Speaking to the BBC, EA chief executive John Riccitiello was clear that the primary interest EA has in acquiring Take Two Interactive is the company's strong roster of development teams, specifically that of Rockstar Games.

"The big headline here is that our primary interest is in Rockstar and the intellectual properties around Rockstar," Riccitiello said as the April 29 release of Grand Theft Auto IV looms in the distance. Sports gamers have long stated their frustration with the attempted acquisition because it would remove EA's only competitor in the simulation-sports market. Riccitello explained that the sports angle was a secondary thought, "sports games are secondary consideration here," he explained.

While Take Two had declined the initial offer from EA for $2 billion, the acquisition has recently gone hostile. In order to purchase the company from under Take Two executives, EA has put in a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock for $26 each on last Thursday targeting shareholders. Take Two executives have since asked shareholders to hold out on the offer, which is set to expire on April 11 - a mere 18 days before the launch of the GTAIV cash-cow. With the news that EA is targeting new shareholders that are looking to unload a headache, this news looks to get more interesting by the day.

[Read, Joystiq]
[Read, Next Gen]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.