for Take-Two, as it appears that the company will continue to publish baseball video games using the MLB players and will turn a modest profit should it capture 2 million units of sales in 2006."

Take-Two develops and distributes sports video games in partnership with Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. , and it holds an option to acquire Sega's sports studio Visual Concepts.

It recently lost its license to the ESPN brand to rival Electronic Arts starting in 2006.

EA also struck an exclusive deal with the National Football League and its players' union recently for pro football video games, cutting off Take-Two's most successful sports franchise after heavy competition between the two.

An EA spokesman said the company was exploring the possibility that an independent publisher (known in the industry as a third-party publisher) could still team up with one of the console makers to produce a baseball title.

"The possibility of a third-party partnering with someone else to make a baseball game is something that I imagine a lot of people are going to be looking into," EA spokesman Jeff Brown said.

While sports video games were the second-largest industry category in 2004, at $1.18 billion in sales, baseball titles were far down the list. Of the top-10 titles in 2004 by units sold, according to the marketing information provider NPD Group, four were sports games — three football and one basketball.
 

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Heheheh! My cousin used to work at THQ as a producer but is now head of QA at Take-Two. So I'm gonna have some faith in my family and believe that the games will come out bug free! :p
 

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Here's another article:


Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and SEGA Corporation Announce Take-Two's Acquisition of Visual Concepts and Kush Games
New York, NY and Tokyo, Japan - January 25, 2005 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) and SEGA Corporation and its affiliates announced today that Take-Two has purchased all of the outstanding capital stock of SEGA's California-based sports game development studio Visual Concepts Entertainment and its wholly-owned studio, Kush Games. Visual Concepts is the marketer and developer of the critically acclaimed 2K series of sports video games.

The purchase price was approximately $24 million in cash and includes the rights to all intellectual property associated with the sports titles, as well as rights to the 2K brand. The agreement also provides that Take-Two and SEGA will work together to bring sports titles developed by Visual Concepts to SEGA's arcade business. Additionally, Take-Two is negotiating an agreement with SEGA whereby SEGA will publish and distribute the 2K series of sports titles and certain other Take-Two games in Japan and other Asian territories.

Commenting on the acquisition, Paul Eibeler, Take-Two President, said, "With the acquisition of Visual Concepts and Kush Games and their leading sports game development capabilities, we will continue to aggressively pursue our strategy to gain market share with our 2K Sports titles. These studios and their unrivaled talent represent a significant addition to Take-Two's internal development capabilities, which are now approaching 1,000 people worldwide."

"Take-Two has proven in a very short time that it has the resources to excel in the sports video game business, and the acquisition of Visual Concepts further enhances Take-Two's position. We look forward to our ongoing partnership with Take-Two as we publish the 2K Sports series and other titles in the Asian market, and bring Visual Concepts' sports titles to our arcade machines," said Hisao Oguchi, President and COO of SEGA Corporation.

"Take-Two has been an incredible partner with whom we've experienced great success," said Greg Thomas, President of Visual Concepts. "Take-Two has the formidable marketing and distribution resources necessary to compete and win in this business, as well as an increasingly rare passion for creating truly new and innovative games for consumers. For us, giving consumers the best games possible has always been the very top priority, and we look forward to taking our sports titles even further with Take-Two."
 

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More Take2/MLB news came out yesterday...




New York, NY - January 31, 2005 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) announced today long-term, third-party exclusive licensing relationships with Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) which provide Take-Two with sweeping video game rights. Under these exclusives, Take-Two will develop, publish and distribute a broad portfolio of interactive, officially licensed video games that are expected to drive the MLB video game business to new heights.

Additionally, Take-Two announced that Derek Jeter, New York Yankees All-Star shortstop and 2004 Gold Glove recipient, has agreed to a multi-year contract to be spokesperson and cover athlete for the licensed 2K Sports baseball simulation series. "I'm excited to be partnering with an industry leader like Take-Two and I look forward to working together to take the video game experience to the next level for baseball fans," said Derek Jeter.

Take-Two's exclusive, long-term deals, which begin in Spring 2006, enable Take-Two to publish officially licensed Major League Baseball video games on console, PC and handheld platforms. The exclusives include rights to the marks of all 30 Major League Baseball Clubs, MLB players, Major League ballparks and Minor League Baseball Clubs, as well as MLB.com online content, for use in Take-Two's baseball games. Take-Two plans to offer multiple titles based on traditional baseball simulation, arcade and manager-style games, including innovative and specially-timed releases throughout the baseball and holiday seasons. Take-Two's Visual Concepts and Kush Games development studios are creating the baseball titles under Take-Two's recently established 2K Sports publishing label.

These exclusive deals specify Take-Two as the exclusive third-party publisher for officially licensed Major League Baseball video games. Consistent with Take-Two's desire for continued consumer choice, the hardware manufacturers such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will retain the right to enter into development agreements for MLB games specific to their particular platforms. All other third-party publishers and developers are precluded from publishing officially licensed MLB simulation, arcade, and manager style games, either directly or in affiliation with a hardware manufacturer, during the length of the exclusives. Take-Two will be the sole developer, publisher and distributor of licensed simulation, arcade and manager-style Major League Baseball PC games.

"The combination of Take-Two's position as a leading video game publisher and distributor, and our experience with Visual Concepts in creating high quality games, makes this an ideal partnership for Major League Baseball," said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. "Take-Two's plans to introduce more game titles and to distribute them throughout the year, including the key holiday-selling season, will provide baseball fans with exciting and compelling interactive entertainment year-round."

"The baseball video game market has been underdeveloped and 2K Sports has the product plan and talent to change that in next generation video game hardware," said John Olshan, the MLBPA's Category Director for Interactive Games. "For the first time, we will be positioned to take advantage of the entire baseball, hot stove and holiday seasons with an outstanding partner who is committed to giving baseball video games the product development, marketing and distribution required to bring sales in line with the immense popularity of Major League Baseball."

"We look forward to using our technology and online interface to enhance the interactive experience for baseball fans and further extend the reach and increase the exposure to Major League Baseball with the countless hours Americans spend playing video games," said Noah Garden, Senior Vice President of e-Commerce for MLBAM.

"We are extremely honored that Major League Baseball recognizes the accomplishments of Take-Two and Visual Concepts and shares our vision for the future of interactive sports games," said Steve Glickstein, Take-Two Vice President of Publishing. "We are also very happy to announce the long-term relationship with Derek Jeter, one of the greatest baseball players of our generation. We look forward to working with Derek to help us fully leverage baseball's status as one of the country's largest spectator sports and its prominence as America's pastime."

Greg Thomas, President of Visual Concepts, makers of the critically acclaimed 2K Sports line of games, added, "This is an exciting opportunity for us to take the interactive baseball market to a completely new level. As demonstrated by our entire line of critically acclaimed 2K Sports titles, we will continue to innovate in the game play experience, and now, under the incredible scope of these relationships, we will be able to expand the genre by offering a number of new and exciting titles that give consumers the ability to enjoy baseball in entirely new ways. We are very proud of the quality and innovation of our games, along with the tremendous loyalty of our fans, and we look forward to reaching an even bigger audience with our expanded portfolio of titles."
 

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I hate this monopoly sh*t. First off, there isn't a single decent baseball game.
I hope this doesn't happen to the NBA games, but i'm pretty sure it'll happen. If it does, i hope at least it's Sega Sports that gets the license, for they are they only ones that make great sports games.
But i really hope it won't come to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BabyVadah said:
I can't recall there ever being a decent playable baseball game. This move is only gonna further hurt the market for baseball games.
The MVP Baseball series by EA Sports has been the best baseball game so far. Very realistic in it's gameplay.
 
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