Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive has confirmed a report of layoffs at the company, saying that it is letting employees go in order "to position the company for another extended period of success."
Looming layoffs were first hinted at in Take-Two's Q3 2023 financial report (opens in new tab), in which CEO Strauss Zelnick said the company was looking for $50 million in annual savings, in areas including "personnel, processes, infrastructure, and other areas, particularly in our publishing and corporate functions."
In an interview with GamesIndustry (opens in new tab), Zelnick clarified that he didn't "expect any kind of broad-based reduction in force," adding that Take-Two was "going department by department and trying to drive efficiency."
Despite that, some layoffs have now occurred. The cuts were initially reported on Twitter (opens in new tab) by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who said the layoffs were taking place at Take-Two's Private Division publishing label and other divisions of the company. Take-Two subsequently confirmed the report in a statement sent to PC Gamer, although it declined to offer any specifics about how many employees were being cut, or from which parts of the company.
"We can confirm that there have been targeted reductions in our US teams, primarily in corporate operations and label publishing, which will better align our organization with our long-term priorities," Take-Two spokesperson Alan Lewis said. "We continue to make strategic investments in our talent and technology to deliver our long-term pipeline, and the impact of these changes on our US development teams has been minimal.
"Outside of the US, we have begun procedures in compliance with local law that we anticipate may result in similar reductions. Take-Two has experienced exponential growth in recent years, and we are taking these necessary steps to position the company for another extended period of success."
I'm not a financial expert but I've always found it baffling when statements like "we have experienced exponential growth in recent years" are immediately followed by, "therefore we need to fire a whole bunch of people." But it also confuses me when a company reports quarterly revenues of $1.4 billion, a 56% year-over-year increase, and describes it as disappointing. Big business is weird.
Private Division was founded by Take-Two in 2017 as a publishing label for smaller, more indie-focused games. It's had a number of successes in the years since, including Kerbal Space Program (opens in new tab), The Outer Worlds (opens in new tab), Hades (opens in new tab), and OlliOlli World (opens in new tab); it's also handling Kerbal Space Program 2 (opens in new tab), which recently launched into early access, and the intriguing adventure-platformer After Us (opens in new tab), which is expected to be out this spring.