On The Take
Delays to Kerbal Space Program 2 were, in part, the result of corporate intrigue, according to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier. The space flight sim had its development shifted to an internal studio at publisher Take-Two Interactive earlier this year. Now, it seems that there may have been more behind that decision than first met the eye.
In his article, Schreier says that Kerbal Space Program 2's original developer Star Theory was taken off the project in December. According to Schreier, Star Theory employees received a recruitment message from Take-Two via LinkedIn. The message was from Private Division Executive producer Michael Cook and explained that Kerbal Space Program 2 would no longer be developed by Star Theory.
Cook invited Star Theory developers to apply for Take-Two instead, saying that the publisher felt "business circumstances might compromise the development, execution, and integrity of the game". Instead of Star Theory, Take-Two would set up a new internal studio and would hire Star Theory devs to work on Kerbal Space Program 2. This would effectively mean the end of Star Theory, given that its contract with Take-Two to develop Kerbal Space Program 2 constituted its only source of income at the time.
Was Kerbal Space Program 2 in trouble?
Apparently, Star Theory staff felt that development on Kerbal Space Program 2 was going well, so news that the studio would be let go from its contract was a shock. Late in 2019, Take-Two and Star Theory entered negotiations to extend development time on KSP2 by six months, which was agreed upon by both parties. Then came the news that Take-Two would set up a new internal studio to work on the game and would no longer need Star Theory.
After this blow, Star Theory decided it would come up with some new game ideas and attempt to pitch them at 2020's Game Developers' Conference, which was due to take place in mid-March. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic put paid to those plans, which meant that Star Theory had to shut its doors for good. According to Take-Two, "more than half" of the Star Theory team is now working at Intercept Games.
Take-Two says that Kerbal Space Program 2 is still in development at Intercept, although it was recently delayed to fall 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can check out Schreier's full account of what happened to Star Theory in the original Bloomberg article. We'll bring you more on the ongoing development process for Kerbal Space Program 2 as we get it.
Read more about how the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is affecting the gaming world at our Coronavirus Gaming Convention Cancellations and Game Delays Hub.
This story has been corrected to refer to Michael Cook as an Executive Producer at Private Division, and not an Executive at Take Two
How do you feel about this account of Star Theory's demise? Let us know in the comments below!