Take-Two lays off 5% of staff, cancels several projects

Despite previous assurances from the CEO
Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two Interactive, which has recently acquired Gearbox Software from the Embracer Group for $460 million USD, will lay off around 600 employees or 5% of its total workforce, according to a report by Reuters. Additionally, several in-development projects will be canceled, amounting to expected savings of about $165 million USD annually.

Like many other companies in the games industry, Take-Two is trying to trim fat wherever it can. What makes these layoffs so astounding is that two months ago CEO Strauss Zelnick claimed in an interview with IGN that the publisher had “no current plans” to make any layoffs as part of its cost-cutting program.

“We haven't put any meat on the bones of that yet. I would just note that our biggest line item of expense is actually marketing. We do think we can optimize that. We also have third-party expenses, software, other vendors, supply services. And we always find opportunity there. The hardest thing to do is to lay off colleagues, and we have no current plans,” Zelnick said at the time.

Take-Two publishes some of the biggest franchises in gaming, first and foremost Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series. However, it’s also the home of 2K’s sports games, Private Division, mobile game developer Zynga, and now Gearbox and its Borderlands series.

Rockstar recently got criticized by the British IWGB Game Workers Union for rescinding its promises about letting people continue to work from home and forcing them to return to the office. It also hiked up the prices of its GTA+ subscription service just a few days ago.

Take-Two is currently fighting a lawsuit accusing it of unfair business practices, which revolves around its aggressive monetization policies in 2K’s sports games.


Published
Marco Wutz

MARCO WUTZ

Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining tl.net, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of tl.net as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: marco.wutz@glhf.gg