Game Reviews

Take-Two Head Denies Closing OlliOlli World, Kerbal 2 Devs

Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has denied shutting down two studios under the company’s umbrella earlier this month, despite strong evidence to the contrary.

Back in early May, evidence began to emerge that Kerbal Space Program 2 developer Intercept Games had been shut down, including Intercept employees posting on LinkedIn about being laid off, as well as a filing announcing the closure of a Take-Two subsidiary with around 70 employees.

Subsequently, Bloomberg then reported that OlliOlli World and Rollerdrome developer Roll7 was to be shut down, citing “documentation reviewed” by the publication.

Kara skating towards a park full of enemies in Rollerdrome, a game developed by Take-Two subsidiary Roll7

In a recent call with IGN’s Rebekah Valentine, however, Zelnick said that Take-Two “didn’t shutter those studios” and that the company “[hasn’t] shuttered anything”.

Valentine says she then attempted to press Zelnick on whether he was denying the reports of Roll7 and Intercept’s shutdown, whereupon a Take-Two PR representative said the company’s cost reduction plan constituted a “5% reduction in headcount”, but that no “label-by-label breakdown” had been given.

Following this exchange, Valentine asked Zelnick whether Private Division, the Take-Two-owned parent company of both Roll7 and Intercept, was in trouble, but Zelnick said he “[doesn’t] think so”.

Zelnick goes on to say that Take-Two tends to leave announcements to each individual label, and that he’s not “trying to be cute or difficult”, but that higher-ups “don’t tend to bring those discussions into these meetings”.

A Kerbal in a thinking pose next to an upturned plane-slash-spacecraft in Kerbal Space Program 2, developed by Take-Two subsidiary Intercept
Kerbal Space Program 2 developer Intercept’s fate is up in the air.

As pointed out by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, this isn’t the first time Take-Two and Zelnick have muddied the waters when it comes to closing a studio under the company’s remit.

Schreier says that in 2013, BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin was shut down, but that neither Take-Two nor Strauss Zelnick would acknowledge the shutdown publicly and would act “in press releases as if the studio still existed, when in fact it did not”.

Since no official announcement has technically been made regarding the shutdown of Roll7 or Intercept, it’s possible that Zelnick is being absolutely accurate and that neither studio has been shut down, but given the evidence to the contrary, that seems unlikely.

Elsewhere in Take-Two news, the company recently revealed that the hotly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6, which was officially revealed last year, will be launching in fall 2025. Watch this space for a mad scramble on other developers’ part to avoid this window at any cost.

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