'GTA VI' Publisher Wants To Lay Off 600 People To Save USD165 Million Annually

The news comes after Take-Two Interactive downplayed speculation about layoffs in February.

Cover image via Rockstar Games & T2

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In February, Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto VI had played down speculation that it was planning to lay off its staff

The company's chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick was reported to have said that there were no plans to cut jobs, despite revealing that the company was working on a cost reduction program.

Zelnick had said that the company was focusing on cutting down software and vendor expenses instead.

"I would just note that our biggest line item of expense is actually marketing. The hardest thing to do is to lay off colleagues, and we have no current plans," Zelnick said to IGN.

Barely two months later, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated 16 April, Take-Two's "cost reduction program" was laid bare. It now intends to lay off up to 600 people

In the process, the company aims to save USD165 million per annum and "enhance the Company’s margin profile".

The layoffs would impact close to 5% of Take-Two's workforce, with several video games being shelved

As of March 2023, the company had a total of 11,580 employees.

In the filing, it's unclear where the cuts will come from. It's worth noting that the company acquired Borderlands Borderlands developer Gearbox for USD460 million (RM2.1 billion) in March this year.

Several video games currently in development will also be cancelled as part of Take-Two's cost-cutting measures, though it hasn't been revealed exactly which ones.

GTA VI is probably safe since the hotly anticipated game is expected to achieve record sales when it comes out in 2025

Its predecessor, GTA V, has sold 190 million copies since its launch in 2013.

2024 appears to prolong the challenging environment video game companies experienced in 2023

The gaming industry saw numerous layoffs and studio closures last year, and 2024 is expected to be no different, if not more challenging.

Earlier this year, Electronic Arts and PlayStation announced layoffs, resulting in a total of over 8,000 job losses in the video game industry in just the first two months of 2024. This figure exceeds the total estimates for the previous year.

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