Take-Two Interactive renews employment agreements with Rockstar Games

take-two-interactive-logoVideo game publisher Take-Two Interactive has confirmed some big but not in any way unexpected recent developments within its senior management team. Most relevant to the everyday gamer is the news that the House That Grand Theft Auto Built, also known as Rockstar Games is staying put. Take-Two revealed yesterday that long-term employment agreements with key Rockstar executives, including company founders Dan Houser, Sam Houser and Leslie Benzies, have been extended, Gamasutra reports.

The terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but it sounds like the Rockstar team didn’t need much convincing. Take-Two notes that a deal was reached on “substantially similar economic terms” as compared to the previous one. Then again, when you’re a founder of one of the most popular game development studios on the planet, those paychecks are probably pretty hefty and incentive-filled already. Which isn’t to say that Rockstar and Take-Two don’t work well together; the developer has enjoyed a lot of creative freedom with this partnership, and it’s no surprise that deciding to extend it was (from the sound of things) a painless process.

Take-Two also signed a new management agreement with CEO Strauss Zelnick and his company ZelnickMedia, a deal that will continue until May 31, 2015. The terms are still subject to stockholder approval, but the reigning CEO and several of his ZelnickMedia employees are named as Take-Two executives. The deal mirrors Zelnick’s previous arrangement, which saw Take-Two paying his company a monthly management fee of $208,333, subject to a 3 percent annual increase.

All of this should come as no surprise to anyone who looks at Take-Two’s financial performance as a company over the year. The publisher revealed that the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2011 saw revenues of $1.14 billion, a 49 percent increase over last year. Take-Two also bounced back from a fiscal 2009 loss of $108.1 million with profits of $53.8 million in 2010. A DLC-bearing Grand Theft Auto IV collection and the Undead Nightmare expansion for Red Dead Redemption — Rockstar releases — are a big part of that success, as is NBA 2K11, Top Spin 4 and Major League Baseball 2K11.


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