Is GTA 6 in Trouble? Take-Two Interactive Announces Layoffs and Game Cancellations


Take-Two Interactive, the renowned publisher behind franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Borderlands is laying off 5% of its workforce and canceling unannounced projects worth tens of millions of dollars.

What’s Happening?

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (spotted by Kotaku), Take-Two estimates that they will incur $160 million to $200 million in total charges related to this restructuring plan. This includes:

  • $120 to $140 million for the cancellation of titles
  • $25 to $35 million for employee severance
  • $15 to $25 million for office space reductions

Just last month, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick (speaking to IGN) had assured that the company had “no current plans” for layoffs.

However, the recent filing paints a different picture, with the publisher now cutting 5% of its workforce, which amounts to around 550 employees out of the company’s 11,000-strong workforce.

What Big Games Got Axed?

Take-Two hasn’t specified which games were cut, only that they mention “canceled several unannounced titles that represented an estimated $40 to $60 million in future cash expenditures.”

In the 2022 earning call, the company announced over 62 planned releases between 2022 and 2024 for console/PC.

These games were split into five categories:

  1. Immersive Core – Big games like GTA 6, BioShock, and 2K sports games
  2. Independent
  3. Mobile
  4. Mid Core 
  5. Remaster

However, many of these releases have yet to come to fruition, and often rumors of delayed projects circulate among fans..

So we presume some potential candidates that might get axed by this restructuring:

  • New Borderlands titles
  • BioShock 4 – First-person shooter series in development since 2019
  • Hangar 13 Project – A New Mafia game
  • Ken Levine’s Ghost Story Games title
  • Rumored remasters of older Grand Theft Auto titles
  • And many “Unannounced”…..

The Impact on GTA 6

Of course, Take-Two’s biggest upcoming release GTA 6 is surely safe given its massive sales potential.

But earlier this year, reports emerged that the release of GTA 6 could be delayed until 2026, and this latest announcement from Take-Two only adds to the uncertainty surrounding the game’s development.

However many reports (especially Insider Gaming) deny this delay report claiming the game development is right on track and no further delay beyond 2025.

Why Now?

The layoffs and cancellations seem strange given Take-Two’s stellar financial performance lately.

The company reported over $1.2 billion in bookings last quarter, up 20% year-over-year.

CEO Strauss Zelnick also took home $40 million in total compensation in 2023 alone. So why all the cost-cutting?

Unfortunately, these layoffs are just the latest in a series of workforce reductions that have plagued the gaming industry over the past year and a half.

During this period, many major studios, including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have announced significant job cuts, leaving thousands of developers without employment.

Experts have cited various factors contributing to this trend, including the post-pandemic economic slowdown, the oversaturation of the market, and the increasing pressure to deliver blockbuster releases.

As the industry continues to grapple with these challenges, it remains to be seen how the impact will be felt by both developers and gamers alike.

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