News Article

Ken Levine Closes the Booker on Irrational Games

Posted by Sammy Barker

BioShock studio caught in the Rapture

Irrational Games, the legendary developer best known for the BioShock franchise, is no more. Writing on the company’s official website, founder Ken Levine has confirmed that the studio is shutting down after an incredible 17 years of development. The outfit’s last ever release will be the second episode of its Burial at Sea add-on for BioShock Infinite, which is due out on 25th March in North America.

“I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it,” the legendary developer wrote. “I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational Games 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.”

The firm will be offering full support to those remaining staff members in order to help them find work elsewhere. “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,” he continued. “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 third party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews.”

Meanwhile, the remainder of the team will turn its attention to “narrative-driven games [...] that are highly replayable”. The auteur stopped short of sharing any specific plans, but did stress that these titles will be released through services such as the PlayStation Network. “To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally,” he concluded.

As a result, the BioShock franchise will be passed on to 2K Games. It’s unclear whether there are any plans to continue the series, but it’s not like Irrational Games has been at the helm of every title in the property – after all, BioShock 2 was tackled primarily by 2K Marin. One thing’s for sure, though: Levine can almost certainly put to bed those questions about BioShock Vita now. If people weren’t losing their jobs here, we’d argue that that was the luminary’s primary incentive behind this move.

[via irrationalgames.com]

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User Comments (23)

Gamer83

#1

Gamer83 said:

Well, this completely sucks. Hopefully those who get laid off bounce back quick.

Punished_Boss

#2

Punished_Boss said:

Um Why? Seriously i don't see an explanation for this anywhere and Bioshock Vita was never happening with the way it was going, the nail on the coffin is finalised now.

Bliquid

#3

Bliquid said:

This is big.
Personally, i like the creative vision and taste of Levine, but i could never really get into FPS games ( they make me literally sick after half an hour or less).
According to what he says in the letter, he's creating a smaller, more compact team to focus on narrative first and foremost, so i'm actually kinda excited to see where he's going from now.
Hopefully not making another "Shock", but it's just me, i guess.
As for the layoffs, well, i don't wanna sound cynical ( but i don't wanna be a hypocrite either), it happens all the time.
In this day and age, thinking that a job will last forever is naive.
Hope they'll find something soon.

Sanquine

#4

Sanquine said:

BioShock vita? What's that? I think the chance for a vita title is bigger now. 2k wasnt thinking about supporting it anyway. Haha btw do we need guys who are always negative.. Pretty sick of guys who always needs to slam something.

( not talking about you gamer83 :) )

banacheck

#6

banacheck said:

Nooo, Bioshock3 PS4?

What ashame, it sounds to me like thay'll be making indie type of games for the PSN, hopefully 2K will start where Irrational left Bioshock3.

Punished_Boss

#7

Punished_Boss said:

@Sanquine What? It really wasn't going anywhere. Take Two wasn't bothered to begin with, Sony wasn't paying a check high enough for marketing and other associated costs and Ken Levine was the only one trying (so he says) & motivated. I'm surprised this project was even announced when it was, it sounded like something Sony convinced him to do behind Take Two's Backs. But that last part is conspiracy about Take Two and convincing, the rest is true.

The time for positivity regarding Vita went right out the window earlier this year, thats honestly how it stands.

Of course if you didn't mean me, this is all an illusion.

Sanquine

#8

Sanquine said:

@Big-Boss So you do know you're negative like every comment? I agree there wasn't a chance but always being cynical is a reason for me to stop commenting or just don't read any of the comments or story. Because everything vita related or Ps4 related ( Games drought) is going to be bashed because you lost faith in sony, I never give a crap about Bioshock vita since bioshock infinite is bland in comparison to the first game. Heck, the first game was the masterpiece and after that quality went down. ( I enjoyed bioshock 2 but it couldnt touch the first bioshock)

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

@Sanquine - I know you're talking about me Sanquine, but I think Gamer83 is a close second ;-)

@Bliquid - "but i could never really get into FPS games ( they make me literally sick after half an hour or less)"

Yeah, thats about how I feel. I'm giving Bioshock Infinite a go right now, but I really do wish it was 3rd person so I could enjoy playing it. It's basically a FPS Uncharted so far - I'm only about 3 hours in - so that's good. I haven't played any of the previous games - I own the first on PC but I've never had a PC that could run it properly - but free is free.

Punished_Boss

#10

Punished_Boss said:

@Sanquine Well there really is no other way in regards to Vita for various reasons. In regards to PS4 & PS3 there is no need for negativity on these fronts for various reasons, some criticism sure but full on negativity? Not really. Those negative viewpoints on delays makes no sense to me. One out of three products cannot cause me to lose total faith in Sony, but the product itself, yes. Just like Xbox One & Wii U cannot make me lose complete faith in MS and Ninty.

Positivity & Negativity will only occur once given various incentives to. I can give you various reasons as to why i'm almost totally negative on Vita and they most definitely make sense.

Sanquine

#12

Sanquine said:

@Bigboss please don't i'm done with discussing it. Going to play dangonronpa since i just have a couple of hours before i return to the place they call work. Wel thanks! Have a good night

Sanquine

#15

Sanquine said:

@DaftPlayStation So, there are more people negative? Well, maybe i have been building a wall to not see negative comments all the time. Let the guy play it's Wii U daft .

SimonAdebisi

#20

SimonAdebisi said:

Sounds like they'll be churning out a whole load of indie tripe and probably mobile gaming dross. What a shame.

Tasuki

#21

Tasuki said:

Man that sucks, I was hoping that maybe Bioshock Infinite would be ported to the PS4. Still the biggest problem is all those people who will lose their jobs hopefully they will be able to find something quickly.

SimonAdebisi

#22

SimonAdebisi said:

Sounds like they'll be churning out a whole load of indie tripe and probably mobile gaming dross. What a shame.

KAPADO

#23

KAPADO said:

This is what harkens when we don't appreciate gems. I included,I knew infinite was social and I didn't buy it.now I have it on ps plus.smh

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