According to independent reports received by Gamasutra, Rockstar has unexpectedly closed its Rockstar Vienna development office (particularly known for its Grand Theft Auto
Xbox conversion) under cover of E3, laying off more than 100 employees, in a major blow to development in Austria, where the company was the biggest developer.
In addition, further confirmation has come in the form of a weblog post
by Rockstar Vienna employee Jurie Horneman: "This morning, as I came into work, I was greeted by security guards. It turned out Take-Two has closed their Rockstar Vienna office, effective immediately, "due to the challenging environment facing the video game business and our Company during this platform transition"."
This closure follows the shuttering of 2K's Indie Built Studio in Salt Lake City, and shows that Take-Two is suffering significantly through the hardware transition - or, at least, has taken the opportunity to change its internal development strategy, leading to the closure of these studios.
The company has made no public statement on Rockstar Vienna's closure - the developer was believed to be working on at least one non-conversion original title, which is now presumed cancelled, or on any other staff changes as of press time.