Take-Two Reportedly Shutting Down Studios Behind Rollerdrome and Kerbal Space Program 2

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Take-Two Reportedly Shutting Down Studios Behind Rollerdrome and Kerbal Space Program 2

The videogame industry’s ongoing wave of massive layoffs continues as reports indicate that publisher Take-Two Interactive is going to shut down two of their subsidiary studios: Roll7, who created the OlliOlli series and Rollerdrome, and Intercept Games, who were working on the Early Access release of Kerbal Space Program 2. This ties into the publisher’s previous statement that they would be cutting around 5% of its employees. Intercept Games is currently made up of about 70 developers, and Roll7 is made up of over 50.

Both are internal studios that belong to the Take-Two subsidiary publisher Private Division, which was founded in 2017 as a “developer-focused publisher that empowers studios to develop the games that they are passionate about creating, while providing the support that they need to make their titles critically and commercially successful on a global scale,” according to the website.

While Take-Two hasn’t commented on the impending closures, reporting from Bloomberg broke the news that the layoffs are imminent, citing internal documentation from the company. When asked for an official statement, Take-Two issued the following corpo-speak reply they had previously given:

“On April 16th, Take-Two announced a cost reduction program to identify efficiencies across its business and to enhance the Company’s margin profile, while still investing for growth. As part of these efforts, the Company is rationalizing its pipeline and eliminating several projects in development and streamlining its organizational structure, which will eliminate headcount and reduce future hiring needs. The Company is not providing additional details on this program.”

They added that “The label continues to make updates to Kerbal Space Program 2 and plans to release Wētā Workshop Game Studio’s Tales of the Shire: A The Lord of the Rings Game in the second half of 2024.”

Roll7 was founded in 2008. They initially created educational games before pivoting into more commercial releases, such as the critically acclaimed OlliOlli skateboarding series. In 2021, they were acquired by Private Division and would release OlliOlli World and Rollerdrome for the label in 2022, both of which received positive reviews from critics and audiences. At the 2023 BAFTAs, Rollerdrome won the award for the best British game of the year. As for Intercept Games, it was founded by Take-Two to continue Kerbal Space Program 2’s troubled development, which eventually resulted in an Early Access release that fans of the uber-popular rocket science simulator have criticized.

These firings are only the latest from Take-Two, who also let go of employees at Private Division last year. The cuts tie into a larger trend where the videogame industry has seen massive layoffs across the board, with over 10,000 jobs lost in 2023 and more than 9,000 lost already in 2024. There are multiple explanations for the contraction: increased interest rates have reduced investment in the industry, games sales haven’t continued their boom from the Pandemic, the cost of big-budget games has ballooned, and most pointedly, irresponsible tech CEOs have consistently made poor choices that have screwed over their employees.

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