Take-Two Acquires Irrational?
Gamasutra has an article on unconfirmed reports that the developer of System Shock 2, Freedom Force, SWAT 4 and BioShock has been acquired by publisher Take-Two
According to unconfirmed reports from employees of developer Irrational Games, the company has been acquired by U.S. publisher Take-Two Interactive. The two companies have already been working in close conjunction, with Take-Two registering the trademark for and agreeing to publish Irrational’s forthcoming game BioShock.
BioShock has been variously described as the spiritual successor to System Shock 2 (the trademark for which, perhaps coincidentally, Electronic Arts was yesterday reported to have renewed), which was the developer’s first game in 1999. Subsequent titles have included Freedom Force, Tribes: Vengeance and SWAT 4 – produced from the company’s Boston and Braddon, Australia studios.
The staff e-mail allegedly describes the release date of BioShock as being 2007 for the PC and next generation consoles, which suggests significant confidence in the game’s quality on the part of Take-Two – with the developer not known to be working on any other titles.
Despite disappointing financial results in 2005, this new acquisition is another example of Take-Two’s attempts to expand its portfolio beyond the Rockstar and 2K Games brand. As was the case with the purchase of Civilization developer Firaxis Games last November, Irrational Games are best known for their PC titles suggesting that Take-Two stills attaches considerable importance to the format.
Make of that what you will. If true I think it's not necessarily a bad thing - there are far worse things to happen and publishes to be acquired by!