EA chief executive John Riccitiello has said that his employer can be Rockstar's
– suggesting that only a successful acquisition of Take Two can give the developer a secure future.
However, leading analysts have condemned the statement, with Janco Partners' Mike Hickey telling GameDaily.biz:
My belief is Rockstar would be perfectly happy if EA never put a bid in at all. White knight commentary is total bullsh*t, and disrespectful to both the developers at TTWO and the new management team that has already achieved success.”
Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter added:
‘White Knight' usually signifies rescue from a hostile suitor (the connotation is to a damsel in distress). I think Riccitiello's use of the term was incorrect, and perhaps a misplaced attempt to sound clever. They are in no sense a White Knight.”
DFC Intelligence's president David Cole commented:
The issue is really more about shareholder value and whether EA is a white knight for Take Two shareholders by offering to pay them the maximum value they feel they can get.”
Mr. Riccitiello told the New York Times that he had not spoken to the Rockstar team, but he said he could make a strong case to them that Electronic Arts offers them a stable parent.
We, in many ways, represent a white knight.” he said.
The statement came in the same article in which the NYT revealed that short-term investors had rushed to Take Two in an attempt to push up EA's hostile offer of $26 per share.