Take-Two has inked a deal with key Rockstar Games talent like Grand Theft Auto creators Dan and Sam Houser that secures their employment with Take-Two through 2012 in exchange for shared profits and funding for a new and independent intellectual property.
Under the deal, Take-Two has "established a new incentive compensation program for the Rockstar Games label that is primarily based on a profit sharing arrangement," which, in other words, means that instead of just getting a flat (but hefty) fee for making a game, the Rockstar team will get their share of the money raked in via sales as well. Considering how much Grand Theft Auto sells, it's obviously a lucrative deal for Rockstar.
"We're delighted with the extension and expansion of Take-Two's relationship with the Rockstar team," Strauss Zelnick, the Chairman of Take-Two, said. "The talent and creativity at Rockstar are unparalleled in our industry."
The key Rockstar members in question include Sam Houser and Dan Houser, the two creative forces behind the GTA franchise, who some had predicted would be looking to shed their allegiance to Take-Two just as Bungie became independent from Microsoft last year. Instead, the Brothers Houser will be churning out hits for Take-Two through 2012.
"The entire Rockstar team has always been dedicated to making groundbreaking games with unprecedented production values, style and depth," Sam Houser said. "We are excited to continue our partnership with the new management team at Take-Two, who have helped us to protect the unique atmosphere that fosters creativity and innovation."
However, the deal also pointed to the possibility of future independence as well: In addition to profit sharing and long-term employment, the deal also states that Take-Two will fund the future development of a brand-new intellectual property owned by an independent company controlled by "key Rockstar members" that will be exclusively published by Take-Two.