2K Games Closes NYC Office, Heads West

Following parent company Take-Two Interactive's announcement of its sixth consecutive quarterly loss, wholly-owned subsidiary 2K Games has closed its New York City offices. Take-Two will move the publisher to the West Coast, with some 2K staff apparently being let go amidst the shuffle.

"They're just moving to the West Coast to provide more cohesiveness," a Take-Two representative told Next Generation. Some staff have reportedly chosen not to relocate, with an undisclosed number being given the option to move with the company. The publisher's New York offices were devoted sales, marketing, and administrative positions.

2K Games was formed in January of 2005 following Take-Two's acquisition of 2K Sports developers Visual Concepts and Kush Games from Sega. The two sports-centric studios are currently located in California, with 2K internal developers Irrational Games (BioShock) and Firaxis (Civilization IV) remaining on the East Coast.

The move is part of a major reorganization effort by Take-Two. On Monday the company announced a loss of $51.2 million on $205 million in revenue over its second quarter. Gamasutra is now reporting that major layoffs are taking place in the company's European division, with "most" of the management staff being let go. Take-Two's international managing director James Ellingford told MCV, "While it is regrettable that there will be a number of staff reductions, this was necessary so that we could realise our goals of creating continuing growth opportunities for the larger organization."

Some analysts have speculated that Take-Two's new focus could be part of an effort to increase the company's attractiveness in a potential sale. "While a smaller but more powerful list of games for release has the opportunity to drive financial performance to higher levels, it also creates periods of operational volatility as their current franchise portfolio limits consistent releases," Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said in a note to his investors, stating that the Grand Theft Auto publisher "could be an exceedingly powerful asset for a competitive 3rd party developer like Electronic Arts or a large multi-media company like Viacom. While a stripped down operational model would naturally increase their earnings volatility, that earnings volatility could be smoothed out if it was included within a larger portfolio of assets from an acquiring Company."