BioShock studio Irrational Games shutting down

Ken Levine and 15 staffers starting new 2K venture.

Irrational Games

Irrational Games, developer of BioShock and BioShock Infinite, is closing down, co-founder Ken Levine announced.

Levine and 15 other members of the current Irrational Games will move on to form a “smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers” at Take-Two Interactive.

“In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience,” Levine said on the Irrational Games website.

And what of the other staff?

“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,” Levine said. “Besides financial support, the staff will have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios.

“Other Take-Two studios will be on hand to discuss opportunities within the company, and we’ll be hosting a recruiting day where we’ll be giving 3rd party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews with departing Irrational staff.”

As for Levine, his studio’s new goal is to make “narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable” and to “foster the most direct relationship” with its fans.

“After all, they’re the ones who believed in and supported BioShock in the first place,” Levine said.

BioShock, the half a billion dollar-generating franchise that Irrational spearheaded, will be handed off to 2K, Levine said, so “our new venture can focus entirely on replayable narrative.”

“If we’re lucky, we’ll build something half as memorable as BioShock,” Levine concluded.

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