Independent game publisher EA has offered to take over Take-Two for nearly $2 billion in cash – a 64 percent premium over the publisher’s aggregate stock price. Apparently, the company has pursued the deal privately since December to no avail, after Take-Two’s board of directors rejected two offers it deemed “inadequate” saying the price was too low and the timing wasn’t right with Grand Theft Auto IV ready to hit retailers in just a couple months.

Electronic Arts released details of the offers in order to get the attention of Take-Two shareholders and put some pressure on the company to accept the offer. And while it didn’t make any reference to Vivendi’s agreement to purchase Activision, this is no doubt the response EA had to make to keep its spot as the world’s largest video game publisher. You can read some of EA’s CEO John Riccitiello comments regarding his plans for the combined company (should the deal go through) here.