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Take Two Takeover

February 26, 2008

I woke up this morning to find my e-mail inbox filled with messages alerting me to the sad news of the passing of WTSP Chief Meteorologist Dick Fletcher at the age of 63. I worked with him for two years during my tenure at 10 News in Tampa, and Dick was always friendly to me, even though he didn't have to be. What's more, I never heard anyone say anything negative about the man. The few times that we worked together (unusual since I mostly produced mornings), he was a total pro, and I always thought highly of him. He will be missed.

10 News reporter Mike Deeson (a good man in his own right) wrote a wonderful tribute about Dick, who he worked with for 28 years.

For fans of sports video games, news of EA Sports' proposed $2 billion takeover of Take Two is most troubling. EA Sports has produced some wonderful games in the past 20+ years, going back to the Electronic Arts era, and the company has provided hours and hours of fun to untold millions of sports video game fans.

At the same time, it has shown a monopolistic side, securing "exclusive" deals with the NFL and NCAA football. The result has been a horrible downturn in the Madden NFL series, which without the push of competition has really failed to impress on the next-gen systems.

In purchasing Take Two, EA Sports would gobble up its largest competition, the company that makes the "2K Sports" series of games. What does that mean for the future? Quite simply, video gamers can likely expect to see even less improvement on a year-to-year basis from strong catalog titles.

While 2K Sports is hardly an example of perfection in video game making, they have made some strong titles. It's worth noting that gave NBA 2K8 an 8.5, whereas EA Sports' NBA Live 08 ranked at merely a 7.5 for the XBox 360.

Competition is a great thing for the general public. Take it away in nearly any situation and the quality of whatever the product is drops. That's the sad reality of life.

For more, including the impact the deal could have on the landmark Grand Theft Auto series, read this article from CNN.

Tonight it's Tennessee at Vanderbilt, which I look forward to watching on ESPN. There's light snow forecast for the Nashville area this evening, but hopefully it won't prevent fans from going to the game.

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