Take-Two Interactive is closing two studios, including Rollerdrome developer Roll7

 Rollerdrome key art.
Rollerdrome key art.

What you need to know

  • Take-Two Interactive previously confirmed that it would be laying off 5% of its total workforce.

  • As part of this decision, two studios are being closed: Intercept Games in Seattle and Roll7 in the U.K.

  • Intercept Games was working on updates for Kerbal Space Program 2, while Roll7 developed Ollie Ollie World and Rollerdrome.

  • Take-Two Interactive is currently in the process of acquiring Gearbox Software in a $460 million deal.

We've got additional context on the reach of a recent layoff announcement.

Take-Two Interactive — the parent company of 2K Games, Rockstar Games, Private Division, and Zynga — previously confirmed that it would be laying off hundreds of staff, or about 5% of its total global workforce. Now, a report from Bloomberg ON Wednesday indicates that as part of these layoffs, Take-Two Interactive is closing two studios: Intercept Games in Seattle, Washington in the U.S, and Roll7 in the U.K.

Intercept Games was founded in 2020 as a studio under Private Division to develop Kerbal Space Program 2, with large chunks of staff who worked on the original Kerbal Space Program. Meanwhile, Roll7 was founded in 2008 and acquired by Private Division in 2021. Roll7 has developed a number of games such as Ollie Ollie World and, more recently, Rollerdrome.

Bloomberg has verified an internal notice to staff regarding the closure of Roll7, while a public notice indicates that Take-Two Interactive is shuttering an office in Seattle and laying off 70 employees, descriptions that fit with Intercept Games.

Bloomberg notes that other staff under Private Division have also been affected by the previously-announced cuts. Take-Two Interactive is currently in the middle of acquiring Borderlands developer Gearbox in a deal worth $460 million.

What else has Private Division done?

No Rest for the Wicked
No Rest for the Wicked

First put together in 2017, Private Division is essentially the publishing wing for smaller projects at Take-Two Interactive. The publisher primarily partners with independent studios to work on games, such as with Obsidian Entertainment on The Outer Worlds, a deal that was reached prior to Microsoft's acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment in November 2018.

Kerbal Space Program 2 from the now-defunct Intercept Games is in early access, making it unclear if the game will be finished. Meanwhile, Private Division has also partnered with Ori developer Moon Studios to work on No Rest for the Wicked, an action role-playing game currently available on Windows PC via early access.

Private Division also recently lost one publishing contract, as the team is no longer handling the publishing of Yellow Brick Games' debut title Eternal Strands, which is instead being self-published.

Analysis: Trouble for Private Division

It's not difficult to see that a large chunk of the layoffs at Take-Two Interactive are affecting Private Division projects. These cuts end internal development at the publishing wing, and, depressingly, I won't be surprised to see further consolidation heavily limit any games published after the existing crop.

From Embracer Group and Riot Games to Microsoft and Sony, this has been a brutal year for cuts in the gaming industry so far. My sympathies are with everyone affected by this latest round of layoffs, and I hope everyone finds new jobs soon.

If you haven't played it yet and are interested in seeing Roll7's last project, Rollerdrome is available on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and PlayStation 5. It's also included in Xbox Game Pass.