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Grand Theft Auto V is around the corner…or at least the trailer is

Shares of Take-Two Interactive surged 6 percent on Tuesday. But it had nothing to do with activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a chunk of the company or any rumors about the company's earnings on Nov. 8.

What happened is that investors looked at the website of Rockstar games, the Take-Two-owned studio behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Its website had been replaced by a large Grand Theft Auto logo and a Roman numeral V wrapped around a banner saying "five."

Gamers have been salivating for GTA 5 since 2008, when the last game in the series came out, so much so that at least one analyst has said that the game could sell 25 million copies in its first year.

But the timing, price, features or any other details are not yet known. The only clue the company revealed is on its website: the trailer is coming out on Nov 2.

Dan Houser, one of its renown game developers, gave an extended interview to Gamespot last week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the third version  but was mum on new details about the newest game.

E3: Strauss Zelnick dishes on Wii U, Zynga and why foie gras tastes better than chewing gum

Take-Two Interactive occupies a massive booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it’s showing off its new games and serving beer at the elaborate sports bar it constructed on the show floor.  Under its CEO, Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two has been showing renewed financial health in recent quarters. In February, it posted its first profitable year in nearly a decade without a new release of its blockbuster video game franchise “Grand Theft Auto.”  Zelnick sat down with Reuters for an in depth chat touching on everything from Nintendo’s new console to Zynga’s business model, and the difference between foie gras and chewing gum.

Reuters: Are publishers on board more than ever before with Nintendo on the Wii U?

Zelnick: Well, It’s hard to know, right? At E3, there’s always a great deal of enthusiasm, as there should be. It remains to be seen what the releases schedules look like. We do think it’s pretty interesting. What they are doing with one display in your hands and the other display that’s wireless in front of you and the ability to have them work independently as well as together, creates a lot of interesting creative opportunities and that’s what we’re looking for. We’ll see how our creative teams feel but right now it looks pretty interesting.

GlobalMedia-Ghosts of Atari haunt gaming sector dealmakers

MEDIA-SUMMIT/The video game sector is often seen as being particularly ripe for consolidation, with some expecting old line media giants such as Time Warner to swoop in and scoop up a publisher to diversify their entertainment rosters.

But Strauss Zelnick, chairman of “Grand Theft Auto” publisher Take-Two Interactive, remains surprised by the lack of action on the consolidation front. “I think the legacy media companies have not been especially aggressive about interactive entertainment,” he said at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York on Wednesday. His company, of course, fought off Electronic Arts’ hostile takeover bid in 2008.

“I have to admit there are times when I’m surprised they’re not more exposed.”

Zelnick’s New Media Dinner: a new ideas exchange?

On the evening of Nov 2, about 70 people — new media upstarts and old media stalwarts, brand-name investors and top company executives — gathered at the Manhattan home of Strauss Zelnick to talk shop.

This was the third such gathering that Zelnick and his co-hosts organized, with the aim of bringing New York’s best media-focused minds under one roof to talk about the future of the business. In keeping the setting intimate and the number of invitations in the ballpark of about a hundred people, the organizers hope to turn the “New Media Dinner” into a recurring salon-of-sorts, where ideas, capital and expertise can mix and match.

In a half-hour chat before the guests started arriving, Zelnick and two of the co-hosts, founder Sam Lessin and Thrillist’s Ben Lerer explained to me how this all came about.

$60 video games? Do the math, says Zelnick

How do entertainment retailers come up with the prices they charge? Why is a movie theater ticket $10, a music CD $15, a rental DVD $3-$5 and a top video game $60?

We asked Strauss Zelnick, executive chairman of game publisher Take-Two. He says it’s simple math, based upon the value of that experience.

Prices are determined by the marketplace — if folks stopped buying stuff, prices would fall, etc. (Think gasoline). Balance that with cost. A game like Halo or Grand Theft Auto takes years to develop and costs as much to make as a Hollywood film.