Gaming Union's E3 publisher preview series continues to countdown all the way to the big event next week. Next up on the list is Take-Two Interactive, best known for their large subsidiaries, Rockstar and 2K. These combined companies command some of the most well recognized franchises in gaming such as Grand Theft Auto, Midnight Club, Bioshock, and 2K Sports. As usual, Rockstar is riding a wave of success, most recently with Red Dead Redemption and therefore doesn't need to directly attend E3. However, this doesn't mean that we won't see Rockstar games at E3. Will Grand Theft Auto V be announced at Microsoft's press conference? What about the PS3-exclusive Agent? L.A. Noire? Bully 2? Irrational Games next project? Take-Two's got a lot of potential this year.
While we won't be seeing anything presented by Rockstar at the show, we do know a fair amount about what 2K has in the works. The likes of Sid Meier's Civilization V, Mafia II, as well as series reboots Spec Ops, and XCOM will all be there. Civilization V apparently will continue to build on the established formula the series is revered for. It will feature randomly generated, hexagonal maps, computer controlled city states, an overhauled combat system and much more. Mafia II will attempt to recapture the 20th century Italian organized crime magic of its predecessor. Scheduled for release in August of this year, Mafia's New York-San Francisco hybrid sandbox should be nearly complete.
2K is also revitalizing several old franchises at this year's E3. Spec Ops: The Line is a revival of the long running Spec Ops series developed by Yager. The third-person shooter puts a great deal of emphasis on dynamic sandstorms that will alter the terrain. The XCOM series is known for its tactical combat which was fairly popular during its original run in the 90s. In 2007, Take-Two bought the rights to the franchise, but little is known about their planned reboot. The only other major question that remains from 2K is whether or not Irrational Games, makers of the original Bioshock, next project will be unveiled.
While we know a lot about 2K, nothing has been confirmed for Rockstar other then the company will not attend the convention. However, this isn't surprising as the Grand Theft Auto maker never comes to E3, instead letting the major platform holders fight over their games exclusivity and who will get the privilege revealing them. Sony has been talking about several PS3 exclusive deals they've got in the works with Rockstar, last year revealing Agent at their press conference. We probably won't see too much more on Agent this year as Rockstar has got several other projects that seem further down the pipeline. Along those lines, L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3 will also miss the show, confirmed to be shown later this year. Rumors have been flying around about several possible announcements such as GTA V, a Bully sequel, Manhunt 3, and/or a new Midnight Club.
Take-Two appears to have a solid lineup for E3 2010. 2K have revealed most of their offerings, while Rockstar is set as always to surprise us with a big announcement. There's a lot to look forward to when the big show gets underway next week.