Make no mistake about it: the video game industry is big business. Bigger business than it has ever been, in fact. We have to face that fact now, because it can easily change the industry landscape in the blink of an eye. According to Shacknews, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says we can expect major top-notch developers to "test their market value" in the coming years, and that's a big deal.

Specifically, Pachter mentioned Rockstar; saying the developer could slip away from Take-Two Interactive in early 2009. This is when the contracts for Rockstar founders Sam and Dan Houser come up, and we could be looking at another major split (like Bungie and Microsoft). As always, money talks.

"I don't think that this is an issue of dissatisfaction with Take-Two; rather, I think it is rational to believe that in the wake of the $850 million Pandemic/BioWare deal, high quality developers like Bungie and [Rockstar] North would look to test their market value," said Pachter.

We'd all like to think that if this happens, there will be a colossal bidding war for Rockstar's services. We might even see either Sony or Microsoft attempt to land them as an exclusive team…but don't hold your breath. The industry is going multi-platform faster than you can say, "wow, EA owns that , too?!" and you had best understand that. It'll certainly be interesting to see if Take-Two and Rockstar part ways, but at least it won't happen for a while. In the meantime, get all psyched for Grand Theft Auto IV !

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