Remember how Grand Theft Auto V made islands full of money? Publisher Take-Two is in a good spot with a billion in cash on hand. What to do with it. Maybe blow it on scratchers and cigarettes? CEO Strauss Zelnick has three alternatives that some might call "better."
"We have the opportunity to support organic growth with our balance sheet," he says, which has typically been Take-Two's method; building studios internally. "We also have the ability to do inorganic growth. And we have the opportunity to return money to our shareholders. ... If there's an opportunity to grow inorganically with a company that's consistent with our disciplined approach, then we would absolutely do so."
We know which directions Take-Two isn't headed. The publisher increased digital revenue by 65%, but mostly through DLC. Zelnick sees retail release as the bulk of the market, phones too small, and tablets not beefy enough for the AAA stuff Take-Two focuses on producing. Similarly, good things to say about Oculus and Nintendo are just that. There's nothing going on there. And Take-Two is tight-lipped about its own projects: the future of Bioshock, Bully, Red Dead. Even the assumed-to-be GTAV port.
So, what studios should Take-Two buy? I say it buys Universal Studios and rebrands it a real life Grand Theft Auto simulator.
Take-Two CEO open to buying more studios [Games Industry International]