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Take-Two, SEGA and ESPN

Filed under: General Gaming
Posted by Jeremy on June 8, 2004 11:15 AM
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Take-Two today announced that they have signed a binding letter with SEGA to co-publish and distribute all SEGA ESPN sports games including: ESPN NFL Football, ESPN NHL Hockey, ESPN NBA Basketball, ESPN College Hoops and ESPN Major League Baseball. It seems Take-Two is making a play (no pun intended) to compete with the likes of EA Sports and XSN (Microsoft's sports franchises).

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Take-Two Signs Exclusive Worldwide Co-Publishing and Distribution Agreement with SEGA Corporation for All SEGA ESPN Videogames Titles


New York, NY - June 8, 2004 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) announced today the Company has signed a binding letter of intent with SEGA Corporation to co-publish and exclusively distribute on a worldwide basis all SEGA ESPN Videogames sports titles, including ESPN NFL Football, ESPN NHL Hockey, ESPN NBA Basketball, ESPN College Hoops and ESPN Major League Baseball. The ESPN Videogames titles are developed and marketed by California-based Visual Concepts Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of SEGA Corporation, and will be co-published under the SEGA/Global Star Software label. The products will be exclusively distributed through Jack of All Games in North America and Take-Two Europe for international territories.

The multi-year co-publishing and distribution agreement includes a provision for Take-Two to further extend its participation in SEGA's sports game business and all associated intellectual property for current and future gaming platforms.

"We believe this exclusive relationship with SEGA is a great opportunity for Take-Two," said Paul Eibeler, Take-Two's President. "We have tremendous respect for the critically acclaimed properties that Visual Concepts has created and we are confident that our global sales and distribution capabilities provide the resources that will fully support these products." "The combined efforts of SEGA and Take-Two will create an exciting and powerful partnership that is sure to heighten the level of aggressive competition in the growing sports game segment," said Hisao Oguchi, Representative Director and President of SEGA Corporation.

"We are excited to have Take-Two bring their second-to-none distribution power and proven experience reaching the mass market to the ESPN Videogames franchise we've built with SEGA," said Greg Thomas, President of Visual Concepts. "We are proud of the quality of our games and the loyalty of our fans, and we look forward to being able to reach a whole new audience."

A significant part of Take-Two's strategy is to gain market share by offering extremely high quality products, supported with aggressive marketing and value pricing. "We plan to expand the audience for ESPN Videogames' sports titles by applying a variety of proven marketing techniques," said Mr. Eibeler. "We are also adding the compelling element of value pricing to this high quality line, creating a significant point of differentiation for both core and casual gamers. We believe the recent console price cuts are bringing new consumers into the interactive entertainment market, and sports titles will be a meaningful part of their software purchases. Finally, with Sony and Microsoft not publishing sports titles this holiday season, there is a significant competitive opportunity for ESPN Videogames titles. The combination of these factors should expand the overall market for sports titles."

Visual Concepts' critically acclaimed ESPN Videogames are considered some of the most innovative, high-quality sports games on the market. ESPN NBA Basketball and ESPN NHL Hockey were the world's #1-rated games last year in their respective genres, and ESPN NFL Football is a top-ranked offering considered by many to be the most realistic, true-to-life football simulation available anywhere and for any price.

About SEGA Corporation

SEGA? Corporation is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home, encompassing consumer business, amusement machine sales and amusement center operations. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA? Corporation's Web site is located at http://sega.jp.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia assets in sports marketing with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes , ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (a high-definition simulcast service of ESPN), ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc, which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

NBA, NFL, NCAA, and NHL are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission. "PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. TM, ?, Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo GameCube are trademarks of Nintendo. ESPN is a registered trademark of ESPN, Inc. ESPN branded elements ? Disney. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Visual Concepts Entertainment

Visual Concepts Entertainment is the maker of the critically acclaimed 2K series of sports games. The company is responsible for the full development and marketing for all ESPN Videogames titles and is committed to delivering the best, fully integrated sports gaming experience for all consumers. Visual Concepts Entertainment is wholly owned by Japan-based SEGA Corporation. For more information on ESPN Videogames games, visit http://www.espnvideogames.com.

About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an integrated global developer, marketer, distributor, and publisher of interactive entertainment software games and accessories for the PC, PlayStation? game console, PlayStation?2 computer entertainment system, Xbox, Nintendo GameCubeTM and Game Boy? Advance. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned subsidiary labels: Rockstar Games, Gathering, Global Star and Joytech. The Company maintains sales and marketing offices in Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Vienna, Milan, Sydney, Breda (Netherlands) and Auckland. Take-Two's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com.

All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them. The Company has no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary significantly from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of factors. These important factors are described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2003 and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 31, 2004 in the section entitled "Cautionary Statement and Risk Factors".

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Safe Harbor Statement
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them. The Company has no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary significantly from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of factors. These important factors are described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2003 and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 31, 2004 in the section entitled "Cautionary Statement and Risk Factors".






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