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Take-Two tried to poach entire  Kerbal 2  dev team as it cancelled deal with their studio

Take-Two tried to poach entire Kerbal 2 dev team as it cancelled deal with their studio

June 3, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon

“I was at a small studio, where the work I did had a massive impact on our success. When I see myself at any large corporation, that is fundamentally not true.”

- Patrick Meade, one Star Theory dev approached by Take-Two, explains why he declined to take the offer.

A recent Bloomberg story takes aim at Take-Two Interactive, calling out the fact that the company canceled a contract for Kerbal Space Program 2 with the new defunct studio Star Theory mid-development while simultaneously offering jobs at Take-Two to the game’s entire dev team.

Before the studio knew the deal was off, Take-Two started reaching out via its publishing arm Private Division to developers actively working on Kerbal Space Program 2 at Star Theory, informing them that the game’s development would be moved to a team within Take-Two and asking if they’d like to apply for that team.

It’s something Private Division fully admits to, saying in a statement to Bloomberg that it reached out to every member of the team, and more than half eventually accepted.

“In doing so, we are empowering our deeply passionate and talented team to focus on quality, and we are thrilled with the progress that they are making on the game,” reads that statement. Star Theory has since shut down, and its former staff tells Bloomberg that the situation forced them to choose between their own livelihoods and the studio.

Bloomberg notes that, up until that moment, the team at Star Theory believed development was progressing smoothly, and that nothing was in jeopardy. Shortly after Private Division sent out those messages to individual devs, studio leadership informed the team that they had been in the process of clarifying previously unclear royalty terms with Take-Two.

Kerbal Space Program 2, a property to which Take-Two has the rights, is now in development at the Take-Two owned Intercept Games where half of the game’s Star Theory team now works. Star Theory itself, thanks to a combination of suddenly losing its only active project and pandemic-driven complications, shut down in March. Find the full story on Bloomberg.

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