January 25, 2005 11:11 AM PST

Take-Two takes Sega's sports-game studios

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Game-software company Take-Two Interactive announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Sega's sports-game development studio, Visual Concepts Entertainment, and its subsidiary, Kush Games, in a cash deal worth $24 million.

As part of the deal, Take-Two gets the rights to Visual Concepts' 2K series of titles.

Take-Two said it will launch new products under a new label, 2K Games. 2K Games will publish a range of console, PC and handheld games developed at Take-Two's studios--including those from Visual Concepts and Kush Games--as well as external developers, it said. A few titles planned earlier under Take-Two's Global Star label will now be released under the new label.

The sports-game-publishing arena has seen some intense activity recently as companies have vied with rivals to get the rights to use baseball players in their video games. This week, the Major League Baseball Players Association said it is signing a deal with Take-Two to let Take-Two portray Major League players in video games. The deal is said to be worth $200 million. Rival Electronic Arts also struck a deal with ESPN this month to develop new games using ESPN properties.

Take-Two and Sega will work jointly to bring sports titles developed by Visual Concepts to Sega's arcade business. The two are also working to let Sega publish and distribute 2K series sports titles and Take-Two games in Japan and other Asian markets, the game publishers said.

"We will continue to aggressively pursue our strategy to gain market share with our 2K Sports titles," Take-Two President Paul Eibeler said in a release. "These studios and their unrivaled talent represent a significant addition to Take-Two's internal development capabilities, which are now approaching 1,000 people worldwide."


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