"Cutthroat" Kerbal Space Program 2 Developer Switch Revealed

A story on Bloomberg reports a disruption to the development of Kerbal Space Program 2 caused by "corporate strife." Former Kotaku newshound Jason Schreier describes how Take-Two Interactive pulled funding from developer Star Theory on the space launch sequel before soliciting members of the team to sign on to join their internal studio Intercept to complete the project. Schreier calls this extreme "(e)ven by the cutthroat standards of the video game business." Here's more on the maneuver:
One Friday evening last December, employees of game designer Star Theory Games each received the same unusual recruitment message over LinkedIn. It struck them as bizarre for two reasons. One, it came from an executive producer at the publishing company funding their next video game. Two, it said the game—in the works for the previous two years—was being pulled from their studio.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for us to make, but it became necessary when we felt business circumstances might compromise the development, execution and integrity of the game,” Michael Cook, the executive at Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., wrote in the message, which was reviewed by Bloomberg. “To that end, we encourage you to apply for a position with us.”

It was strange and disconcerting news to Star Theory’s employees. Normally, an announcement like this would be delivered in a companywide meeting or an email from Star Theory’s leadership team. The contract with Take-Two was the studio’s only source of revenue at the time. Without it, the independent studio was in serious trouble.
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This is sadly a very common business strategy. Partner with a smaller company, get a bunch of work out of them, stop paying them knowing they're not wealthy enough to sue you, wait for them to be on the edge and then either acquire them for peanuts or just grab up their people and assets. I read a book a few years ago on the history of Commodore and this is pretty much how they built themselves up to the powerhouse they were in the 80s. Bethesda and EA are believed to have acquired a few of their studios this way too.

Big business and ethics are frequently like oil and water. And well, look up Strauss Zelnick, the guy who runs Take-Two now. His ruthlessness is legendary.
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