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Kerbal Space Program 2 developer Intercept Games and Rollerdrome studio Roll7 are reportedly closing as part of Take-Two's big layoff plan

 Kerbal Space Program 2 promo art - three Kerbals in spacesuits, smiling at the bold future that lies ahead.
Kerbal Space Program 2 promo art - three Kerbals in spacesuits, smiling at the bold future that lies ahead.

A Bloomberg report says Take-Two Interactive is closing Kerbal Space Program 2 developer Intercept Games as part of a plan announced earlier this month aimed at reducing the publisher's total workforce by 5%. Roll7, the developer of the OlliOlli games and Rollerdrome, is also being closed according to the report.

Word of the shutdown came by way of a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (via Game Developer) of layoffs at Take-Two Interactive Software in Seattle. Intercept Games isn't mentioned by name in the WARN post, but Seattle is where Intercept—founded in 2020 as part of Take-Two's Private Division label to take over development of Kerbal 2—is located. The WARN says 70 employees are being put out of work.

The WARN notice describes the action as a "closure," which led to speculation that Intercept Games wasn't just being cut, but eliminated entirely. Multiple job openings at Intercept that were listed on Take-Two's career page in January (via the Wayback Machine) have also been removed, although the Intercept website appears to still be trying to link to them. The closure is slated to take effect on June 28.

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The Bloomberg report effectively confirmed that speculation, citing internal documents saying Intercept Games will in fact be closed. Roll7, which was acquired by Take-Two in 2021 and made part of its Private Division label, is also being shuttered. Roll7's most recent releases were the side-scrolling skater OlliOlli World and action-shooter Rollerdrome, both of which launched to acclaim in 2022.

The apparent shutdown of Intercept has led to questions about the future of Kerbal Space Program 2, which after multiple delays—it was originally supposed to be out in early 2020—limped into early access on Steam in February 2023.

The initial response to the game was not great: Bugs and performance issues were major problems, but so was the fact that it launched without features included in the original Kerbal Space Program, which went into early access more than a decade earlier and hit full release in 2015. That resulted in a "mixed" user rating on Steam, and a significantly lower concurrent player count than the much older original.

Take-Two declined to comment on the reported layoffs or the fate of Intercept as a whole: Instead it merely repeated, pretty much verbatim, its April 16 SEC filing about "rationalizing its pipeline"—a very C-suite way of saying that it's killing projects and putting people out of work—although it did add that "the [Private Division] label continues to make updates to Kerbal Space Program 2." That's not very informative but it is an interesting choice of words. Given that Intercept is (or was) the developer, I would expect it would be credited with making updates to the game, not Private Division.

In a tweet posted after the Bloomberg report went live, whatever's left of the Kerbal Space Program 2 team said, "We're still hard at work on KSP2. We'll talk more when we can." It also re-posted Take-Two's earlier statement on the layoffs, which includes a note that "is not providing additional details" about the cuts.

We're still hard at work on KSP2. We'll talk more when we can. Full Statement From Take-Two:  “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. On April 18th Private Division successfully launched Moon Studio’s No Rest for the Wicked. 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.”

The closures are the latest in a long line of deep cuts that have wracked the industry since the beginning of 2023. Just yesterday, Deliver Us Mars studio KeokeN Interactive laid off its entire workforce, and earlier this month Palia developer Singularity 6 and Company of Heroes studio Relic Entertainment also made significant cuts to staff.

A Take-Two representative declined to comment further.