Some sad news from the gaming world.
Irrational Games, the studio behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful “Bioshock” series, is closing down after seventeen years.
Co-Founder Ken Levine said in a statement the reason for the closure is he is starting a “smaller, more entrepreneurial” project for Take-Two Interactive, the publisher who owns Irrational. Only 15 staff members from the Irrational Team will be joining him in this new venture.
“Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before,” Levine said. “To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.”
Levine said his new project will be announced “in time” and it will focus on digital-download narrative driven games. He intended to start this new venture via the startup model but Take-Two convinced him to keep it in-house.
To help out its employees during this transition period Irrational is offering “financial support” to any employees affected by the move. Employees will have the chance to meet with other studios under the Take-Two banner to discuss employment opportunities. The company will also host a recruiting day where third-party studios and publishers can meet with Irrational game developers.
Irrational’s last “BioShock” related project is the two-part “BioShock Infinite” campaign Burial At Sea. The “BioShock” franchise has now been handed over to 2K, another Take-Two studio who previously developed “Bioshock 2.”
Take-Two had this to say:
“BioShock is one of our most beloved and critically acclaimed franchises, and we are indebted to Ken and the talented team at Irrational Games for their contributions to the series with BioShock and BioShock Infinite; the latter being one of the most decorated games of 2013. The BioShock universe remains a rich creative canvas for many untold stories, and we look forward to exploring the next BioShock experience.”
Are you sad to hear about the closing of Irrational? Leave your thoughts in the comments.