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Take-Two boss claims publisher hasn’t shut down OlliOlli and Kerbal Space Program 2 studios

Take-Two Interactive chief exexutive officer Strauss Zelnick has claimed the publisher has not shut down OlliOlli developer Roll7 and Kerbal Space Program 2 studio Intercept Games, despite reports and evidence to the contrary earlier this month.

Word of Intercept Games’ demise – and the loss 70 jobs at the studio – came via a Washington state closure notice submitted by Take-Two itself, and was corroborated by affected employees on social media. Later, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported Roll7’s closure after reviewing an internal email breaking the news to Take-Two staff.

It’s somewhat surprising, then, that Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick is claiming, in conversation with IGN’s Rebekah Valentine

, “We didn’t shutter those studios.”

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“We didn’t shutter those studios, to be clear,” Zelnick told the publication. “And we are always looking at our release schedule across all of our studios to make sure that it makes sense. So we are being very judicious because we are in the middle of a cost reduction program that we’ve already concluded and are now fully rolling out. We’ve announced that we’re saving $165m in existing and future costs, but we haven’t shuttered anything.”

When IGN asked Zelnick if he was denying the reports of Roll7 and Intercept’s closure, a Take-Two Interactive PR representative stepped in, saying, “In the 8-K filing that we put out we talked about the cost reduction plan is approximately 5 percent reduction in headcount worldwide, but we did not give a label-by-label breakdown of what that looks like.”

Following IGN’s third attempt to determine if the studios still existed, the PR responded, “We have not provided any additional colour beyond what I just said.”

It’s a bewildering assertion, then, and hard to square with everything that’s come to light since the reports of closures first broke – but hopefully Take-Two will offer more clarity on Roll7 and Intercept’s status as confusion over Strauss’ claims inevitably grows.

“Roll7 wasn’t just a company making games, it was a no-crunch-toting, skateboarding, down-to-earth collection of people creating things only it could create,” Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese wrote in his lament for Roll7 earlier this month. “What’s galling is that it’s this kind of game, and the perceived value of it, that Private Division and Take-Two are apparently OK with sacrificing. Of all the games and studios on their books, these are the ones that can go.”


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