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Take-Two boss credits "three-part strategy" for avoiding mass layoffs this year

"We're always rightsizing the team."

Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot showing a man on a motorbike wearing a leather vest and wielding a knife
Image credit: Take-Two/Rockstar

Strauss Zelnick, boss of GTA publisher Take-Two, has credited the company's "three-part strategy" as the reason it has managed to avoid mass layoffs this year.

As we have reported numerous times over the past several months, the video game industry has seen layoffs after layoffs this year. This has resulted in studios being closed, such as Saints Row developer Volition. Others, such as Epic, have seen their numbers significantly reduced.

According to Zelnick, Take-Two has managed to avoid such consequences thanks to moderate investments and a focus on efficiency over recent years.

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Speaking with Eurogamer's sister site, Zelnick said he believes many other studios and companies "overbuilt during the enthusiasm of the pandemic". As a result, they are now in the process of "rationaling", as the industry comes back down from 2020/2021's boom.

"I think we were a little bit more moderate," Zelnick replied when asked how the Grand Theft Auto publisher has managed to come away relatively unscathed in a tumultuous year. "We have a three-part strategy - innovation, creativity, and efficiency - and I think our focus on efficiency [means that] on an ongoing basis, we're always rightsizing the team."

Zelnick stated the company went "through an integration process when [it] acquired Zynga", noting that this allowed Take-Two to "gain efficiencies at that time".

Meanwhile, despite this year's cascade of layoffs and more competitive (and challenging) market, Zelnick said he is still optimistic for next year. "The only thing we can do is be lean, be innovative and be creative," he said.

"Our priorities remain to create a disproportionate number of hits, and to bring the highest quality entertainment experiences to consumers around the world of whatever type they want, however they want them delivered.

"That's always our challenge and, you know, we reiterated our outlook for 2024. So that's pretty much how we see things for fiscal 24."

Zelnick's words come the day after Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar announced it would be revealing its first GTA 6 trailer next month. Needless to say, this upcoming release is one of the most anticipated games today - it has even seen stage invaders pressing Geoff Keighly for answers (not that this did them, or anyone really, any favours).

Meanwhile, in recent weeks fans have turned to increasingly desperate measures to track down any announcement clues from Rockstar, such as looking to the lunar cycle. Was the answer hidden in the stars all along? Perhaps we will know more next month.

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