Rockstar and 2K Games owner confirms internal reorganization following sale of retail unit, shoots down reports of developer cull.
On Tuesday, Namco Bandai revealed it was eliminating 10 percent of its workforce as part of a companywide reorganization. Today, Take-Two Interactive admitted it was undergoing its own reorganization--but shot down unconfirmed reports of mass layoffs.
In a statement, Take-Two vice president of corporate communications Alan Lewis hit back at rumors originating in the UK that up to 20 percent of its staff--or 400 people--could be pink-slipped. Redundancies of such a scale would affect the publisher's suite of studios, which include such marquee names as Rockstar Games and the newly rechristened Irrational Games.
"While it is our policy not to comment on rumors and speculation, we wanted to clarify an erroneous report regarding our company," Lewis told GameSpot. "As part of Take-Two's stated goal to maximize the efficiency of our business, we initiated a targeted restructuring of our corporate departments only in order to better align our resources with our current goals...To be clear, there were no reductions made at the studio level."
Take-Two did say that the impending sale of its Jack of All Games distribution arm was a primary factor for the restructuring. In December, the New York City-headquartered publisher announced it was selling off its Ohio-based games subsidiary for $43.25 million to Fortune 500 software distributor Synnex Corporation. The move was announced in tandem with a downward revision of Take-Two's November-January quarter earnings by $120 million.
Though unaffected by layoffs, Take-Two's studios system has been the subject of several barbed public critiques of late. Last month, someone claiming to be the spouse of a Rockstar San Diego employee accused the satellite shop of a number of quality-of-life offenses, including forcing its employees to work extended hours at least six days a week. This touched off a flurry of rumors, which claimed that the Midnight Club racing series had been canceled, the Western open-world game Red Dead Redemption was in trouble, and shooter sequel Max Payne 3 may be further delayed. After a brief silence, Rockstar hit back at the reports, saying it was "saddened" by what it felt were false working-condition claims. It also said that Red Dead Redemption was on track for its April 27 launch on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
I really wish these development houses would be honest with the public about development cycles. It's probable that these places are going to have gaps in productivity and won't need everyone they have; just say so. Being a 3rd party dev. can't be easy, so I can understand concerns about overhead. But seriously, plan for that. Taking on more weight than you'll need down the road just to shorten the dev. cycle a bit isn't worth it and isn't fair to the employees. Give em a furlough and be honest about it up front if you have to, but don't play chutes and ladders with them.
Take Two as stood very strong considering what EA was about to do. I firmly believe in them as a company in whole. If TT says they need to "reconstruct", than do so TT. We can all feel secure they will not allow RDR to drop at all, minus de-bugging and polishing. So rest assured people if they are doing it, than they need to do it. TT is one of the LAST companies in the market that holds weight against giants such as EA. I just wish they could somehow reacquire the stocks EA hold in their company. To TAKE TWO - keep up the good work and stand strong as you did against the creepy EA monster, you are my champion forever more. And a big Thank You for all of it TT.
Blah, blah, blah. All this rhetoric and sunshine talk means nothing. There will be mass layoffs as ALWAYS happens in these scenarios. Key people will suddenly "decide" to move on to other ventures. They are just trying to cull the fans, who would be ticked off if they found out what is really going to happen - but nevertheless it IS going to happen. It always has, and always will. Just ask the people from Netscape. AOL told the public that nothing would change when they purchased the company (to help Microsoft drown them) - next thing you know the founder has "moved on" and there were massive layoffs and firings. Now Netscape has been totally "retired" (because AOL has no clue). That's the way these things go, no matter how they try to baby-milk it when the news breaks.
bioshock 2...Red Dead...Max Payne...loads of good games coming....can't wait....by far the best games developer in my book...well..better then EA...
GTA 5 needs gasoline,, if you want to be realistic! :) lol, Max Payne 3 = whatever the reason, must be made! :( I want it...
Yeah, Red Dead should be good. I didn't even know they were working on another Midnight Club game. I loved the last one they made. They can take their time with Max Payne 3.
Please don't delay Red Dead. I don't care about the other games.... Just let us have Red Dead on time.... unless you need extra time to make it even better. Then it is fine by me.
"Restructuring" usually means some assets moving around, changing hands, and a big wave of layoffs. Hopefully that's not the case here, because while I haven't bought any of their games for a long time, it is not a lack of quality that keeps me from it.
They should have no more layoffs, the economy is starting to rebound and those companies looking to the future will be the ones will triumph.
@WarPrime They didn't, 2K Boston just simply changed back to their old studio name. They were independant at one point in time, however.
Well I hope restructuring improves the companies' internal efficiencies. It seems Take Two has not been as profitable as it could be, even despite the recession.
I think the Midnight Club racing series could of used a overhaul anyways. Now mabye they'll make a new franchise based on Midnight Club and it will be x5 better.
Don't cancel the Midnight Club racing series, hopefully Red Dead Redemption will be released as scheduled (going to be a great game), Max Payne 3 (same), and what's the latest on Grand Theft Auto V?
This company honestly makes the best games. I fail to see how they can tank the way they have been. EA's games mostly are bad, Activision is just a group of milked franchises, this is the only game company i really consider original; bioshock 2, mafia 2, red dead revolver, midnight club, GTA series... all their games are really good.
What happen to all that money M$ paid for the GTA4 DLC that should of help their profits and is the 10% of their workforce that is being let go happen to be some of the employee's at Rockstar San Diego?