Take-Two CEO says he's 'not trying to be cute or difficult' with vague answers about the fate of the Kerbal and OlliOlli studios, but is kind of being cute and difficult

 Kerbal Space Program 2.
Kerbal Space Program 2.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told IGN today that the company has not closed Kerbal Space Program 2 developer Intercept Games or OlliOlli maker Roll7 despite a recent report that said the studios had been shut down.

"We didn't shutter those studios, to be clear," Zelnick told the site. "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."

What isn't clear from his comment is whether Zelnick genuinely means that Intercept and Roll7 will continue to operate as they have, or if he's making a technical distinction—as in, they haven't closed yet (read on for evidence related to this notion), or the copper's been stripped from the buildings but the studios still technically exist as business entities, or they're somehow being rolled into their parent company, Take-Two's Private Division publishing label.

The main source of the closure news was Bloomberg, which reported two weeks ago that both studios were being shut down as part of Take-Two's announced cost reduction plan. There was also a WARN notice (a government-mandated heads up before a mass layoff) which stated that Take-Two is cutting 60 jobs in Seattle, where Intercept Games is based, due to a "closure."

Take-Two wouldn't comment on the reported closures when we first heard about them, except to reiterate its cost reduction plans and say that the Private Division label would continue to update Kerbal Space Program 2. Assigning that responsibility to Private Division as a whole seems an odd thing to do if Intercept is still around, although after the news of the cuts, the official X account for Kerbal Space Program 2 briefly lit up to say, "We're still hard at work on KSP2. We'll talk more when we can."

Jason Schreier, the Bloomberg reporter who broke the alleged closures, pointed out on X today that Take-Two closed BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin in 2013 without ever acknowledging it, suggesting that Intercept and Roll7 may be getting the same treatment.

Schreier also shared a memo which he says was delivered to Roll7 employees earlier this month, and which states that Take-Two is "proposing to shut down" the studio—ie, that it will be closed, but hasn't been yet, which supports the 'well, technically speaking...' reading of Zelnick's comments.

In a couple of follow-up answers to IGN, Zelnick and a Take-Two PR rep indicated that they would not be elaborating on the fates of the studios today, suggesting that it is Private Division's responsibility to do so.

"We just tend to leave those announcements to the label, we don't tend to talk about them, so we're not trying to be cute or difficult today," Zelnick said. "It's just that we don't tend to bring those discussions into these meetings."