GTA publisher Take-Two announces layoffs and game cancellations

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Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind popular franchises like Grand Theft Auto (GTA 6) and Bioshock, has recently announced that it would be issuing layoffs to a percentage of its staff. On the morning of April 16, the company issued a Form-8K to the Securities and Exchange Commission that details its plans for cost-cutting measures. “On April 16, 2024 the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (the “Company”) approved a cost reduction program (the “Plan”) to identify efficiencies across its business and enhance the Company’s margin profile, while still investing for growth,” the form reads.

It further explains that part of its plan includes an elimination in the headcount and that this will help the company reduce future hiring needs. Take-Two expects the layoffs to be completed by December 31, 2024. So between now and the end of the year, it says there will be a reduction in staff of about 5%. As Wccftech points out, that’s roughly 600 employees who will soon be out of a job. Take-Two is the latest company to announce this strategy for cost-cutting. Following a long trend over the past year or two of larger publishers either laying off a portion of their staff or shuttering entire studios.

Earlier this year, layoffs occurred at numerous companies including Microsoft. Back in February, both Sony and EA cut 900 and 650 jobs respectively. Large holding companies like Embracer Group shuttered studios like Free Radical (the studio behind TimeSplitters) in December. And this is still only a small fraction of these cutbacks.

Take-Two layoffs come alongside game cancellations

As part of the restructuring, Take-Two says it will also be closing down some game projects. It doesn’t mention which games are being canceled, however. The cancellations are also not too surprising. This sort of thing has been happening across the industry with every single layoff announcement coming out of every studio or publisher. Chances are any games that are being canceled are ones that Take-Two hasn’t announced. However, there’s always the chance that they could include games that have already been revealed as in development.

Even though this has sadly become commonplace within the games industry this year, it’s still strange to see happening. Take-Two, which owns Rockstar, will most certainly make billions from the release of Grand Theft Auto 6 when it releases. Not right away, but likely much faster than one would anticipate. And that will all be from one single game in its lineup. Yet, with all that potential cash on the way, it feels that it needs to reduce costs and invest for growth. It’s a sad state of affairs and feels like a bleak time for the games industry.