In March, the developer of Star Theory Games closed. Prior to this, he lost his contract with the publisher Take-Two. The studio went bankrupt after the publisher hired half of its staff.
The original story was published in Bloomberg by journalist Jason Schreier. App2Top.ru made a squeeze out of the material.
How did this happen
For the past two years, Star Theory Games has been working on a sequel to the popular simulator Kerbal Space Program. But at the end of 2019, the publisher of the game – Take-Two – sent a private letter to the studio staff.
It reported that Kerbal Space Program 2 was taken from the studio. In addition, they were offered to move to the new Take-Two studio.
Content of the letter
Messages came from Michael Cook, Executive Producer of Private Division (Take-Two Publishing Label). Another Private Division spokesman confirmed that the letter was sent to all Star Theory employees.
It came through LinkedIn to each employee separately. Although usually such proposals are made at official negotiations between the publisher and the developer.
The letter said: “This is a very difficult decision for us. We went for it, as the current business circumstances may adversely affect the development, quality and integrity of the game. Therefore, we recommend that you consider a position in our company. ”
Go staff The Star Theory offered in the new studio Intercept Games. Kerbal Space Program 2 was handed over to her at the time of sending letters.
Why Take-Two changed its mind
Surely unclear. But former Star Theory developers told the following.
The studio began to collaborate with Take-Two in 2017. The publisher just bought the rights to the Kerbal Space Program franchise from the Mexican Squad. The original game – flight simulator – sold 2 million copies.
The sequel was entrusted to Star Theory. According to the developers, the work went pretty smoothly. Users received the game well on preview.
At the end of last year, Star Theory asked to postpone the release to add additional content to the game. To do this, the publisher and developer needed to renegotiate a collaboration contract.
The new proposed contract had unclear royalty terms. Star Theory requested clarification of these conditions. And soon, on December 6, its developers received letters from Take-Two.
Three Star Theory executives left at Intercept Games, including its head, Jeremy Ables, creative director Nate Simpson, and lead producer Nate Robinson. In total, about 12 out of 30 developers agreed to the Take-Two offer.
The remaining team tried to save Star Theory. But she no longer had any game projects, no publisher, no funding. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic ensued. Because of it, many events were canceled at which Star Theory could find partners and investors.
The studio did not take financial losses and closed on March 4.
As one of her former employees noted, Take-Two acted very risky: “They tried to seriously intervene in the development process. Perhaps you (Take-Two) even risked your own reputation. And you’re probably doing this when things are not going the way you want. ”
Intercept Games is currently working on Kerbal Space Program 2. The game was postponed until the fall of 2021 due to the coronavirus.
We add that Star Theory Games was founded in 2008. She released the cartoon shooter Monday Night Combat, which sold 300 thousand copies, and the strategy of Planetary Annihilation.