Tragically, Take-Two Interactive founder Ryan Brant has died at the age of 47. Suffering cardiac arrest, Brant passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital in Palm Beach, Florida on March 24. Though the life-long entrepreneur left Take-Two nearly a decade ago, his contributions to the modern gaming industry stand as a lasting legacy to his life and accomplishments.
After graduating from the Wharton School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Brant founded Take-Two Interactive in 1993, planting the seeds for its rapid growth into the publishing powerhouse that it is today. The parent company of the massively successful publishers Rockstar Games and 2K, Take-Two oversees some of gaming's most popular franchises, including Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands, and all 2K Sports titles. Under Brant's leadership as Take-Two's CEO until 2001, Take-Two acquired BMG Entertainment and DMA Design, which were renamed Rockstar Games and Rockstar North, respectively.
Announced by Palm Beach's Quattlebaum Funeral, Cremation, and Event Center, his obituary commemorates the late entrepreneur as "a great lover of art and literature" and an "innovative thinker, known for his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit." Responding to Gameindustry.biz, a Take-Two Interactive spokesperson stated:
"We were saddened to learn of the passing of Ryan Brant. His vision for interactive entertainment began our company's long-standing history and we are grateful for his contributions. We extend our condolences to his family and friends."
His impact on today's climate and common business strategies of today's video game publishing was significant, and, accordingly, Brant's tenure as an executive at Take-Two was not entirely without controversy. After resigning as Take-Two CEO in 2001, he remained involved with the running of the company as a chairman and VP of production until 2006 amid SEC allegations that Brant and Take-Two lied to investors about the publisher's quarterly figures. Grant settled with the SEC and plead guilty to additional charges in 2007.
As Take-Two founder and CEO, Ryan Brant's vision and work paved the way for the financial caliber and scope of today's massive gaming industry, and publishers, developers, and gamers everywhere will continue to remember and feel the influence of his many contributions to the medium for years to come. Taken at a tragically early age, Brant is succeeded by his widow, Diana; four children, Daisy, Sophie, Violet, and Jay; and his parents, Peter and Sandra Brant.