EA, Take Two merger would 'spell trouble' for its development staff

EA, Take Two merger would 'spell trouble' for its development staff
Michael French

By Michael French

August 28th 2008 at 2:47PM

Further consolidation ruins the 'ability to offer innovation and compelling titles' says impassioned report

One of CNET's bloggers is not excited by the prospect of Electronic Arts buying Take Two. At all.

Home technology journalist Don Reisinger says that industry consolidation merely kills of creativity and changes the mindset of developers for the worse.

He says: "Consolidation has a larger, more important affect on gaming: it turns developers into game lovers that just want to create new and unique titles to developers that are run by suits and care only about the profit potential of each title."

His comments come following the merger of Activision and Vivendi to create Activision Blizzard - a move which champions the existence of World of Warcraft developer Blizzard but has left many other Vivendi teams out in the cold, to either be sold off or or 'streamlined'.

Now, EA and Take Two have entered NDA-locked talks following the former's move the acquire the GTA publisher in late February. If successful, the move would create a huge development resource.

"Consolidation in the video game industry could ruin its ability to offer innovation and compelling titles. Of course, the developers claim that consolidation will give companies the ability to offer more compelling titles, but I just don't see it.

"Since the age of consolidation hit the video game industry, it has changed drastically," says Reisinger.

"Granted, sales are higher than they ever have been and more people are playing video games than ever before, but the video games themselves have lost much of their appeal.

"In fact, consolidation has spawned an industry that's dominated by sequel after sequel and enough first-person shooters and sports games that barely differ from year to year, that when unique and innovative titles comes along like Spore, the entire industry jumps for joy.

"A quick glance at EA's upcoming lineup of games tells you everything you need to know about consolidation. Aside from Spore, it's dominated by sequels and titles that will do little but provide the same basic experience we've come to expect from today's games."

He adds: "If EA and Take-Two - two of the biggest culprits of derivative gaming - combine to form one major developer, this will only get worse."