Sega and Take-Two Interactive today announced they have signed an agreement, under which all of Sega's ESPN titles will be co-published and exclusively distributed by Take-Two Interactive.

"We believe this exclusive relationship with SEGA is a great opportunity for Take-Two," stated 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," commented 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," added 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."

The press release also included an interesting little statement that read: "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."

There are rumors flying that this is the first step in Sega selling ESPN developer Visual concepts to Take-Two, but they remain unproven. Like we stated last week, things are changing for Sega, but it's too early to see their long-term effects.