Looks like Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) can't take it anymore. According to reports, the entertainment-software publisher is interested in selling itself off.

Take-Two hasn't experienced the best of times the last few years. To begin with, it was swept up in the wave of options scandals that has haunted many businesses on Wall Street. Take-Two also stumbled when it was discovered that X-rated content could be unlocked on one of its Grand Theft Auto titles. Its latest earnings reports were nothing to write home about; in addition, quarterly releases were delayed because of financial reviews, and restatements of fundamentals have spooked investors.

And then there is that intrinsic stigma to Take-Two's situation -- its prospects are based on basically one franchise, the aforementioned Grand Theft Auto. Even though the company is aiming to get rid of that image through sports titles and new games such as Bully, you can still hear the whispering taunts of investors who prefer publishers who have better licensing strategies, the three big examples being Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), and THQ (NASDAQ:THQI).

Activist investors have had enough. Powerful players such as OppenheimerFunds and SAC Capital Partners are throwing their weight around, engaging in an energetic proxy fight to force Take-Two's current management out. This has led to speculation as to who would make for a great new owner. The situation reminds me of Quaker Oats and Gatorade several years ago -- PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats arguably just for that sports drink. Take-Two will be looked at for one very valuable asset. So, who should make an offer?

Any publisher would benefit from an association with Grand Theft Auto. Even so, I don't necessarily see THQ begging to get in this game -- it's doing well enough with its strategy of licensing Viacom (NYSE:VIA) properties. Speaking of Viacom, could you imagine the owner of MTV marrying its marketing muscle with the mature-rated phenomenon? I'd imagine that Sony (NYSE:SNE) would love to grab the franchise, but the company has enough on its plate right now fighting Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) and its Wii onslaught.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would have made a compelling case as a buyer, but it isn't going to happen. Take-Two could be absorbed by the Seattle software giant with no trouble at all, but Microsoft wouldn't want to buy an asset whose top line was dependent on making titles for competing systems because of the resultant revenue drop that exclusivity would imply (according to CNN Money). Yet the benefit to Xbox 360 would be enormous if, like Halo, Grand Theft Auto were to be exclusive to the system. Microsoft should have considered buying Take-Two, then selling off everything but the Grand Theft Auto property. Alternatively, it should look strongly at buying Grand Theft Auto if Take-Two decides to sell itself off in pieces.

So what should individual investors make of all this? Take-Two's future is extremely speculative -- this situation is nothing more than a bet right now. In my opinion, I wouldn't want to expose my portfolio to the potentially increasing volatility of Take-Two's shares. As public and private equity groups look at how compelling this case is, it becomes difficult to see exactly where all this talk will lead -- entering into the stock now would be exciting, certainly. As for me, I've been bearish on Take-Two, and I see no reason for taking a gamble as to whether the company will be sold and guessing what price it could ultimately fetch.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Activision and Disney. As of this writing, he was ranked 12,037 out of 24,698 investors in the Motley Fool CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.