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Take-Two laying off 550 people, weeks after saying it had “no current plans” to do so

Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two has announced it will lay off five percent of its 11,000-strong workforce – equating to around 550 people – and cancel multiple in-development projects. The company said the move was the next stage in its ongoing restructuring plan, which began in February.

In a new filing, Take-Two said it expects to incur between $160m and $200m in total charges as a result of this restructuring program, with $120m to $140m related to title cancellations.

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Additionally, it said approximately $25m to $35m will be associated with employee severance and employee-related costs, while approximately $15m to $25m will be related to office space reductions.

Take-Two said its restructuring program will be “largely complete” by the end of this year.

Newscast: Why are there so many video game industry layoffs?Watch on YouTube

Today’s news comes just weeks after Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said the company had “no current plans” to lay off staff. “The hardest thing to do is lay off colleagues,” Zelnick said in February.

Meanwhile, towards the end of last year, the CEO said Take-Two had thus far managed to avoid massive layoffs at the company thanks to a “three-part strategy” based on “innovation, creativity, and efficiency”. At this time, Zelnick told Eurogamer’s sister-site GamesIndustry.biz that Take-Two was always “rightsizing” its team.

For more on this topic, be sure to check out Chris Dring’s feature: What is going on with layoffs in the video games industry?

Elsewhere in Take-Two news, the company recently acquired Borderlands developer Gearbox from Embracer for $460m. It also confirmed the next Borderlands game is in development at the studio.

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