Electronic Arts has announced it will finally drop its hostile $2 billion bid for rival video game publisher Take-Two Interactive today, after the latter repeatedly spurned a $25.74 per share offer it deemed too low. EA's decision stems from the fact that it is now impossible for a takeover to be completed in time for the lucrative Christmas shopping season, but they are not discarding a deal further down the road.

With no chance to add the immensely-popular "Grand Theft Auto" franchise to its roster before the end of the year, EA will reportedly take a second look at its offer price. Interestingly, Take-Two has offered due diligence to review and discuss "strategic alternatives," with them planning to present EA with a three-year product release schedule, financial projections and other nonpublic information meant to support its claims of what the company is worth. Ever more it seems that an eventual deal is likely; it's just a question of when and at what price.