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CEO Of Take-Two, Reportedly Closing Two Studios, Denies Closing Two Studios

'We didn't shutter those studios', says man who clearly appears to have shuttered two studios

Screenshot: CNBC/YouTube

Cast your minds back a month and you might remember Take-Two announcing hundreds of layoffs and the closure of two studios, not long after CEO Strauss Zelnick said the company had no plans for layoffs. Today, bizarrely, the man is claiming that the studios haven't been closed.

The two studios that were reportedly closed, with everyone laid off, were Intercept Games (Kerbal Space Program 2) and Roll7 Studios (OlliOlli, Rollerdrome). But in an interview yesterday with IGN, when Zelnick was asked why he "shuttered" the two companies, his response is a weird one:

We didn't shutter those studios, to be clear. 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 $165 million in existing and future costs, but we haven't shuttered anything.

When IGN's reporter Reb Valentine pressed Zelnick to explain just what exactly was going on--not a single person has appeared to have disputed the closure reports over the past month, including anyone who worked there--a "PR representative for the company stepped in" and said "we did not give a label-by-label breakdown of what [our layoff count] looks like".

For context (and to support his original reporting of the closures), Bloomberg's Jason Schreier posted on Twitter a reminder that Zelnick has a history of doing this, dating as far back as 2K Marin's closure in 2013:

Confusing! What appears to be going on here is that regular human beings have looked at huge numbers of people being laid off from two development studios (official notice of the layoffs at Intercept said the reason was its "closure"), ending those studios’ ability to create video games, and are going forwards under the assumption both have been shuttered. The tech CEO Zelnick, meanwhile, is probably looking at some legal definition of a business closure--with both brands still on the books in some capacity--and thinks that means something!

If I turn up outside a restaurant I used to like and find the place empty--no chairs, no chefs, no waiters--then it's closed. I am not being fed tonight. To pretend it's still open just because there's a sign above the door is some real bullshit!

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