Rockstar Parent Company Take-Two Acquires Kerbal Space Program

CEO Strauss Zelnick notes that independent games are "an area of increasing focus."


Successful indie game Kerbal Space Program is indie no longer. Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar and 2K Games, has announced that it has acquired Kerbal Space Program.

Take-Two shared news of the game acquisition in a press release today. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick subsequently stated that the IP and developer Squad itself were included as part of the deal during a Q&A with investment firm Cowen and Company attended by GameSpot this morning. However, Take-Two has since clarified with us that it only purchased the game, not the developer--although Squad will continue to work on the game.

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"It's just another example of our desire to build up our collection of owned intellectual property," Zelnick explained. "This is an opportunity to buy a title that's already successful--it's sold in roughly 2 million units, still in market, still selling on Steam. There'll be more additional content packs coming. And we think it's a great addition to the stable of intellectual property, and it fits within our independent games initiative, which is an area we don't talk about much, but it's an area of increasing focus."

Separate from Zelnick's comments, Take-Two senior VP Michael Worosz noted something similar: "We view Kerbal Space Program as a new, long-term franchise that adds a well-respected and beloved IP to Take-Two's portfolio as we continue to explore opportunities across the independent development landscape."

Kerbal Space Program, a game in which you (attempt to) design functioning spaceships, originally debuted in Early Access back in March 2013. It then officially launched on the platform in April 2015. Since then, it's been ported to both PS4 and Xbox One. It's also proven to have a use in education and is available at a discounted rate to schools.

In a post on its website, Squad stated that "this big news doesn't change much for the KSP community." It also said it will still offer free DLC to those who purchased the game by April 2013 and that work continues on updated PS4 and Xbox One versions. Those will be available for free to anyone who's already bought the game on either platform.

Kerbal Space Program is the Mexico City-based Squad's only game. It's a small studio which was in the headlines recently when several of its former developers were hired by Valve. Squad, however, insisted that the game's core team remained with the studio and that this would have no impact on development.

A new expansion pack, Making History, is due out for the game later this year. It adds the ability to create missions that other players can then take part it in, as well as a set of missions based on real-world historical space endeavors "complete with a unique Kerbal Space Program twist."

This story has been updated with further clarification from Take-Two.

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