July turned out to be a depressive one for two of Take-Two's studios. During the first part of the month, the publisher confirmed that it had trimmed 20 positions at Firaxis, which stands poised to launch Civilization V on September 21. A week later, Take-Two said that Rockstar San Diego had shed an unspecified number of jobs, despite the unequivocal critical and commercial success of Red Dead Redemption.
Into August, and Take-Two is still trimming its internal outfits. As reported by Industry Gamers, the publisher has laid off approximately 30 people from its Visual Concepts studio, which handles sports franchises such as NBA 2K, NHL 2K, and MLB 2K.
"In order to properly align its resources with its current and future goals, and to continue to develop games as efficiently as possible, 2K Sports has eliminated approximately 30 positions at its Visual Concepts studio," the publisher said in a statement. "These reductions will not affect 2K Sports' ability to create and deliver AAA titles, including its upcoming release of NBA 2K11."
Though a leader in the basketball space, Visual Concepts has struggled to match its competitors in the hockey and major league baseball arenas. Baseball in particular has been a problem for the studio and Take-Two, due to a third-party exclusivity contract signed with the MLB Players Association for what competitor Electronic Arts called "stupid money." In March, Take-Two said it expects to lose $30 million to $35 million on the franchise this year alone.
Take-Two had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment on the layoffs as of press time.