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Irrational Games Being Wound Down By Ken Levine

Bioshocked.

In a somewhat shocking turn of events Ken Levine has made the decision to wind down Irrational Games, the studio behind the BioShock series. In a an open letter to fans Mr Levine has wrote that after seventeen years it’s time to start a new endeavour within Take-Two, focusing on new games with just a team of fifteen other Irrational workers, while the rest will be laid off.

“I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two.  That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team.   There’s no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition.

In time we will announce a new endeavor with a new goal: To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable. To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.”

The future of the new focus is still unclear and it isn’t confirmed whether this smaller team will continue with the Irrational name. What is fact is that this team will no longer be working on the BioShock games. However, that does not necessarily mean BioShock is dead as the reins to that series are being handed over to 2K who will decide the fate of the title. Whether this means any projects that may have been in the works, like BioShock Vita, will be finished is again unknown.

In my opinion the BioShock games are some of the best games I’ve had the pleasure to experience, and I can only thank the team at Irrational Games for that. For all of those who are being let go we would sincerely like to wish you luck in finding new placements quickly.

Source: Irrational Games

7 Comments
  1. Deezoned
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    So sad! Bioshock has been a fantastic series and will be greatly missed!

    Comment posted on 18/02/2014 at 18:51.
  2. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    The first BioShock was amazing, and Infinite told an incredible complex and engaging story, but in terms of gameplay the series has felt dated for a while imo so I’m not surprised or disappointed it’s finishing (at least for now). I also wonder if there’s more to it – why not keep all the team, are they having to cut costs?

    Anyway, they have been great games to play and I look forward to Levine’s future story-driven games.

    Comment posted on 18/02/2014 at 19:21.
  3. rSp8
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    This I like-
    “In time we will announce a new endeavor with a new goal: To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable.”
    This i’m not sure on-
    “To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.”

    Comment posted on 18/02/2014 at 19:52.
  4. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    What a shame, Bioshock is a remarkable series. Hopefully the rest of the staff find new work quickly. 2K can’t be too happy about this, so hopefully they’ll rehire most of them.

    Comment posted on 18/02/2014 at 19:53.
  5. AddictedAndy
    PS3Addict
    Since: Oct 2008

    BioShock is the single best game I have ever played. I have never felt so immersed, so scared, so hungry for more! best of luck to all and hope you find new employment. You all deserve it!

    Comment posted on 18/02/2014 at 22:19.
  6. xdarkmagician
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    laying people off just because he wants to start a more entrepreneurial endeavor is kinda a dick move. There might not be a great way to lay people off, but there are alternatives to laying people off. Lay offs should be a last resort to save a business, not a way to shift focus or change directions because someone is bored. Surely it would make more sense to sell irrational and leave to start something new. That way irrational employees can continue making Bio Shock games and he would have some extra start up cash for his new direction.
    Hopefully Take-Two immediately hires everybody back and starts a new studio to keep making Bio Shock games, as the series deserves better

    Comment posted on 19/02/2014 at 02:08.
    • SH Number 7/Mini-Lipscombe
      Member
      Since: May 2011

      I know, he should have just left with the 15 like most developers do when they want to start something new.

      Personally I find this move quite IRRATIONAL! ;)

      Comment posted on 19/02/2014 at 12:41.