Skateboarding studio Roll7 is reportedly being closed down by parent company Take-Two

By admin May2,2024

Roll7, developers of bright skateboarding games OlliOlli World and dual-wielding bloodsport Rollerdrome, are being closed down as part of large scale layoffs by parent corp Take-Two Interactive, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. The British studio has been responsible for some great stuff over the years but the report says they’ll be following the fate of Kerbal Space Program 2 developers in being laid off.

Roll7 were only acquired by Take-Two in 2021, when they were bought by publishers Private Division. The studio was hiring for roles as recently as two months ago, according to some posts on LinkedIn. Sister site Eurogamer also had an interview with two heads at the studio in January, in which the developers were satisfied with being acquired and were quietly excited about future plans for more games.

Aside from the memos seen by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, there isn’t much else to know at the moment. “Take-Two plans to close the studio and will offer severance agreements to its staff,” he writes. Roll7 haven’t officially confirmed the closure, so it’s possible the layoffs are not total. But Schreier has made a name for himself reporting on labour issues in the games industry and is often accurate about such things. If it is true, about 60 people may have lost their jobs. We’ve reached out to staff at Roll7 for comment.

It would be dispiriting to see an accomplished studio like this being shuttered. OlliOlli 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. I own it on three platforms. I played it so much I broke the top 50 on the leaderboards. After that, OlliOlli World was an incredible and colourful update on everything that made their skateboarding so responsive, wild, and focused. That’s not to mention the giffable joy of Rollerdrome, which our review called “polished and precise”.

Layoffs are a painful, anxiety-inducing wound to those hit. At the risk of being vULneRaBLe oNLiNe, I was also unexpectedly let go from a games industry job only a month ago due to knock-on effects from what may be colloquially referred to as “Embracer bullshit”. I get why it happened but… it sucked! My thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone caught up in Take-Two’s decisions.

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