Take-Two Interactive's Hostile Takeover of Star Theory and Cancellation of Kerbal Space Program 2
Kerbal Space Program 2 is the second game in the Kerbal Space Program franchise and is set to be the second game in the franchise. However, it was forcefully delayed for a late 2021 release instead of it's intended March 2020 release date by its new publisher and owner Take-Two Interactive before its developer Star Theory gets shut down.
Development for Kerbel Space Program 2 began in 2018 by American indie developer Star Theory after Take-Two Interactive took over the rights to the franchise from its creator, Mexican indie studio Squad.
However, Take-Two announced it had created a new studio within the game's developer Private Division in February 2020, later named Intercept Games, and had transferred development duties of the game to it. Along with this, members of Star Theory, including creative director Nate Simpson and studio head Jeremy Ables, had joined with this new studio, leaving its role in the game unclear.
In December 2019, shortly after negotiating an extension to complete work on the game, Take-Two wanted to acquire Star Theory but Berry and Mavor did not like the terms of the deal, so Take-Two instead established Intercept Games and offered all Star Theory staff a position there, while Berry and Mavor encouraged the staff to stay with Star Theory. By February, about twelve of the 30 staff has moved to Take-Two, and the company had pulled the Kerbal contract from them without their knowledge. The remaining staff had planned to prepare prototypes and have material ready to present to publishers at the March 2020 Game Developers Conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference and others like it were closed down. Star Theory Games was shut down on March 4, 2020, as a result, and some of the staff ended up at Take-Two to join the former staff.
As a result of the incident, Star Theory's version of Kerbal Space Program 2 has effectively been pushed back for a late 2021 release date.