Take-Two allegedly tried to poach Kerbal Space Program 2 devs

Take-Two Interactive has allegedly attempted to poach Kerbal Space Program 2 devs in the midst of development. To make things even worse, Take-Two also reportedly canceled the sequel’s publishing contract.

Back in December of last year, employees of Star Theory Games reportedly all received a rather strange message over LinkedIn, a social media site with a focus on business. According to these reports, the message came from an executive at Take-Two Interactive and was trying to get them to apply to work at Take-Two.

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“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,” stated a portion of the message as reported by Bloomberg. “To that end, we encourage you to apply for a position with us.”

The message was reportedly sent to Kerbal Space Program 2 devs by Michael Cook, an executive at Take-Two Interactive — the same company that is publishing Kerbal Space Program 2. Things only get stranger from there.

Kerbal Space Program 2 devs allegedly poached Take Two Interactive Mars

Developers allegedly received this message from the Take-Two executive on a Friday in December 2019; come Monday, and Star Theory’s founders Bob Berry and Jonathan Mavor called for a meeting of the entire staff.

According to them, Take-Two Interactive was in the process of trying to acquire Star Theory as a subsidiary. Star Theory’s management was dissatisfied with the terms and negotiations fell apart. From there, they say that Take-Two canceled the game’s publishing contract. Ultimately, more than a third of Star Theory’s staff was poached by Take-Two.

If these behind-the-scenes moves came to light, it could have proved disastrous for the fate of this upcoming sequel. The Kerbal Space Program 2 devs subsequently had to shift strategy in light of its staff losses and try to secure a new publishing deal; its hopes for a new future hinged on getting something done at the Game Developers Conference.

As we all know by now, the Game Developers Conference never happened as intended due to the pandemic crisis that canceled most physical industry events around the world. This was effectively the final nail in the coffin; Star Theory closed its doors on March 4, 2020.

For now, Kerbal Space Program 2 remains in development at Intercept and will be released sometime in Fall 2021. Whether or not we’ll be getting the same game as originally intended, however, is another story.