Take-Two Interactive: Rising to Power Through Strategic Acquisitions

1 minutes reading time
Published 4 Dec 2023
Reviewed by: Kasper Karlsson
Updated 21 Mar 2024

In the dynamic world of video game publishing, Take-Two Interactive has carved out a unique and powerful position. Known for popular franchises like Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, and Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two's growth can be attributed in part to its strategic acquisitions over the years. This article delves into Take-Two Interactive's most notable acquisitions since its inception, exploring how these moves have shaped the company into a gaming industry titan.

Acquiring Rockstar Games: A Game Changer

Founded in 1993 by Ryan Brant, Take-Two Interactive started as a modest publishing company. The early years were about finding its footing in the rapidly evolving gaming industry, but it wasn't long before Take-Two embarked on a journey of expansion through acquisitions.

A pivotal moment in the company's history was the acquisition of BMG Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, in 1998. This acquisition brought the Grand Theft Auto series under Take-Two's umbrella, a franchise that would go on to define the company's success. Rockstar Games continued to push boundaries with titles like Red Dead Redemption, cementing its place in gaming history.

The success of Rockstar under Take-Two significantly influenced the wider gaming industry, particularly in terms of open-world game design and narrative depth in video games. The acquisition's long-term success was evident, with titles like GTA Online continuing to generate substantial revenue through ongoing in-game transactions and updates, years after their initial releases.

A key aspect of this acquisition was Take-Two's approach to Rockstar's operations. Rockstar was allowed to maintain a considerable degree of creative autonomy, crucial in keeping the unique brand and quality of its games intact.

Beyond business strategy, Rockstar's games have had a significant cultural impact under the Take-Two umbrella, influencing popular media, music, and fashion trends. In summary, the acquisition of Rockstar Games by Take-Two Interactive transcended a mere business transaction; it was a pivotal moment that shaped the future of both companies and had a profound impact on the video game industry as a whole. Arguably, this acquisition stands as the most crucial moment in Take-Two Interactive's history.

The GTA Series Visualized

Since the release of the original Grand Theft Auto in 1997 (FY98), the franchise has been a significant revenue generator for Take-Two. In fact, the group's total revenue has increased an astonishing 440 times since then. However, it's important to note that this increase has not been solely driven by GTA.

The GTA Series Visualized
The GTA Series Visualized

Expanding with 2K Games

In 2005, Take-Two Interactive acquired 2K Games, a publishing label that would become known for high-quality titles across diverse genres. This acquisition also brought the esteemed developer Visual Concepts, creators of the NBA 2K series, under Take-Two's wing. This move not only expanded Take-Two's portfolio but also introduced a new level of competition in sports gaming.

NBA 2K has risen to become the premier basketball video game franchise with its advanced graphics and gameplay. Its career mode and online play have been particularly praised. This acquisition once again demonstrates Take-Two's ability to harness and grow strong brands. By 2023, NBA 2K had become the second most popular sports gaming franchise in the world, surpassed only by FIFA, owned by Electronic Arts.

Take-Two's Evolving Strategy

The M&A journey of Take-Two Interactive reflects a well-thought-out strategy that has been crucial for the company's financial development and shareholder value creation. Below is a visual showcasing Take-Two's most notable acquisitions since 1996:

Take-Two Acquisition History - M&A
Take-Two Acquisition History

Take-Two Interactive's Most Notable Acquisitions Listed Chronologically:


  • Mission Studios (1996)

  • GameTek (1997)

  • BMG Interactive, parent company to Rockstar Games (1998)

  • Talonsoft (1998)

  • Jack of All Games (1998)

  • Tarantula Studios (1998)

  • Global Star Software (1999)

  • DMA Design (1999)


  • PopTop Software (2000)

  • Gathering of Developers (2000)

  • Telstar Electronic Studios (2000)

  • DVDWave.com (2000)

  • Joytech (2000)

  • Barking Dog Studios (2002)

  • Angel Studios (2002)

  • TDK Mediactive (2003)

  • Cat Daddy Games (2003)

  • Frog City Software (2003)

  • Möbius Entertainment (2004)

  • 2K Games (2006)

  • Visual Concepts (2005)

  • Kush Games (2005)

  • Firaxis Games (2005)

  • Irrational Games (2006)

  • Illusion Softworks (2008)

  • Mad Doc Software (2008)


  • Social Point (2017)

  • Dhruva Interactive (2019)


  • Playdots (2020)

  • Ruffian Games (2020)

  • HB Studios (2021)

  • Nordeus ( 2021)

  • Dynamixyz (2021)

  • Turia Games (2021)

  • Roll7 (2021)

  • Zynga (2022)

  • Echtra Games (2022)

  • NaturalMotion (2022)

  • Peak Games (2022)

  • Rollic (2022)

  • Small Giant Games (2022)

  • StarLark (2022)

  • Storemaven (2022)

  • GameClub (2023)


Take-Two Interactive's journey through mergers and acquisitions reflects a masterful blend of strategic foresight and an understanding of the gaming industry's evolving landscape. From its modest beginnings, Take-Two has grown into a powerhouse, largely due to its well-executed acquisitions. The company's ability to not only acquire but also effectively integrate and nurture its acquisitions, as seen with Rockstar Games and 2K Games, has been a key factor in its success.

The diverse range of studios and companies brought under the Take-Two umbrella demonstrates the company's commitment to variety and innovation in gaming. From revolutionizing open-world gameplay and narrative depth with Rockstar Games to setting new standards in sports gaming with the NBA 2K series, Take-Two has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the gaming world.

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