UPDATE: Joel Kulina, the Wedbush Securities analyst quoted by MarketWatch, has since refuted the quote, saying it was misquoted in a follow-up inquiry from GameSpot. Kulina stated "there is nothing to this story that I've seen," debunking the rumor. The original story follows.
Just a day after Microsoft confirmed it would be bringing one of its most treasured IPs to Steam, new rumors have emerged that suggest Sony could be fairly close to acquiring Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two is famous for owning two major publishing labels: Rockstar Games, the developer behind the Grand Theft Auto series, and 2K, which is famous for its various sports franchises while also having a hand in games like the Borderlands series.
March appears to be a productive month for fans of industry rumors. Google recently teased a major GDC 2019 announcement and then added Jade Raymond, a former Ubisoft executive with a reputation as an innovator and forward-thinker, as the company's VP. Microsoft proved the rumors of The Master Chief Collection coming to the PC to be true, while also adding Halo: Reach to its offerings and bringing the group of games to the Steam platform as well.
Now, it appears Sony gets to become the center of speculation, as a new report from MarketWatch suggests that the company is closing in on a deal that would see it acquire Take-Two Interactive. The report states that Take-Two's stock is climbing because of rumors that Sony is "in advanced board level discussions to acquire" it, in what is also being described as a "mostly cash deal." Sony's stock has also risen slightly, fueling the rumors even more.
Sony certainly has the cash available to acquire such a massive company. The tech giant has been dominant over the last few years of console gaming, opening up a sizeable gap between its PS4 console and would-be competitors. With the newest Xbox angling to cut into that market share, it's possible Sony is looking to preemptively make moves that would make its next console a must-own. One of the quickest ways to do so would be acquiring a company that houses titles like Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands and then making those franchises exclusive to Sony.
Of course, this is just a rumor, and should be treated as such until there's more evidence available. Sony could afford to make this move, and Take-Two Interactive would likely be receptive to the right offer, but it's also the kind of move that most analysts could only dream of having the chance to discuss for weeks on end. The fact that financial analysts are reporting it lends it a small amount of credibility, but for now, it's best to approach this with careful speculation and see how the next few weeks play out. The future landscape of gaming appears like it's being decided upon over the next few months, and it should be an exciting time for fans of the medium who aren't afraid of change.